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What causes irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

ANSWER

Doctors don't have a clear picture what IBS is or what causes it, but researchers do have a few theories:

�People with IBS may have a more sensitive colon than others.

�In folks with IBS, the brain may perceive contractions in the gut differently than others.

�The immune system of people with IBS may respond differently to stress and infection.

�Hormonal changes may trigger IBS symptoms (70% of those who suffer from IBS are women).

SOURCES: 

Jeffrey Roberts, president and founder, IBS Self Help and Support Group. 

American College of Gastroenterology. 

Mayo Clinic. 

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

Harvard Health Publications: "Understanding and treating an irritable bowel."

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on January 26, 2020

SOURCES: 

Jeffrey Roberts, president and founder, IBS Self Help and Support Group. 

American College of Gastroenterology. 

Mayo Clinic. 

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

Harvard Health Publications: "Understanding and treating an irritable bowel."

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on January 26, 2020

NEXT QUESTION:

Is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) a real medical condition?

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