Understanding levels of severity in Irritable Bowel Syndrome? November 23, 2015 11:00

Is there a scale of symptoms?

Many studies have identified a range, or scale, within IBS to distinguish appropriate treatment paths. Some refer to these levels as;

Mild – Moderate – Severe

Others have gone into further detail. One of the most helpful ones we have come across considers the impact on quality of life:

1-none: no symptoms
2-mild: can be ignored if you do not think about it
3-moderate: cannot be ignored but does not affect your lifestyle
4-severe: affects your lifestyle
5-very severe: markedly affects your lifestyle

*This 5 point scale comes from research by Joel Sach

In any case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome a variety of symptoms can occur. Beyond the key criteria causes have been identified as environmental, genetic, functional, psychological and more. It is important to be aware of these causes and symptoms but not all sufferers will show the same symptoms or have exactly the same cause.

Here are the Key Criteria:

Recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort at least 3 days/month in the last 3 months associated with two or more of the following:

  1. Improvement with defecation
  2. Onset associated with a change in frequency of stool
  3. Onset associated with a change in form (appearance) of stool

Here is a very helpful table outlining what some researchers advise should signify a mild, moderate or severe level of the condition:

Taken from “Severity in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Rome Foundation Working Team Report – Drossman et al

*If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and you are wondering what to do with any new information you are gathering, we recommend the first thing you do is to speak to your doctor. The information on this site is designed to help inform you and bring reassurance. If you would like to know more keep reading our information and research pages otherwise if you would like to find out how we can help you find relief from the symptoms of IBS why don’t you check out our IBSACOL products.