Misc. Bowel Problems News

Bowel problems can take many shapes and forms, ranging from minor to severe and from loose stools to constipation. The one thing that ties them together is their impact on the body’s gastrointestinal tract.

Sometimes, problems can simply relate to bowel movements, such as incontinence at one end of the spectrum and constipation at the other. These issues can often be resolved with simple medications or medical procedures. Other times, bowel problems become more chronic. People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have persistent pain and cramping in the abdomen, along with symptoms like loose stools or constipation a good deal of the time.

Other disorders of the bowel are even more serious and might be autoimmune disorders, in which the body’s immune system is attacking the gastrointestinal tract. This group of diseases, often referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. At first, an IBD might exhibit symptoms that are similar to IBS, but over time, IBDs can lead to severe complications such as bloody stools, severe ulcers and sometimes cancer.


The causes of bowel problems vary greatly, depending on the type and severity of the problem. In the simplest, short-term cases, a bowel problem may be traced back to something you ate or a bacteria that is causing an illness in the gastrointestinal tract. More serious bowel problems, such as IBS and IBD, seem to have a genetic component to them. People with family members who have the disease are more likely to develop it themselves. There are also factors such as environment, diet and activity levels that seem to make some people more likely to have bowel problems than others.

Treatment of Bowel Problems

If a bowel problem is more of a chronic problem, meaning it's long-lasting, then the typical approach to treating it involves changes in diet or the use of medications. For some of the most severe IBDs, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, surgery to remove a portion of the bowel is sometimes needed to bring relief of symptoms and improve quality of life.

SOURCES: Bladder and Bowel Foundation; U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Date Posted
Article Title
Trouble With #2? One Simple Step May Help

Small footstool changes angle while on toilet, improving bowel movements

Country Kids Less Likely to Develop Bowel Disease Than Their City Cousins

Rural living may have protective effect, Canadian study suggests

High-Intensity Exercise May Be Bad for the Bowels

Hydration and proper food intake might help prevent gut trouble, researcher says

'Good' Donor Bacteria Can Last Long Term in Stool Transplant Patients

Small study shows helpful gut germs are still there 2 years on

Arthritis Drug Shows Promise for Ulcerative Colitis

But treatment isn't yet approved by FDA to treat inflammatory bowel condition

Stress May Explain Digestive Issues in Kids With Autism

Elevated stress hormone levels linked to stomach problems among these children, researchers say

Study Questions 'Fecal Transplant' Treatment for Gut Infection

In direct comparison, researchers found no real difference compared to antibiotics

Lots of Red Meat May Be Tied to Gut Disorder in Men

Diverticulitis involves tears or blockages in colon and can be very painful

Red Meat and Colon Health

A diet high in red meat may increase risk of common bowel disease, study finds

Special Diet May Be Boon for Kids With Crohn's, Colitis

Eating plan focuses on natural, non-processed foods, such as fruits, veggies and nuts

Health Tip: Coping With Irritable Bowel Disease Flares

Suggestions for adjusting your diet

Some Low-Income, Uninsured Patients Aren't Referred for Colonoscopy

Follow-up is not consistent, even if they're part of 'safety net' health program

Constipation, Kidney Disease May Be Linked, New Research Shows

Treating constipation -- a common condition -- could help prevent kidney damage, experts say

The Scoop About Healthy Poop

'Don't ignore a significant change in bowel movement patterns,' doctor says

To Help Prevent Colon Cancer, 'Listen to Your Gut'

Belly pain and black or bloody stools should not be ignored, doctor says

Can Acupuncture Ease Severe Constipation?

'Electroacupuncture' led to symptom relief even 12 weeks after treatment, study finds

Number of Americans on Gluten-Free Diet Tripled in 5 Years

But number of people diagnosed each year with celiac disease has remained stable

Smoking Linked to Higher Relapse Risk After Surgery for Crohn's

Research supports immediate drug treatment after bowel surgery for smokers, but not for nonsmokers

Gut Bacteria May Hold Clues to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Intestinal colonies differ in CFS patients, study finds, bolstering notion the disorder isn't a psychological problem

Stool Transplant Soothes Tough-to-Treat Colitis in Study

Eased symptoms, healed colons in 1 in 4 patients

Do Genes Link Headaches, Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Study finds evidence of shared DNA, but more research is needed

Rate of Severe Stomach Birth Defect Increased Over Two Decades: CDC

Gastroschisis, a hole in the abdominal wall, more common in babies born to teen mothers

New IBS Drug Eases Stomach Pain and Diarrhea for Some: Study

But Viberzi is not a 'silver bullet,' digestive-disease doctor says

Probiotics May Not Shield 'Preemies' From Serious Illness, Study Finds

More research on individual strains of these good bacteria may be needed

More Gluten Before Age 2 Linked to Celiac Disease in At-Risk Kids

But it's not clear if limiting the protein in baby's diet would help, experts say

Review Finds Fecal Transplants Work Well But Need Tight Regulation

Clinical trial halted early because the treatment was effective

Health Tip: Your Child's Bowel Function

Signs you should visit a doctor

Health Tip: Should I Talk to my Doctor About Gas?

Excessive bloating could signal a problem

Cutting Certain Carbs Might Not Ease Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Research finds little evidence to support elimination diet's use

Crohn's Disease, Colitis Tied to Anxiety in Study

Women at greater risk of this 'double jeopardy,' researcher says

Two Drugs Approved for Irritable Bowel

Syndrome affects up to 15 percent of U.S. adults

FDA Approves New Drugs for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Both treat diarrhea that can strike some with the gastrointestinal disorder

Hormone Therapy for Menopause Linked to Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Risk of a type of colitis increased somewhat for current HRT users, study found

Gut Germs May Influence Success of Weight Loss Surgery

Study found having certain microbes may lead to fewer pounds shed

Study Links Antibiotics to Digestive Complication in Infants

Risk, though small, appears highest when medications given in first 6 weeks, researchers report

Crohn's, Colitis May Have Genetic Underpinnings, Study Finds

Scientists find evidence that genes influence the mix and make-up of gut bacteria

Study Casts Doubt on Low-Dose Aspirin for Women Under 65

Benefits of cutting heart disease and cancer risk is clearer in older women, but use should be individualized, experts say

Expert Shares Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Tips

Loved ones need to understand risks some foods pose for those with celiac disease

Study Uncovers Vultures' Gastronomical Secrets

Birds' guts have evolved, allowing them to consume dangerous bacteria, experts say

Sleep Duration Linked to Ulcerative Colitis Risk in Study

Getting too much, too little may raise chances of inflammatory bowel condition