There are many different bowel disorders affecting adults and children, males and females alike.  They come in a variety of different forms and affect people differently.

Bowel problems affect our bowels which consist of the large and small intestines.  Bowel disorders all affect different parts of the intestines.

Some Common Bowel Disorders and Their Symptoms

- IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a very common disorder in the United States.  Characteristic symptoms include chronic abdominal pain which is not localized in one area, bloating, stomach discomfort, and altered bowel habits such as constipation or diarrhea.

- Ulcer - Ulcers are crater-like sores that can cause mild to severe pain.   Some common symptoms include a burning or gnawing pain that is localized in the upper abdominal area, pain that is either relieved or worsened after eating, nausea, loss of appetite, weakness, tiredness, weight loss, vomiting, and sometimes blood in the stool.  Any bowel disorders that include blood in the stool should be addressed immediately by a doctor.

- Crohn's Disease - This is an example of an inflammatory bowel disease and can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract.  Some of the more common symptoms can include abdominal pain, weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea.

- Colitis - This bowel disorder includes inflammation of the large intestines (colon). Some common symptoms include tenesmus (constant urge to have a bowel movement), abdominal pain that comes in waves, diarrhea, chills, fever, blood in stool, and other signs of infection.

- Gastroenteritis - These are very common bowel disorders.  Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the intestines and/or stomach lining and can often be caused by viral infection. Common symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, etc.

- Colon Cancer - Colon cancer is very common although these symptoms can be due to a variety of other bowel disorders so a doctor's diagnosis is necessary to be sure.  Some common symptoms include tenesmus, changes in bowel habits, reduction in stool's diameter, bright red blood, increased mucus in stools, black and tarry stool, etc.

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