Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract . Symptoms include abdominal cramps , bloating, constipation, and / or diarrhea. Symptoms range in severity from mildly annoying to debilitating.
In a person with IBS, the muscles of the colon (part of the colon) that move digested food are extremely sensitive to certain stimuli or triggers. IBS is diagnosed based on symptoms (especially chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habits) and an evaluation of the gastrointestinal tract to rule out other diagnoses.
The causes of IBS are not well understood and are often treated with a combination of diet, lifestyle changes, and medications. IBS is a chronic disease that can be controlled but not cured.