• 3, Mount Elizabeth Orchard #16-04 Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre

Book your appointment online

Completion of the form does not imply that an appointment is made.
Our staff will contact you for confirmation of appointment date & time.

9 Signs and Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Do you feel like you’ve been going back and forth in the bathroom? It may be because of the digestive troubles when you eat something that is not a fan of your stomach. Or have you been in a situation where you almost felt like dying because of stomach discomfort and diarrhea or constipation that returns repeatedly? Lookout as it may be the sign and symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, also known as diseases of the gut-brain interface, are characterized by difficulties in how your stomach and brain communicate with one another. Your digestive system becomes very sensitive as a result of these issues. Additionally, they alter the way your gut muscles contract. As a consequence, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and constipation are experienced.

And it is at this point that Irritable Bowel Syndrome develops. It is a prevalent form of gastrointestinal disorder that affects the digestive tract.

So now you know what IBS is (the disorder that affects your digestion area), it is time to learn what type of Irritable Bowel Syndrome you may experience and what causes this to trigger.

Researchers classify IBS according to the bowel movement difficulties you are experiencing. The kind of IBS you have might impact your recovery since some medications are only effective for particular forms of IBS.

People who suffer from IBS often have regular bowel movements on certain days and abnormal ones on others. The kind of IBS you have is determined by the frequency and severity of your irregular bowel movements:

  1. IBS with constipation (IBS-C) is characterized by the presence of complex and lumpy stool (poop) for the majority of the time.
  2. IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D) is characterized by loose, watery stools  (poop) that are difficult to pass.
  3. IBS with mixed bowel habits (IBS-M) is characterized by the presence of both hard and lumpy stool (poop) movements on the same day as loose and watery motions.

So what causes IBS? Researchers have been studying how likely specific characteristics are affected more than the others:

Being a woman.

Women are affected at a rate almost double that of males. Although it is unclear why this occurs, some experts believe that the fluctuating hormone levels associated with the menstrual cycle may have something to do with it.


Even though IBS may affect individuals of any age, it is more common in those in their twenties through their forties.

The history of the family.

The illness seems to be passed down via generations. According to some research, your genes may influence your health.

Emotional difficulties.

A small number of persons with IBS seem to have difficulties dealing with stress, have a mental disease, or have had a traumatic incident in their life.  Stress or IBS? It’s difficult to say which comes first, if either. However, evidence suggests that stress management and behavioral treatment might assist some individuals with the illness reduce their symptoms.

Sensitivities to certain foods.

Some individuals may have digestive tracts that rumble furiously when they consume dairy products, wheat, and fructose, among other things. Foods high in fat, fizzy beverages, and alcohol may cause digestive problems. Although there is no evidence that any of these foods cause IBS, they may produce symptoms.


According to several studies, antibiotics, antidepressants, and sorbitol medicines have all been linked to IBS symptoms.

Remembering what type of IBS you are experiencing comes down to what signs and symptoms you should monitor.

Cramping and discomfort

Abdominal discomfort is the most prevalent symptom, and it is also the most important factor in determining the diagnosis. Usually, your stomach and brain work in tandem to regulate your digestive system. This is accomplished by the secretion of hormones, neurons, and signals by the beneficial bacteria that dwell in your gut.

The impulses that typically coordinate the digestive system get skewed in those with IBS, resulting in uncoordinated and uncomfortable tension in the digestive tract muscles. This discomfort is most often felt in the lower abdomen or across the whole abdomen, with the upper abdomen being the least probable location.

Dietary adjustments may be effective in alleviating pain and other symptoms. In addition to these therapies, bowel relaxants such as peppermint oil, cognitive behavior therapy, and hypnosis are available.


IBS with diarrhea as the prominent symptom is one of the three primary kinds of the condition. It affects around one-third of persons suffering from IBS. Additionally, feces (poop) produced by the diarrhea-predominant kind is loose and watery, and it may include mucus, as described above.

Increased bowel transit in people with IBS might also cause an unexpected and strong desire to go potty. Some patients report that this is a substantial cause of worry and that they avoid certain social settings out of fear of experiencing an unexpected beginning of diarrhea.


What’s the difference between diarrhea and constipation, and how can you tell the difference? According to the World Health Organization, constipation has fewer than three bowel motions per week. Despite the fact that it seems paradoxical, IBS may produce constipation and diarrhea. Constipation-predominant IBS is the most prevalent kind of IBS, affecting about half of all persons who suffer from the condition.

Constipation in IBS is characterized by abdominal discomfort that subsides with bowel movements. Constipation is a common symptom of IBS, as is the sense of having an incomplete bowel movement. This results in unnecessarily stressful situations.

An altered connection between the brain and intestine may cause the typical transit time of stool to be accelerated or slowed. When transit time slows, the colon absorbs more water from the feces, making traveling through the digestive tract more challenging.

