IBS Often Runs in Families
IBS has had many names, spastic colon, mucous colitis and others listed below. Since it can often run in families knowing some of the other names might help you find out if someone else in your family ever had it.
Family History Can Help You
My grandfather and I were known to have the same nervous stomach. As I got older and my IBS got worse, I’ve used some of the things he told me worked for him. He never drank coffee or milk for instance.
Unfortunately many people don’t like talking about “potty habits” or whatever, so that family history may have been lost. Frankly, some of the older folks in my family seemed to go on about it all day!
Why the Names Changed
When you are reading about IBS especially in older documents you may run into many of the names below.
These names fell out of fashion because they don’t always describe irritable bowel syndrome very well. For instance, the colon and colitis refer to the large intestine, but the small intestine also plays a role in IBS.
Some Other Names for IBS:
- Functional Bowel Disease
- Functional colitis
- Intestinal neurosis
- Irritable Colitis
- Irritable colon
- Irritable Gut Syndrome
- Laxative colitis
- Mucous Colitis
- Nervous indigestion
- Nervous Stomach
- Spastic Bowel
- Spastic Bowel
- Spastic Colitis
- Spastic Colon
What the Names Mean
Spastic is a word for the spasms or clenching of your bowels. That has always been one of the most painful parts of IBS for me. It doesn’t really describe the diarrhea or constipation that are part of the full IBS syndrome.
Mucous Colitis basically means a sick, painful colon with mucous. The mucous is your bowels defense against whatever is irritating it.
Nervous stomach and intestinal neurosis both refer to how anxiety and stress can trigger IBS problems.
Reducing stress and anxiety can really help with IBS symptoms.
Where to Go From Here
If you’ve been diagnosed with IBS the What Causes IBS page can help you understand what you’re dealing with and what you can do about it.