Symptoms of IBS are important to understand as it is these features that helps your doctor diagnose the condition.
The main symptoms include stomach cramps and diarrhea, constipation and bloating. The stomach cramps are often in the lower abdomen, although can occur in any part.
There's no diagnostic test for each Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptom, although investigations are often undertaken to exclude other conditions that can present with similar features.
Sufferers over the age of 45 years are normally investigated further (particularly if there is bleeding as other causes can include colon cancer and Ovarian Cancer in women. Infections, IBD (Inflammatory bowel disease), Coeliac disease, Diverticular disease and rarer bowel conditions can present with symptoms similar to IBS, particularly abdominal pain.
It is always important to seek advice from a health care professional for peace of mind and to discuss any need for further bowel investigations. You can also get treatment help for Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms you have.
You can read more about the signs as well as investigations in the forums on the site. There's one at the bottom of this page.
Chronic constipation (commonly called IBS with constipation or IBS-C) or the diarrhea of IBS (called diarrhea-Predominant or IBS-D).
However, there’s often a mixture of the two symptoms of IBS known as alternating symptoms, with stool size in the Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation group ranging from small pellets ('rabbit pellet stool') to a more solid, large stool of variable solidity.
They can all be associated with spasms. Diarrhea is usually watery to very soft, brown stool.
Irritable Bowel symptoms can occur after a bout of stomach flu (acute bowel infection) and is known as IBS-PI or post-infectious. This form can settle, although it can become more chronic.
Signs and symptoms of IBS can occur at any time, but are most common in the morning. 'Urgency' to go to the toilet, a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bowel (doctors call this tenesmus) often coincide.
Rectal bleeding (bleeding can one of the colon cancer warning signs), weight loss, anaemia, going off your food should always be investigated further.
Bleeding can occur in IBS, particularly with constipation due to trauma or hemorrhoids, but should still be considered for investigation when considering your health.
If there is a family history of chronic bowel disease or bowel cancer, this should be a consideration for further investigation as well.
Curiously symptoms usually occur during the daytime only, night or 'nocturnal' symptoms are unusual and should always be investigated further to exclude organic causes such as colitis or cancer which are more common in this situation.
Abdominal pain or stomach cramps can be either diffuse or occur in areas or quadrants of the abdomen, often in the lower abdomen (left, right or both). The pain can be colicky, spasm or sharp. They are often more of a vague discomfort.
Sometimes symptoms of stomach cramps and diarrhea are so intense that IBS sufferers can be admitted to hospital with features of other ‘acute abdomen’ problems although this is uncommon.
Symptoms usually, although not always, ease with passing a bowel motion. The pain is often associated with bloating or swelling of the abdomen.
The colon or large bowel produces a natural lubricant called bowel mucus. In IBS, mucus slime bowel movements can sometimes be quite excessive. Concern is often raised about mucus symptoms although it is rarely a symptom of more serious disease. It is however a common reason for referral to a gastroenterologist.
Sometimes more vague signs of IBS are present including tiredness, headache, nausea after eating, lethargy, indigestion (see indigestion symptoms), excessive tiredness, anxiety attacks, increased urination and general aches & pains (such as IBS backpain) plus many more symptoms of IBS.
Other conditions are seen including fibromyalgia, levator ani syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and leaky gut syndrome. Also in pregnancy, symptoms can worsen particularly constipation. Menstruation often worsens Irritable Bowel Syndrome in women.
You may like to consider using the support group to discuss your symptoms of IBS with other sufferers or perhaps develop IBS relationships with other sufferers too.
Feedback about your IBS Symptoms and how you manage them to help other sufferers! By feeding back you are letting other sufferers know your experiences of IBS and also contributing to the IBS Help Online community. You may be helped from the comments of others too!
It’s so easy to do and you will remain totally anonymous unless you provide your name for others. No one will be able to contact you directly apart from through the comments and there is absolutely no registration, so it couldn't be easier!
Click below to see contributions from other visitors...
Below is a summary of the main symptoms:
• Diarrhea • Nausea
• Constipation • Lethargy
• Alternating diarrhea & constipation • Tiredness
• Wind • Muscle aches
• Bloating • Urine frequency
• Incomplete feeling of bowel evacuation • Headaches
• Abdominal pain • Reflux
• Mucus • Anxiety
I hope this page has given you a better insight in to IBS symptoms.
IBS Symptoms › Symptoms of IBS
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