Here is a list of common terms used when talking about IBS.
Abdomen: area between the chest and the hips that contains the intestinal organs.
Antidepressants: a group of drugs that, in IBS, may be used to reduce pain processing in the brain and bowel.
Antispasmodics: a group of drugs that may reduce muscle contractions in the GI tract.
Bloating: distension or a feeling of fullness in the abdomen.
Brain-gut connection: automatic cross-talk between the brain and the bowel.
Chronic: long term.
Colon: the large intestine/bowel.
Colonoscopy: exam of the inside of the colon using a flexible viewing instrument.
Constipation: reduced stool frequency, or hard stools, difficulty passing stools, or painful bowel movements.
Diarrhea: passing frequent, loose, or watery stools.
Digestive tract: a group of hollow organs that forms a long, twisting tube extending from the mouth to the anus through which food is ingested, digested, and expelled.
Discomfort: an unpleasant feeling or sensation.
Distension: an uncomfortable swelling in the intestines.
Functional bowel disorder: a problem with the way the bowels work, not their structure.
Gastroenterologist: a doctor who specializes in digestive diseases or disorders.
Gastrointestinal (GI) tract: the digestive tract.
Incontinence: Involuntary leakage of liquid or solid stool, or gas.
Irritable: overly-responsive nerves or muscles.
Lifestyle: a typical way of life, including things like diet, activities, environment, and habits.
Motility: muscle contractions or movement.
Primary care physician: a doctor who can be seen without a referral, usually the primary, main, or first-contact doctor. May be referred to as a general practitioner or family practice physician.
Quality of life: the feeling or perception of ability to meet daily needs, physical activities, well-being.
Rome criteria: a list of symptoms for diagnosing IBS.
Soiling: staining or soiling undergarments with stool.
Syndrome: a set of symptoms that occur together in a pattern that indicate a certain disease.
Urgency: having very little time between feeling the urge to have a bowel movement and the need to pass stool.
Viscera: internal organs such as the intestines or bladder.
Visceral hypersensitivity: heightened perception or responsiveness within the bowel – even to normal events.
Find out more
View an in-depth glossary of GI terms here.
Last modified on August 28, 2013, at 11:59:10 AM