What terms are synonymous with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Updated: Dec 11, 2019
  • Author: Jenifer K Lehrer, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder characterized by abdominal pain and altered bowel habit in the absence of a specific and unique organic pathology. Osler coined the term mucous colitis in 1892 when he wrote of a disorder of mucorrhea and abdominal colic with a high incidence in patients with coincident psychopathology. Since then, the syndrome has been referred to by sundry terms, including spastic colon, irritable colon, and nervous colon.


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