Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder of the intestines that causes abdominal discomfort, bloating, gas, and changes in bowel habits. It is defined as recurrent abdominal pain related to defecation, associated with a change in frequency of stool, associated with a change in form of stool. It is estimated that 10 to 20% of adults have IBS. Women are more likely to suffer from this disorder.

Physicians refer to IBS as a functional disorder that may be due to hypersensitivity of the gut, spasticity, or dysbiosis (microbial imbalance). While there is discomfort or pain, it does not lead to life threatening harm.


  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Constipation or diarrhea (or alternating between constipation and diarrhea)

Symptoms and signs NOT associated with IBS and considered alarm features include, but are not limited to:

  • Bleeding
  • Nocturnal (nighttime) symptoms
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia