Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a relatively common condition.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a relatively common condition and relates to a group of symptoms characterised by repeated cramping pain in the abdomen and changes in bowel movements, which vary in severity over time.

IBS is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, indicating a problem with how your brain and your gut work together. This can cause your gut to be more sensitive, with changes in how the muscles in your bowel contract, leading to diarrhoea, constipation, or both. When your gut is more sensitive, you may feel more abdominal pain and bloating.

People suffering from IBS often find that their symptoms are significantly influenced by certain foods and also by stress and management of these aspects forms the mainstay of treatment for this condition.

Investigations, beyond routine blood and stool tests, organised by your GP, are not normally required.

If, however, symptoms are severe, or associated with other problems such as weight loss, rectal bleeding etc, it is important to seek advice from a Gastroenterologist to rule out other possible conditions.

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