Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is different to inflammatory bowel disease, is a common condition that affects the stomach and bowel. It affects women more often than men. Symptoms of IBS may vary from one person to the other and diagnosing IBS will involve assessing the following symptoms:

  • Stomach cramps and discomfort
  • Bloating and excessive wind
  • Changes in bowel movement such as diarrhoea or constipation (and sometimes a mixture of both)

Symptoms normally come and go in episodes. We often get asked if IBS can last for days, which unfortunately it can, even weeks or months at a time. IBS does not have a cure and is usually a lifelong problem. Therefore the aim of treatment for people with IBS is to manage the condition and reduce the occurrence of episodes through lifestyle changes and medication.

Although all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it should not be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please speak to your doctor.

Authored Nov 04, 2020 by Joseph Issac, MPharm
Reviewed Jun 17, 2021 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm