Causes of IBS

Causes of IBS


The causes of IBS is not known for sure. There are however, lifestyles associated with increased likelihood of developing this disorder.

Irritable bowel syndrome is known to be a due to a disorder of movement of the muscles in the wall of the intestines. Normally, there is a coordinated movement of these muscles regulated by what is called the enteric nervous system.

These are nerves found on the wall of the intestine, in between the muscles. Their activity is largely independent of control from the brain. When they get the speed and or rhythm wrong, a disjointed motility of the gut results.

These or a combination with other factors may cause food to be rushed down the gut, resulting in diarrhoea, or food staying too long in the gut, leading to constipation and excessive gas accumulation and bloating. The strength of contraction may also be too much, causing enormous amount of pain.

Some experts think that the brain is to be blamed for this disorder. They think the brain is over processing normal gut pain and reflexes we all suffer from.

That more women are affected than males, hormones have been implicated too in the causes of ibs


These are not direct causes of IBS. They include:


About 50% of patients who suffer from IBS can point to a stressful link to the onset of pain. Some have even confessed to have been sexually assaulted either as a child or adult.

The issue of stress here could be a vicious cycle. That the pain and disruption of IBS is not understood by cares and friends could in it self be stressful to the patient. So stress begets stress.


Food is thought to be one of the majpr causes of IBS. There is no evidence however that food directly leads to the development of IBS. It can only be a trigger of attack at best.

It is well recognised that sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome are intolerant of some specific dietary make up. The commonest reported food intolerance includes:

• Wheat

• Diary products

• Lactulose containing food

• Artificial sweeteners (sorbitol)

• Coffee and

• Potato.

This is not allergy to these foods; rather it makes their symptoms worse.

Some have adviced that certain food items are all that control their symptoms too. See a fast healthy meal recipe used by some IBS sufferers here at IBS Healthy Meal Recipe


About one in five persons who come up with onset of symptoms of IBS can remember suffering from an episode of diarrhoea and vomiting just before the IBS. This association is well recognised, but not understood.

Children who have suffered from recurrent abdominal pain syndrome may grow up to develop IBS.

Read more about IBS and causes of IBS here

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