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Conditions We Treat: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects the gastrointestinal tract. It is important to note that IBS is very different from a similarly named disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Recent research has shown that many symptoms of IBS are related to hyperactivity of the nerves.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: What You Need to Know

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  • Irritable bowel syndrome, a disease of the gastrointestinal tract, is different than inflammatory bowel disease.
  • IBS affects as many as 15 percent of adults in the United States.
  • IBS causes serious pain and affects your quality of life, though it is not life threatening.
  • Treatment options include lifestyle changes, psychotherapy and medication.

Researchers are currently investigating why the nerves are overly activated in this disease and what types of conditions may predispose patients to IBS.

The good news about IBS is that it does not lead to a more serious disease. IBS is not life threatening and is not inflammatory, infectious or malignant. However, the symptoms of IBS are real, and they can include pain that impairs quality of life.

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Why choose Johns Hopkins Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology for irritable bowel syndrome?

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Our Physicians

Our physicians are not only expert in the care of patients with IBS, they understand its stresses and challenges.

Meet our physicians:
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Our Research

Researchers are uncovering new information about IBS that will lead to better patient care.

Read about their research:

Gene Expression in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Multi-Center African American IBD Study.