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1. capable of reacting to a stimulus.
2. abnormally sensitive to stimuli.
irritable bowel syndrome the most common disorder presented by patients with gastrointestinal complaints, consisting of (1) altered bowel habits with diarrhea, constipation, or alternating diarrhea and constipation; (2) abdominal pain and intolerance to flatus; and (3) absence of detectable organic disease. Many inappropriate terms have been used to describe this disorder, including mucous colitis, nervous colon, spastic colon, and irritable colon. This syndrome should not be confused with colitis or other inflammatory diseases of the intestinal tract; in irritable bowel syndrome there is no inflammation, and it is not necessarily limited to the colon.
Patient Care. Because of psychological factors that usually contribute to the disorder and its tendency to be chronic in nature, treatment should be holistic and individualized to meet the needs of each patient. In most cases, treatment is needed for an extended period of time. Patients should be assured that there is no relationship between their disorder and malignancy of the bowel. Modes of therapy include psychotherapy, biofeedback training, medications such as antidepressants, antispasmodics, and analgesics, and a diet that is high in bran and fiber.

Nursing care for the patient with irritable bowel syndrome is essentially the same as that for someone with diarrhea or constipation. Patient teaching should include information about gas-forming foods such as legumes and those in the cabbage family. Milk and milk products are restricted in those patients who have shown an intolerance to milk.

Anxiety can often be mitigated by teaching the patient about the nature of the illness and reassurance that it is not related to malignancy of the bowel and can be managed by relatively simple, noninvasive measures. Ineffective coping patterns are not uncommon in these patients. When there is evidence that the patient is either unable to cope or is using harmful coping mechanisms such as smoking, drinking, or drug abuse, health teaching concerning relaxation techniques, wholesome diet, exercise, and recreation is appropriate.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. Capable of reacting to a stimulus.
2. Tending to react immoderately to a stimulus. Compare: excitable.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


1. Easily irritated or annoyed.
2. Medicine Abnormally or excessively sensitive to a stimulus: irritable bladder.
3. Capable of responding to a stimulus. Used of an organism.

ir′ri·ta·bil′i·ty (-bĭl′ĭ-tē), ir′ri·ta·ble·ness n.
ir′ri·ta·bly adv.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


1. Capable of reacting to a stimulus.
2. Tending to react immoderately to a stimulus.
Compare: excitable
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

Patient discussion about irritable

Q. I have stomach problem from many years.This irritates me a lot and I feel troubled by this weight on me. I have stomach problem from many years. I am in my middle age and have given room for all the methods to lose weight and even read books and all and all magazines but in vain. This irritates me a lot and I feel troubled by this weight on me. What could be the reason for this?

A. Its tedious for some people to lose weight, while majority can and do lose weight, why not. You must meet a dietician and attend for 2 or 3 quarters of a year on regular basis. Ask to work with you to find the weight loss plan that will ‘unlock’ your metabolism. Now patience is needed so, and do not be hopeless; it could be something straightforward that you are making a wrong move. Keep a record of what you eat and drink together with your exercise log and take it to your dietician on a very initial meeting, you will be well on your way to losing weight.

Q. It’s actually a real source of irritation to me. I can't stand. Any such experiences…. The cesarean incision done on my body is really sensitive. I avoid touching it. I try to wear clothes that come up over my scar line, and I hate it when my son steps on the area when we're playing. It’s actually a real source of irritation to me. I can't stand. Any such experiences….

A. I don't think I had sensitivity like you. As far as I can remember I was able to wear jeans once it healed. One thing that does set off the sensitivity for me is when my brother`s dog of the right height jumps on me and puts their claws over the area. I wish to know is that area sensitive or paining? Both make a lot of difference. Better consult with your physician.

Q. I was diagnosed with "Baker's cyst". The pain in very irritating. what can I do to ease the pain? I was diagnosed with "Baker's cyst". The pain in very irritating but I prefer not to undergo surgery or steroid injections. is there another more "holistic" way to take care of my situation?

A. Here are some more "holistic" options that helped me (though you should consult your doctor before doing anything...):
Knee bracing and quadriceps physiotherapy.
If you don't want surgery and don't want to be injected with steroids, but it is OK with you to suction the cyst - I heard it can help a lot, but I must say I didn't try it.

More discussions about irritable
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References in periodicals archive ?
If we take "Race Change Operation" as utterly satiric, voicing ironic contempt for the status signifiers of the "establishment," then what are we to make of another poem, "The Judges of Craft," in which Ellis irritably incorporates a series of his personal rejection notes from magazines?
(Sean Penn irritably came to Law's defense later in the evening when he took the stage as a presenter.) Law later ( told the New York Times, "I got angry as [Rock's] remarks became personal."
London, July 28( ANI ): Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger reacted irritably when reporters asked him to explain the current status of want away captain Robin Van Persie, following a 2-0 friendly defeat against Manchester City in Beijing on Friday, saying the club hasn't received any offer yet.
Another example of this unique living in denial phenomenon is Financial Services Secretary DK Mittal, who made this banal statement on Friday, " The rating agencies are creating a further crisis by shaking the confidence of economies doing good globally, like India." This is a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black, widening the growing chasm between us and them -- the only problem is that ' them' seem to be winning hands down, even though we find it irritably unpalatable.
She utters a flat, "Here you go" as she hands you the steaming cup -- "Why didn't she put the cardboard sleeve around it?" you wonder irritably -- and moves on robotically to the next customer.
She answered irritably, only to hear a wise wizardly voice invite her to The Otherworld.
In recent days, television viewers have been treated to the spectacle of at least one metropolitan subjected to the ordeal of pursuit down the street by microphone-wielding reporters, demanding answers as the metropolitan's gaze is fixed irritably into the middle distance, his black cassock flapping in the winter chill as he quickens his pace.
They look over our shoulder, tutting irritably at the late arrival of the real guests.
This may see you react irritably, but really this is not what is at the root of your reaction.
One gets the sense that this could have been an excellent book if only Schlink were not so intent on keeping his characters slouching irritably around a country estate, speechifying at one another." YAEL GOLDSTEIN LOVE
Never again will I have to sit around the dinner table at Christmas irritably snapping the sprouts from my fork as my mother regales the redhead once more with the story of how the 12-year-old me moped his way around New York and couldn't wait to get home to his box bedroom in Aberdare, close the curtains and listen to Marillion.
One phrase in Amis's first book became notorious: Jim hears the strains of "filthy Mozart." Many years later, Amis irritably mentioned the way "Jim and I have taken a lot of stick and a lot of bad mouthing for being Philistine, aggressively Philistine," and he tried to refute the charge: "It's nice to have a pretty girl with large breasts rather than some fearful woman who's going to talk to you about Ezra Pound and hasn't got large breasts and probably doesn't wash much." This is not, I think, the most convincing refutation imaginable.