This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in


Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The exact cause of the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is unknown and it is believed to be multifactorial in origin.

There are abnormalities in the muscular tone of the GI tract in these patients, but a low fibre diet also plays a part in the development of the condition. Colonic motility studies of patients with this condition have shown abnormal rises in intraluminal pressure and disordered peristalis, resulting in non-propulsive, segmenting contractions. Thus the small volume of stool (because of low residual fibre) becomes excessively dehydrated and fragmented so producing the rabbit dropping stools often complained of by these patients.

Recent research suggests that IBS may develop as a consequence of bacterial gastroenteritis.

The following factors may have a role in the pathogenesis of the IBS:

  • genetics - there may be a familial form
  • psychological factors

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.