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Twelve Terms Every IBS Patient Should Know


Updated February 13, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Twelve Terms Every IBS Patient Should Know
Photo: Tom Grill/Getty Images

It is a good idea to be well-schooled on important IBS terms so that you have an optimal understanding of what is going wrong within your digestive system. Having a grasp on medical terminology also helps to maximize your communication with your doctor, an important ingredient in having a positive treatment outcome.

To help you to improve your IBS IQ, I have put together the following list of important medical terms related to IBS. Click on each term for a full definition.

1. Biomarker
For IBS, there is an ongoing search for visible biomarkers.

2. Comorbid
IBS often does not always stand alone, but at times co-exists with other health problems.

3. Extra-Intestinal Symptoms
Sometimes IBS patients experience co-existing symptoms in areas of the body other than the large intestine.

4. Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
IBS falls into this classification of disorders, unfortunately all too often leading to a minimization of the seriousness of symptoms for the patient.

5. Gastrocolic Reflex
This is an important reflex to know about as you try to enjoy food and manage your symptoms.

6. Gut Flora
Educate yourself about the role of gut flora so that you don't hold onto common misconceptions regarding bacteria in the digestive tract.

7. Intestinal Dysbiosis
Intestinal dysbiosis is a state in which there is an inbalance in the makeup of your gut bacteria. Find out if this imbalance is playing a role in your IBS.

8. Mast Cells
Cutting edge research is focusing on the role that mast cells play in the development and maintenance of IBS.

9. Neurotransmitters
Found throughout the body, neurotransmitters are being investigated as to how they are involved in IBS.

10. Rome III criteria
This is a set of criteria designed to take some of the guesswork out of the process of settling on an IBS diagnosis.

11. Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth
A medical condition that is receiving a great deal of attention as a possible cause of IBS.

12. Serotonin
A neurotransmitter with many important functions, including the process of digestion.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this site is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment rendered by a licensed physician. It is essential that you discuss with your doctor any symptoms or medical problems that you may be experiencing.

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