Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) article.

Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect ...

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Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Acidophilus: Bacteria found in yogurt that can help restore a supportive bacterial environ...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Amitriptyline: An antidepressant medication. In some patients with depression, abnormal l...

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Antidepressants: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

Antispasmodic: A medication that relieves, prevents, or lowers the incidence of muscle spa...

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Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Atropine: A drug, made from the belladonna plant, that is administered via injection, eye ...

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Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.

Biofeedback: A method of treatment that uses a monitor to measure patients' physiologic in...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Caffeine: A stimulant compound found naturally in coffee, tea, cocoa (chocolate), and kola...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Capsule: Capsule has many meanings in medicine including the following:

  1. In medici...

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Carbohydrate: One of the three nutrient compounds, along with fat and protein, used as ene...

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Carbohydrates: Mainly sugars and starches, together constituting one of the three principa...

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Celiac disease: A disorder resulting from an immune reaction to gluten, a protein found in...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Cognitive: Having to do with thought, judgment, or knowledge.

Colitis: Inflammation of the large intestine (the colon). There are many forms of coliti...

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Colon: The long, coiled, tubelike organ that removes water from digested food. The remaini...

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Colon cancer: A malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine (the co...

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Colonoscopy: A procedure whereby a physician inserts a viewing tube (colonoscope) into the...

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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Constipation: Infrequent and frequently incomplete bowel movements. Constipation is the op...

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Contagious: capable of being transmitted from one human to another human via direct or ind...

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CT scan: Computed tomography scan. Detailed images of internal organs are obtained by this...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Digestive system: The system of organs responsible for getting food into and out of the bo...

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Elavil: See: Amitriptyline.

Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Endoscopy: Examination of the inside of the body by using a lighted, flexible instrument c...

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Family medicine: Also called family practice. The medical specialty which provides continu...

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Fiber: The parts of fruits and vegetables that cannot be digested. Fiber is of vital impor...

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Flare: 1. an exacerbation of a chronic disease. Sometimes referred to as a flare-up, a fla...

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Flatulence: Excess gas in the intestinal tract. But excess flatulence is difficult to defi...

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FODMAPs: an acronym for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and ...

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Gastroenteritis: Inflammation of the stomach and the intestines. Gastroenteritis can cause...

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Gastroenterologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases...

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Gastrointestinal: Adjective referring collectively to the stomach and small and large inte...

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Genetics: The scientific study of heredity. Genetics pertains to humans and all other orga...

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GI tract: Short for gastrointestinal tract. See: Gastrointestinal tract.

Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Hemorrhoids: Dilated (enlarged) veins in the walls of the anus and sometimes around the re...

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Hypnosis: A part of healing from ancient times. The induction of trance states and the use...

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Idiopathic: Of unknown cause. Any disease that is of uncertain or unknown origin may be te...

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Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease or trait, appears in a pa...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Internist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and medical treatment of adults. T...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Lactobacillus: A bacterium normally found in the mouth, intestinal tract, and vagina. Lact...

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Lactobacillus acidophilus: This bacteria is part of the normal flora of the human and anim...

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Laxative: Something that promotes emptying of the bowels. Laxatives are used to combat con...

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Menstruation: The periodic blood that flows as a discharge from the uterus. Also called me...

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Microscopic: An object so small it cannot be seen without the aid of microscope (for examp...

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Mucus: A thick fluid that is produced by the lining of some organs of the body.

Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pain management: The process of providing medical care that alleviates or reduces pain. Mi...

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Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care, ideally providing continui...

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Primary care provider: In insurance parlance, a physician who is chosen by or assigned to ...

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Probiotic: A microbe that protects its host and prevents disease. The best-known probiotic...

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Psychotherapy: The treatment of a behavior disorders, mental illness, or any other conditi...

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Quality of life: The patient's ability to enjoy normal life activities. Quality of life is...

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Rectal bleeding: Blood passed rectally. Blood in the stool can be bright red or maroon in ...

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Rectum: The last 6 to 8 inches of the large intestine. The rectum stores solid waste until...

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Recur: To occur again; to return. For example, a symptom, sign, or disease can recur.

Rule out: Term used in medicine, meaning to eliminate or exclude something from considera...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Spasm: A brief, automatic jerking movement. A muscle spasm can be quite painful, with the ...

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Spastic colon: A term sometimes used to refer to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Although...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Stool: The solid matter that is discharged in a bowel movement.

Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Ulcerative colitis: A bowel disease that is characterized by inflammation with ulcer forma...

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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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