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.

Acute: temporary.

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.

Bowel: intestines.

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: digestive tract.

Gut: intestines.

Incontinence: involuntary leakage of liquid or solid stool, or gas.

Irritable: overly-responsive nerves or muscles.

Lifestyle: 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

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