8 Signs and Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder of the large intestine that causes cramping, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. It affects around 6 to 18 percent [1] of people globally and may be triggered by several factors.

This condition is chronic and there is no known cure. The symptoms are uncomfortable, but it is not life-threatening. Most people do not experience severe symptoms and do fine with lifestyle changes. People with more serious symptoms may need medication to control their symptoms.

This article discusses some signs you might have this disorder.

Abdominal Pain

Irritable bowel syndrome may lead to pain and cramping in the lower abdomen. This is one of the most common symptoms of the condition. The cramping of muscles in the gut happens because of a miscommunication between the nerves in the gut and the brain.

Normal communication between the brain and digestive system is facilitated by hormones, nerves, and signals from the good bacteria present in your large intestine. If these signals are misread, as in patients with irritable bowel syndrome, it triggers random and painful contractions [2] of the gut muscles.

This pain concentrates on the lower abdomen, not the upper abdomen. This is because irritable bowel syndrome affects the large intestine. Pain caused by this disorder may intensify before a diarrhea episode and usually subsides after you have had a bowel movement [3]. Dietary changes and bowel relaxants can help bring relief too.