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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a combination of bowel symptoms like constipation or diarrhea, crampy abdominal pain, bloating, sudden explosive emptying of stool, urgent defecation and anal pain with normal findings on colonoscopy. The problem is more functional then structural: dietary intolerances; digestive problems; abnormal microorganism composition in the bowel, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome) or problems with the nerve system of the gut, not with the gut itself.

It is sometimes linked to anxiety and responds well to treatment of anxiety better than to bowel medications.

It is important to exclude other diseases by a colonoscopy at some point in time during the disease. Thereafter IBS needs regular care and dietary and symptomatic treatment guided by a dedicated gastroenterologist.

What signs and symptoms one has with this problem?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome comes with either constipation or diarrhea or alternating constipation and diarrhea (mixed type) with episodes of cramping abdominal pain, bloating, gases. Blood in the stool is not part of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), neither a marked change in the stool colour and composition, although mucus in the stool might be part of it.

IBS symptoms worsen when patient is eating unhealthy diet, when traveling, when undergoing stress.