Constipation and diarrhea on alternate days

If you think diarrhea by itself is uncomfortable, just wait till it is combined with constipation, and you will understand. About 20% of individuals with IBS have mixed constipation and diarrhea, alternating between the two symptoms.

Diarrhea and constipation are common symptoms of IBS, as is persistent, recurrent stomach discomfort. This kind of IBS is more severe than the others, with more frequent and strong symptoms. Furthermore, the signs and symptoms of mixed IBS differ significantly from one individual to another. This illness needs a tailored treatment strategy rather than “one size fits all” guidelines to be successfully treated.

Changes in the frequency of bowel movements

Because the gut absorbs water, slow-moving stool (poop) often gets dehydrated in the intestine. As a result, hard stool is produced, which may aggravate the symptoms of constipation.

Because of the rapid passage of feces through the gut, there is little time for water to be absorbed, resulting in loose stools typical of diarrhea. IBS may also cause mucus to build up in the stool, which is not generally connected with other types of constipation,n such as constipation due to diarrhea.

Blood in the stool might indicate another, possibly dangerous medical disease and should prompt you to consult with your physician. Blood in the stool may seem red, although it is more typically highly dark or black, with a tarry substance than red.

Gas and bloating

Increased gas production in the intestines results from altered digestion in IBS. This might result in bloating, which is a discomforting condition. According to many people who suffer from it, bloating is one of the most persistent and bothersome symptoms of IBS.

Intolerance of certain foods

It is estimated that up to 70% of those who suffer from IBS indicate that certain meals aggravate their symptoms. It is unknown why certain foods cause these effects. Food intolerances are not the same as allergies, and the foods that trigger them do not produce detectable abnormalities or indigestion.

Fatigue and difficulty sleeping are two symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. More than half of those who suffer from IBS report feeling exhausted. In one research, 160 persons with IBS reported having poor stamina, making it difficult to engage in physical activity at work, at leisure, or in social contact.

Interstitial bowel syndrome (IBS) is associated with insomnia, resulting in trouble falling asleep, frequent awakening, and feeling sleepy in the morning. Unexpectedly, inadequate sleep is associated with more severe gastrointestinal problems the next day.

Anxiety and depression

Anxiety and despair have also been related to IBS in several studies. It is unknown if IBS symptoms are a manifestation of mental stress or whether the stress of living with IBS makes individuals more susceptible to psychological troubles in the first place.

Regardless of which comes first, anxiety and intestinal IBS symptoms reinforce one another, creating a seemingly endless loop. Another research examined the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in people who had IBS and those who did not have the condition. When asked to do a public speaking activity, individuals suffering from IBS showed more significant variations in cortisol, indicating higher levels of stress.

What to do?

If you are experiencing symptoms of IBS that interfere with your quality of life, make an appointment with a primary care doctor in your area who can assist you in diagnosing IBS and ruling out other disorders that may be mistaken for it. IBS is diagnosed when there has been recurring abdominal discomfort for at least six months, paired with weekly pain for at least three months, and a combination of pain alleviated by bowel movements and changes in the frequency or type of bowel movements, among other symptoms.

In some instances, your doctor may send you to a gastroenterologist trained in digestive illnesses who may assist you in identifying triggers and discussing treatment options for your symptoms. If you believe you have IBS, you should consider keeping a log of your symptoms and food intake. Then, bring these details to your doctor to assist them in diagnosing and controlling the illness.


IBS treatment aims to alleviate symptoms as much as possible, allowing you to function as normally as possible.

Stress management and dietary and lifestyle modifications may frequently be used to treat mild indications and symptoms of the condition. Make an effort to:

  • Foods that cause your symptoms should be avoided.
  • Consume foods that are rich in fiber.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Make sure you get adequate sleep.

Your doctor may recommend that you avoid the following foods from your diet:

  1. Foods with a lot of gas.

If you have bloating or gas, you may want to avoid goods such as carbonated and alcoholic drinks and some meals that may cause increased gas production.

  1. Gluten.

According to research, some persons with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) report relief in diarrhea symptoms if they avoid gluten (wheat, barley, and rye), even if they do not have celiac disease.

  1. FODMAPs.

A group of carbohydrates known as FODMAPs, such as fructose and fructans, and lactose and other sugars, cause sensitivity in specific individuals. FODMAPs are present in various foods, including grains, vegetables, fruits, and dairy.

If your difficulties are moderate or severe, your doctor may recommend seeking therapy. This is particularly true if you have depression or if stress has a tendency to exacerbate your problems.

Disclaimer: The material included in the articles on this website is provided only for informative and educational reasons and is not intended to replace professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals. To get an exact and professional diagnosis, see your doctor.



Meet the Author

Gastro Liver SC

Gastro Liver SC

Related Posts

Verified by MonsterInsights