IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is “an intestinal problem of unknown cause, though stress appears to be a prominent factor. A typical marker of IBS is that the pain will be relieved by a bowel movement.” (Yoga as Medicine)
  • Other names include colitis, spastic colon and spastic bowel.
  • Symptoms include stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea and constipation and may be experienced in cycles.
  • It is not the same as ulcerative colitis, a more severe condition.
  • In IBS, there is no blood in the stool nor any fever, chills or weight loss.
  • IBS may be misdiagnosed in cases where lactose or fructose intolerance is the actual cause. (Yoga as Medicine)
  • IBS is the most common GI disorder with females being affected more often. (Yoga RX)
  • Often, people with IBS show no physical damage to their stomach, intestines or colon, suggesting that the problem lies in how the nervous system communicates with the digestive tract.
  • Studies have shown that a daily yoga practice with mindful breathing can reduce the emotional and physical symptoms of IBS.

IBS can cause a great deal of suffering and anxiety, but it does not cause permanent harm to the intestines and does not lead to any serious illness. – Larry Payne Ph.D. and Richard Usatine, M.D.