A common gastrointestinal disorder involving an abnormal condition of gut contractions (motility) characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, mucous in stools, and irregular bowel habits with alternating diarrhea and constipation, symptoms that tend to be chronic and to wax and wane over the years. Although the disorder can cause chronic recurrent discomfort, it does not lead to any serious organ problems.
Making the diagnosis usually involves excluding other illnesses. Treatment is directed toward relief of symptoms and includes changes in diet (eating high fiber and avoiding caffeine, milk products and sweeteners), exercise, relaxation techniques, and medications.
Alternative names include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), spastic colitis, and mucus colitis.
- Nervous system, autonomic
the sympathetic nervous system, which accelerates the heart rate, constricts blood vessels, and raises blood pressure, and the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles.
- Nervous system, central (CNS)
That part of the nervous system that consists of the brain and spinal cord. The central nervous system (CNS) is one of the two major divisions of the nervous system. The other is the peripheral nervous system (PNS), that part of the nervous system that lies outside the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous […]
- Nervous system, human
The sum total of the tissues that record and distribute information within a person, and does so by electrical and chemical means. The nervous system has two distinct parts — central and peripheral. The central part is made up of the brain and spinal cord. Together they are the central nervous system (CNS). The peripheral […]
- Nervous system, parasympathetic
The part of the involuntary nervous system that serves to slow the heart rate, increase intestinal and glandular activity, and relax the sphincter muscles. The parasympathetic nervous system, together with the sympathetic nervous system, constitutes the autonomic nervous system.
- Nervous system, peripheral (PNS)
That portion of the nervous system that is outside the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is one of the two major divisions of the nervous system. The other is the central nervous system (CNS) which is made up of the brain and spinal cord. The nerves in the peripheral nervous system […]