What are IBS symptoms? November 4, 2015 10:00

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is characterised most simply by abdominal pain and changes in the bowel that last for at least 3 days a month for a period of 3 months or more.

Symptoms can vary from person to person but common signs will include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Bloating

Other symptoms that may be experienced are:

  • Appetite loss
  • Mucus in stools
  • Change in consistency or appearance of stools

Although IBS is a gastric condition some symptoms may not be directly linked to the intestines

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • An unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Backache
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Sexual problems, such as pain during sex or reduced sexual desire
  • Heart palpitations
  • Urinary symptoms (Including frequent or urgent need to urinate, trouble starting the urine stream, or trouble emptying bladder)

Bowel changes can present in two very different ways. Some IBS sufferers will experience diarrhoea, others constipation and in some cases a person may experience an alternation between diarrhoea and constipation. Typically pain will be relieved following a bowel movement.

What do you do if you identify with these symptoms?

Firstly it is important to remember that there are many other medical conditions that share these symptoms; that is why if you have the symptoms mentioned above you should seek medical advice. 

If you already have been diagnosed with IBS and are wanting to know more about this condition please check out our other posts or learn more about what IBSACOL can do for you here.

Thanks to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic for information that has contributed to this article.

*Please remember to always seek medical advice. This article is written generically about IBS and should not supersede any advice received by a medical professional about an individual condition. If you think you have IBS or any other condition get the advice of your Family Doctor especially before beginning or changing any course of medication.