Irritable bowel syndrome

The symptoms of IBS are usually worse after eating and tend to come and go in episodes. Most people have flare-ups of symptoms that last a few days. After this time, the symptoms usually improve, but may not disappear completely.

In some people, the symptoms seem to be triggered by something they have had to eat or drink.

The most common symptoms of IBS are:

  • abdominal (stomach) pain and cramping.
  • a change in your bowel habits – such as diarrhoea, constipation, or sometimes both
  • bloating and swelling of the stomach
  • excessive wind (flatulence)
  • occasionally experiencing an urgent need to go to the toilet
  • a feeling that you have not fully emptied the bowels after going to the toilet
  • passing mucus from the bottom