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What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome and how is the condition treated?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS for short, is an intestinal disorder suffered by almost one in four women in the UK.

The disorder causes the nerves and muscles in the lower part of the intestine, or the bowel as it's commonly known, to become extra-sensitive which can results in severe discomfort.

The primary symptoms of IBS are a painful and bloated abdomen, diarrhea or constipation, a constant feeling like you need to go to the toilet, and finally the passing of a clear substance from the back passage.

The cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not yet fully known although health experts believe it is due to a some kind of communication failure between the brain and the intestinal tract.

Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However, a variety of treatments are used to help alleviate the problems IBS causes, ranging from laxatives and fibre supplements to drugs designed to control colon muscle spasms or the movement of food through the digestive system. Each individual case of the disorder is different and often many techniques must be tried before the most effective solution is found.

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