Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

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The main symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain or discomfort and a change in bowel habits. The change in bowel habits may result in having too frequent stools or having bowel movements less often than usual. The consistency of the stool may be different than usual; it may be watery, or it may be harder or more lumpy than usual. Diarrhea (having loose stools three or more times a day, accompanied by a sense of urgency) can be a symptom of IBS. Likewise, constipation (straining to have a bowel movement or having less than three stools per week) may also occur. Some patients experience alternating episodes of diarrhea and constipation.

Other symptoms sometimes seen with IBS include bloating and passing mucus along with stools. Some patients report a sense that their bowel movements are not complete. Flatulence (passing gas) is another possible symptom of IBS. When abdominal pain occurs, it is often relieved by having a bowel movement.

Patients may experience the related symptoms of Diarrhea, Abdominal Pain, and/or Constipation.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/16/2013

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United States. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. "Irritable Bowel Syndrome." July 2, 2012. <>.

Main Article on Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Symptoms and Signs
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Symptoms and Signs
  • Abdominal Distension
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Bloating
  • Change in Stool Consistency
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Mucus in Stool
  • Straining to Have a Bowel Movement
  • Watery Stool
Examples of Medications for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Symptoms and Signs
  • alosetron, Lotronex
  • hyoscyamine - oral, Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Donnamar,
  • hyoscyamine - sublingual, Hyosol/SL, Levsin/SL
  • linaclotide (Linzess)
  • loperamide, Imodium; Kaopectate II; Imodium A-D; Maalox Anti-Diarrheal
  • methscopolamine - oral, Pamine, Pamine Forte

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