The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be categorised as follows:
Colonic symptoms (most common)
• Diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, abdominal pain and heartburn
• Straining and urgency at defecation and incomplete evacuation
• Mucus in the stool
• Psychosocial distress (anxiety, depression and/or stress)
• Backache and headache
• Muscle pain
Typically, people with IBS would get up in the morning feeling fine, but as the day progresses, the bloating, pain and/or discomfort will start and intensify.
This can affect the person’s quality of life, both professionally and socially.
Reviewed by Kim Hofmann, registered dietitian, BSc Medical (Honours) Nutrition and Dietetics, BSc (Honours) Psychology.