Irritable Colon Syndrome

  • William J. SnapeJr.
Part of the Topics in Gastroenterology book series (TGEN)


The irritable colon syndrome is a common cause of visits to a physicians’s office and time lost from work in the United States. The number of such patients who present to a physician appears to be the tip of the iceberg, since approximately a third of otherwise healthy persons have similar symptoms.1,2 The subgroup of patients who present to a physician may be selected by factors other than their symptoms. These patients have increased numbers of negative life events which may alter their psychologie makeup and their ability to cope with their symptoms.3,4 There is also evidence that during their childhood, many of these many of these patients received positive reinforcement for their symptoms.5 This explains why patients with increased bowel complaints in childhood may have similar complaints as adults.6,7 However, it is unclear if there is a genetic predisposition to the irritable colon, or if the symptoms are learned behavior.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diverticular Disease Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide Myenteric Plexus Bowel Habit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. SnapeJr.
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Inflammatory Bowel Disease CenterHarbor—UCLA Medical CenterTorranceUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of California—Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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