Updated 11 August 2017

Symptoms of IBS

IBS is difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms overlap with other gastrointestinal diseases.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be difficult to diagnose as it manifests differently from person to person. Many of the symptoms of IBS also overlap with those of other gastrointestinal illnesses, making difficult to isolate the diagnosis. Common symptoms of IBS include the following:

- Excessive gas and/or bloating

- Lower abdominal pain

- Nausea

- A change in bowel movements

- Bouts of diarrhoea and constipation

- Mucus in stools

- Headaches

- Back pain

- Bladder problems

If you have any of the above symptoms accompanied by any of the following factors, it is even more likely that you have IBS:

- Relief of pain after a bowel movement

- A link between the level of pain and the frequency of bowel movements

- A link between the level of pain and the consistency or colour of a stool

If these symptoms have persisted for more than 6 months it is quite likely that you are suffering from IBS and should take steps to treat the condition

Read more:

Causes of IBS

Diagnosing IBS

Treating IBS


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