The symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) include pain or discomfort in your abdomen (the area between your chest and hips) and changes in your bowel habits. The pain or discomfort of IBS may start when you have bowel movements more or less often than usual, or when your stool appears looser and more watery or harder and more lumpy than usual. The pain may go away after a bowel movement.
The changes in bowel habits with IBS may be diarrhoea, constipation, or both.
Symptoms of diarrhoea are passing stools three or more times a day, or having loose, watery stools, or feeling an urgent need to have a bowel movement.
Symptoms of constipation are passing three or fewer stools in a week, and having hard, dry stools causing straining to have a bowel movement.
Some people with IBS have only diarrhoea or only constipation. Some people have symptoms of both diarrhoea and constipation or have diarrhoea sometimes and constipation other times. People often have symptoms after eating a meal.
Other symptoms of IBS are whitish mucous which is a clear liquid made by the intestines in the stool, a swollen or bloated abdomen, or the feeling that you haven’t finished a bowel movement.
Women with IBS often have more symptoms during their menstrual periods.
IBS is a chronic disorder, meaning it lasts a long time, often years. However, the symptoms may come and go.
While IBS can be painful, it doesn’t lead to other health problems or damage the GI tract.
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