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IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)

IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)

IBS is a mix of belly discomfort or pain and trouble with bowel habits: either going more or less often than normal (diarrhea orconstipation) or having a different kind of stool (thin, hard, or soft and liquid).

It’s not life-threatening, and it doesn't make you more likely to get other colon conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, or colon cancer. But IBS can be a long-lasting problem that changes how you live your life. People with IBS may miss work or school more often, and they may feel less able to take part in daily activities. Some people may need to change their work setting: shifting to working at home, changing hours, or even not working at all.

What Are the Symptoms of IBS?

People with IBS have symptoms that can include:

Diarrhea (often described as violent episodes of diarrhea)

Constipation
  • Constipation alternating with diarrhea
  • Belly pains or cramps, usually in the lower half of the belly, that get worse after meals and feel better after a bowel movement
  • A lot of gas or bloating
  • Harder or looser stools than normal (pellets or flat ribbon stools)
  • A belly that sticks out
  • Stress can make symptoms worse