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The Rome Criteria for IBS — an article on the Smart Living Network
April 17, 2009 at 7:35 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

The Rome Criteria for IBS


What is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the most common chronic health disorder in the United States. IBS is a physical disorder that affects the bowels. It is characterized by symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. It is a function disorder and is considered to be a brain-gut dysfunction. It is not a disease! Since it is not a disease, diagnosis depends on matching symptoms that have been medically defined as the symptoms of IBS.

What is the Rome Criteria?

The Rome Criteria was established in 1988 in Rome, Italy. It is a set of eight abdominal and bowel symptoms established by an international panel to define Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It is 3 months of continuous/recurring symptoms of:

  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Relieved by defecation
  • Change id frequency of stool
  • Change of consistency of stool

Two or more of the following on of occasions

  • Passage of mucus
  • Bloating or abdominal tension
  • Altered stool frequency
  • Altered stool consistency
  • Altered stool passage

Other symptoms could include nausea, fatigue, vomiting, and feeling very full after a meal. The Rome criterion was not received well upon first presentation. The second version, released in 1992, was better. It added a length of time for symptoms and pain as an indicator. The third version is currently under way.

What are the causes of IBS?

It is speculated that in a person with IBS, their colon muscles are incredibly sensitive to certain stimuli. Some stimuli considered could stress certain foods, or medications. The muscles in the walls of the intestine relax and contract as food moves through the intestinal track. In people with IBS, food either moves too fast or too slow. The symptoms range from minor to severe. Researchers are not sure why the muscles are more sensitive in IBS people than other people.

Can I be treated for IBS?

Treatment concentrates on relieving symptoms. There is no clear cause of IBS. If you can make slight lifestyle changes and learn to manage stress, then keeping IBS under control is very possible. Some suggestions could include:

  • Counseling.
  • Cutting out high gas foods.
  • Fiber supplements.
  • Antidepressant medications.
  • Anti-diarrhea medications.
  • Specific IBS medications.

Are there alternative remedies for IBS?

Some people have integrated alternative remedies that are having healing properties such as:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Peppermint oil
  • Essential oils of chamomile
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Ginger

Can I prevent IBS?

Since there is no known cause of IBS, slight changes in lifestyle would have an improving effect. Such things such as minimizing stress can have a huge impact on your quality of life when dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Some techniques to consider would be to do regular. Some people try hypnosis or psychotherapy. Others believe in the healing power of relaxation. Whatever works for you and minimized stress, try it for 20 relaxing minutes a day.

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