Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. Signs and symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. IBS is a chronic condition that you'll need to manage long term. Only a small number of people with IBS have severe signs and symptoms. Some people can control their symptoms by managing diet, lifestyle and stress. More-severe symptoms can be treated with medication and counseling. IBS doesn't cause changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer.

Symptoms
  • The signs and symptoms of IBS vary but are usually present for a long time. The most common include:

  • Abdominal pain

  • cramping or bloating that is related to passing a bowel movement

  • Changes in appearance of bowel movement

  • Changes in how often you are having a bowel movement

  • Other symptoms that are often related include bloating

  • increased gas or mucus in the stool.

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you have a persistent change in bowel habits or other signs or symptoms of IBS. They may indicate a more serious condition, such as colon cancer. More-serious signs and symptoms include:

  • Weight loss

  • Diarrhea at night

  • Rectal bleeding

  • Iron deficiency anemia

  • Unexplained vomiting

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Persistent pain that isn't relieved by passing gas or a bowel movement

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