What are the Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?*
Symptoms range from mild to severe. Most people have mild symptoms. Symptoms are different from person to person.
The main symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, fullness, gas, and bloating that have been present for at least 3 days a month for the last 3 months. The pain and other symptoms will often:
- Be reduced or go away after a bowel movement
- Occur when there is a change in how often you have bowel movements
People with IBS may switch between constipation and diarrhea, or mostly have one or the other.
- People with diarrhea will have frequent, loose, watery stools. They will often have an urgent need to have a bowel movement, which may be hard to control.
- Those with constipation will have a hard time passing stool, as well as fewer bowel movements. They will often need to strain and will feel cramps with a bowel movement. Often, they do not release any stool, or only a small amount.
For some people, the symptoms may get worse for a few weeks or a month, and then decrease for a while. For other people, symptoms are present most of the time.*
*Adapted from: Irritable Bowel Syndrome. PubMed Health.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001292/ Accessed 7/31/2013