Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

What is it?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a collection of symptoms, such as cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Those with IBS have had some of these symptoms for at least three months.

Who's at Risk?

IBS affects about one in seven to 10 people worldwide. Three times as many women as men have IBS. Researchers speculate reproductive hormone fluctuation during menstrual cycles may increase the occurrence of IBS symptoms.


Patients with IBS may have abdominal cramping, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and excessive mucus in the stool. Often times patients have one or two symptoms that will then switch to other symptoms in a future bout with IBS. Symptoms vary from person to person.


There is no specific test that will indicate whether or not a person has IBS. That being said, a physician will frequently order tests to rule out the possibility of another more serious disease.