IBS Disease

Irritable Bowel A Disease Or Syndrome

Most people have misunderstood or been told that the Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disease. It is a syndrome. Who cares you say? “I’m in pain” in either case might also be your response. But there is a BIG difference as to how you approach this.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome can have lot of negative connotations because it is said that “there is no cure”. This can lead to more stress and more symptoms. The point is this. A disease often has very specific causes like a bacterial infection and can be treated with something like antibiotics. Even a life threatening disease like cancer has very specific targeted therapies even if they don’t always work in the end. A syndrome is a loose collection of symptoms based on “causes” that may be different from one person to the next. The treatment here is VERY different in this case and requires individualization.

As an aside, one thing is for sure, in case you are wondering. IBS is not a communicable disease. It is not caused by a virus or bacterium and you cannot “catch it” from someone else. We all are aware of the fact that isolation from the society is one of the harshest punishments a person could have. Even in jail the foremost punishment is social confinement and it is treated as the harshest of all. So, don’t do that to yourself or to others.

A syndrome, until and if a cause is isolated, cannot be treated with specific therapies for a cure. Rather, the symptoms can be managed and if a root cause is identified that works for them eventually this can lead to a cure. However, there are no quick fixes unless IBS was a mis-diagnosis and you have a treatable disease inside you. To be sure, work with a doctor rather than guessing. Some of these other conditions and diseases can be life threatening.

By changing one word for another makes a big difference. We may even respond differently corresponding to the name or label attached to our problems. Irritable Bowel is only a syndrome and not a disease. A syndrome is just a state of condition for a given set of symptoms. People need not keep away from those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and they should try to help out others who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. By learning the correct usage of words we are able to understand condition of the fellow sufferers too.


By DrSteve

Author, professor, integrative health ninja truth seeker.

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