What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Know All The Signs And Symptoms

Irritable bowel syndrome is an intestinal disorder that causes stomach pain, diarrhea and constipation. Know more. 

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaUpdated at: Dec 03, 2021 11:15 IST
What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Know All The Signs And Symptoms

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What is irritable bowel syndrome? Irritable bowel is a common intestinal condition which affects a lot of people around the world. It is a chronic disease thus one needs to manage it on a long term basis. Most people try managing their stress and food habits to get some relief. It can happen due to contractions in large intestine. These contractions happen in a healthy individual too but here the contractions last longer and can lead to gas bloating and cramps. An individual should always keep a track on the changes in their bowel movement. It can affect all age groups but it is more common in young females. They can experience certain changes in bowel movement during their periods. People who are struggling with mental health issues also become more prone to IBS. 

It is a group of different symptoms that mainly affect a person's digestive system. Major causes of irritable bowel syndrome include abnormal nerves in a person's intestines, which can lead to contractions in intestines. Other causes are severe bacterial or viral infection in our gut and change in amount of microbes in our intestines. There are bacterias present in our gut which facilitate digestion but if they are present in excess, they can cause problems like over production of mucus. Onlymyhealth editorial team talked to Dr. Ravindra B S, Director-Gastroenterologist, Fortis BG Road, about the symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

Signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

In many cases, the disease might not be severe hence it becomes more manageable and not diagnosed because most people experience mild symptoms and they tend to ignore it. According to Dr. Ravindra, here are the signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

1. Abdominal pain

stomach pain

People suffering from IBS might suffer from abdominal pain. This pain can be chronic and can impact our day to day lives. This pain might not go away even after passing bowel movement or gas. Though the severity can be managed by improving lifestyle, nutrition and stress. 

2. Diarrhea 

A person might also suffer from diarrhea. These episodes can be very frequent and severe too. Sometimes, diarrhea can be accompanied by vomiting in extreme cases. IBS causes runny night diarrhea. In certain cases, it also leads to accumulation of mucus in the intestine.

3. Changes in bowel movements 

Change in bowel movement is one of the common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. One might experience changes in regularity as well as duration of bowel movement. Not just bowel movements, it also disturbs daily life as it can lead to insomnia and poor sleep quality. 

Also read: 8 Foods To Avoid In Irritable Bowel Syndrome

4. Constipation

Constipation is also one of the common symptoms of IBS. It can lead to bloating in the body. The doctor might prescribe laxatives or advice you to take fiber rich foods to treat this symptom. Your bowel might also alternate between diarrhea ne constipation. 

5. Bloating and gas


This syndrome can cause excessive gas production in body. All this bloating and gas makes the person feel very uneasy. It is one of the most discomforting symptom of IBS and troubles your daily life. In most cases, bloating can be managed by controlling diet. 

Also read: Foods You Can Have When Suffering From Irritable Bowel Syndrome

6. Food intolerance 

Many patients have experienced that IBS can worsen because of certain foods. Researchers are studying as to why this happens because the person is not completely intolerant or allergic but still it can affect the severity of IBS. For many patients, it can also be triggered due to caffeine

Chronic diseases like irritable bowel syndrome or IBS can cause long term irritation. It adversely affects the the quality of life of an individual. Consistent constipation and diarrhea  can also cause haemorrhoids which worsen the situation. These underlying conditions also affect the mood of a person. Mental issues and depression tend to make it even more challenging for individuals suffering from Irritable bowel syndrome. One should keep a track of their health and consult a doctor especially when they experience weight loss, prolonged changes in bowel movement, persistent abdominal pain and iron deficiency anemia.