Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder, affecting an estimated 15% of the population. It is one of the several conditions known as functional gastrointestinal disorders. This means the bowel may function abnormally, but tests are normal and there are no detectable structural defects.


Symptoms vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. IBS is a long-term condition, so symptoms may come and go and change over time.

IBS symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain/rectal pain or pressure
  • Fullness
  • Gas and bloating
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Alternating diarrhea or constipation or both

Causes of IBS:

  • Muscle contractions in the intestine
  • Nervous system
  • Inflammation in the intestines
  • Severe infection
  • Changes in bacteria in the gut (microflora)

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References: Mayo Clinic, FASCRS