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.

Irritable bowel syndrome 1 IBS

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