What are the Signs and Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive disorder that affects the large intestine (colon). The symptoms of IBS can vary in intensity and duration, and they often come and go. Common signs and symptoms of IBS include:

  1. Abdominal Pain and Cramping:
    • Recurrent, crampy abdominal pain, often in the lower abdomen, that may ease after a bowel movement.
  2. Diarrhea, Constipation, or Both:
    • Alternating between episodes of diarrhea and constipation, or experiencing predominantly one of these conditions.
  3. Changes in Stool Consistency:
    • Stool consistency varies from hard and lumpy to loose and watery.
  4. Bloating and Gas:
    • Feeling of fullness and visible distention of the abdomen due to excess gas.
  5. Mucus in Stool:
    • Passing mucus in stool, which may be clear or white.
  6. Urgency to Have a Bowel Movement:
    • Sudden, strong urge to have a bowel movement.
  7. Incomplete Bowel Movements:
    • Feeling like there is more stool to pass even after a bowel movement.
  8. Relief After a Bowel Movement:
    • Pain and discomfort often ease after a bowel movement.
  9. Exacerbation with Certain Foods or Stress:
    • Symptoms may worsen or improve based on the type of food consumed or stressful situations.
  10. Fatigue and Difficulty Sleeping:
    • Feeling tired or having trouble falling or staying asleep due to bowel symptoms.
  11. Anxiety and Depression:
  12. Unpredictable Symptoms:
    • Symptoms can occur suddenly and unpredictably, making it challenging to plan daily activities.

It’s important to note that IBS symptoms can overlap with symptoms of other gastrointestinal disorders, and a healthcare professional should conduct a thorough evaluation to diagnose IBS. If you suspect you have IBS or are experiencing persistent digestive symptoms, seek medical attention for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and management.

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