What exactly causes irritable bowel syndrome?

Autonomic Disorder. Cause unknown, many speculations. My own observations indicate that excess pelvic parasympathetic nerve stimulation leads to irritable bowel symptoms. See my complete discussion on my chronic pain board at quora.Com.
A syndrome complex. Stress, emotions, conditioning, psychologic traits, bacteria contribute to development of ibs. Brainstem reflexes induced by eating are sometimes exaggerated in ibs. Gut tone & sensation, as well as GI transit, are influenced by hormones & neurotransmitters. In ibs patients alteration in brain-gut pathways can affect perception of bowel distension, cause painful spasm, & modify transit of food.
Two ways to look at. A functional, but not structural, disorder like ibs: "brain-gut response to stress and cholinergic stimulation in ibs" published in the journal of clinical gastroenterology in 1993 or: "the sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep." henry maudsley.

Related Questions

What causes irritable bowel syndrome and do you have it the rest of your life?

IBS. … is not a disease, as much as an abnormality of the function of your digestive tract. We do not know what causes it, and do not have a "cure" for it. Things that can help include increasing the amount of fiber in your diet and noting whether any particular foods make your symptoms worse, and obviously avoiding those if so. If it is still a problem in your daily life, then you should see your physician to discuss it. Read more...

What are the causes of irritable bowel syndrome?

Diet and fluids. I rarely prescribe meds for ibs. In my experience teaching people to eat and drink properly resolves most if not all symptoms when the patient is compliant and follows through. Hi fiber, 80-100 ounces non caffeine, non alcoholic beverages each day, regular meal times, excercise. Consistency is the key to being symptom free. Read more...

Which pains does irritable bowel syndrome cause?

Usually crampy. Abdominal pains, bloating and diarrhea, constipation or both. That being said, many other diagnoses can present the same way, so you need a thorough history and exam and possible diagnostic testing to correctly make a diagnosis. Read more...

What exactly is irritable bowel syndrome aggravated by?

Irritants for IBS. Irritable bowel syndrome (or ibs) is aggravated by a number of different things. Most commonly, the list includes caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, constipating foods or those that cause increased gas (such as beans), and a lack of exercise. Everyone has different triggers for their ibs, and one should avoid the things that result in exacerbations. Read more...
Many triggers . Irritable bowel syndrome is the multifactorial consequence of hormonal, immune system and nervous system dysfunction resulting from genetic predispositions and dietary and environmental insults. The predominant symptoms like diarrhea cramps constipation are the result of autonomic nervous system instability. Pts like you may benefit from a metabolically directed approach check out mdwellnessmd.Com. Read more...
Musculoskeletal . Abnormal musculoskeletal functions arouse autonomic neural impingement and parasympathetic stimulation. For more information about this topic see my chronic pain board at quora.Com. Read more...