Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Definition Patients with this syndrome can have constipation or diarrhoea with or without abdominal pain and these symptoms are commonly associated with bloating or distention of the abdomen.

Causes IBS is very common - over one third of us will have this each year. It is caused by a temporary dysfunction in the way our bowel works and fortunately it usually settles with time and simple dietary and tablet treatments. Our bowel has a difficult and complex job to absorb all the nourishment we need for a healthy life and automatically deal with the wind this process produces, reduce the material we don't need to a formed stool and presents it to our lower bowel for disposal at a time that is convenient to us! 

Note For more advice on simple treatments of the symptoms of IBS, abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits, click on 'Treatment of Bowel Symptoms' below.

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