IBS is the most common digestive disorder seen by physicians. More than twice as many women suffer from the condition as men. IBS is one of a range of conditions known as functional gastrointestinal disorders. In IBS, this disorder of functioning is with the way nerves and muscles are working. This interferes with the normal movement of food and waste material and leads to the accumulation of mucus and toxins in the intestine. This accumulated material sets up a partial obstruction of the digestive tract, trapping gas and stool, which in turn causes bloating, distention and constipation. There are no physical signs of disease in bowel tissue with this disorder, and its cause is unknown, but one theory is that irregularities in cholecystokinin (CCK), motilin and vasoactive intestinal theory, people with IBS have abnormal contractions of the smooth muscle of the digestive tract. Some scientists believe a virus or bacterium may play a role.
Conventional medical treatment of IBS focuses primarily on drugs that suppress symptoms.