Current belief about the causes and risk factors for IBS

What is the current belief about the causes and risk factors for IBS? 

  • The pathogenesis of IBS appears to be multifactorial.
  • Factors believed to play a role in the pathogenesis of IBS include heritability and genetics, environment and social learning, diet, intestinal microbiota, low-grade inflammation, central processing of visceral sensations, gut dysmotility, and disturbances in the neuroendocrine system of the gut. 
  • IBS is the result of a complex interaction between psychosocial and physiologic factors via the brain-gut axis.
  • Early life factors, such as family attitudes toward illness, major loss, or abuse history, or, possibly, genetic predisposition, may influence a person’s psychosocial development (e.g., psychological state, coping skills, social support, or susceptibility to life stress) or gut dysfunction (e.g., gut dysmotility or hypersensitivity).
  • Although closely interrelated, the importance of any one factor in the generation of IBS symptoms varies greatly between individuals.

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