Who is at Risk for IBS?

Who is at Risk for IBS?

IBS is a chronic, relapsing gastrointestinal syndrome, with key features of abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel movements. IBS has a high prevalence in the general population and is seen commonly in clinical practice both by general practitioners and by specialists. Although IBS is not known to lead to serious disease or excess mortality, it has a negative impact on quality of life and social functioning and generates significant direct and indirect healthcare costs.

· Race: In Europe and the United states there is no particular race that is susceptible. Its prevalence is seen across racial and ethnic lines. There is a lower prevalence in Asia and Africa.

· Sex: In Western countries, women are 2-3 times more likely to develop IBS than men. In the Indian subcontinent, males represent 70-80% of patients.

· Age: About 50% of people with IBS reported that symptoms began before the age of 35. Patients often note that the onset of their abdominal pain and altered bowel habits began in childhood.

Causes or risk factors for IBS remain poorly defined, however IBS maybe more likely to occur in people with the following characteristics:
· Abnormal bowel transit times.
· Abnormal perception of what normal bowel motility should be: People with IBS usually are more sensitive to bowel movements
· Gut mucosal system more sensitive to histamine stimulation
· Gut mucosa more hyperreactive after an episode of gastroenteritis
· Prevalence of more psychological conditions is a predisposition to postinfectious IBS
· Psychological illness, which predisposes to IBS
· Limbic system (emotional) abnormalities: emotional abnormalities are often seen in people with IBS and major depression
· Disturbances of motility by the hypothalamus-pituitary axis: during times of stress the gut increases motility and hypothalamus releases hormones that affect motility corticotrophin releasing factor, which is reduced with
· Bacterial overgrowth in the small bowel: may be responsible for the symptoms of bloating and gaseous distention
· Intolerance to dietary fats