February 12, 2016
font size

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

What is the prognosis for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disease with symptoms that tend to come and go. The overall prognosis for patients with IBS depends on the severity and frequency of symptoms, and the patient's ability to control these symptoms, whether by diet, lifestyle changes, or medications.

In general, there are few complications associated with IBS other than the symptoms of the disease itself. If someone has hemorrhoids, the diarrhea and constipation associated with IBS may irritate them. Also, too strict a diet that limits nutrients could cause problems related to lack of proper nutrition.

IBS does not lead to colon cancer, rectal bleeding, or inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis.

There is no known cure for IBS, but there are many treatment options to reduce or eliminate symptoms. Good communication with a doctor is important to help manage this condition.


Arvanitis, Michael. "Irritable Bowel Syndrome." American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. <https://www.fascrs.org/patients/disease-condition/irritable-bowel-syndrome-0>.

El-Salhy, M. "Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Diagnosis and Pathogenesis." World J Gastroenterol 18.37 Oct. 7, 2012: 5151-5163.

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. "IBS Diet."

"Irritable Bowel Syndrome." Medscape.com.

"Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)." PubMed Health.

Jeffrey S. Hyams, M.D. "Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children." 25 June 2014. 26 June 2015 <http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/ibs-in-children/Pages/facts.aspx>

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Owens, D.M., et al. "The Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Long-Term Prognosis and the Physician-Patient Interaction." Ann Intern Med. 122.2 Jan. 1995: 107-112.

"Pathophysiology of Irritable Bowel Syndrome." UpToDate.com.

United States. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Symptoms and Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome." <http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/Pages/symptoms-causes.aspx>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/29/2015

Source: MedicineNet.com

GI Disorders

Get the latest treatment options.

Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations