Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Diverticulitis

Two conditions, Irritable bowel syndrome and Diverticulitis, are they more alike than most would think? Irritable bowel syndrome can be characterized by lower abdominal discomfort or pain, altered bowel movements, chronic or recurrent diarrhea, and/or constipation. Most people have small pouches in their colon that bulge outward through weak spots. These pouches are called diverticula's. When the pouches become infected or inflamed it is called Diverticulitis.
Irritable bowel syndrome has been thought to be inflicted by emotional conflict or stress.Any person who has IBS seems to have a colon that is more sensitive and reactive than usual. This causes the colon to respond strongly to stimuli that wouldn't affect most people. Every day events such as eating can cause the colon to overreact. Certain medicines and food can also cause the colon to spasm.
People with IBS usually have abdominal pain with alternating constipation or diarrhea. These people normally pass mucus with their bowel movements. Fever, bleeding, and weight loss are not symptoms of IBS.
IBS is usually diagnosed by a doctor doing a complete medical history and a careful description of your symptoms. Physical examinations and laboratory tests will be completed and a stool sample will be taken for presence of bleeding. Doctors may also perform diagnostic tests such as X-rays or viewing the colon through a flexible tube inserted through the anus.
There is no standard way of treating IBS. If you are constipated your doctor may prescribe fiber supplements or laxatives. Some doctors prescribe drugs that will control the colon spasms. Antidepressant drugs are also used to treat patients who are depressed.
Diverticulitis occurs when the small pouches in the colon become infected or inflamed. Doctors are still not quite sure what causes these infections. It may begin when bacteria or stool are caught in the diverticula's. An attack of Diverticuliti…

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