What is
IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a common condition affecting the bowel. It’s thought that 10-20% of people in the UK experience the symptoms of IBS at some point during their life:

  • Stabbing, gripping or churning
    abdominal pain
  • Bloating and swelling of the abdomen
  • Change of bowel habit
    (constipation and/or diarrhoea)

If you think you might be suffering with IBS try our Symptom Checker, and discuss the results with your Doctor.

IBS is not a specific disease but is defined by the presence of a group of symptoms which are present over a period of time. If you have not been previously diagnosed with IBS then you should talk to a doctor for further advice.

Anybody can develop IBS, but you’re more likely to suffer from it if you’re female as IBS is known to affect twice as many women than men. IBS can also affect people of all ages, but it often develops initially in young adults and teenagers.

Even experts don’t know exactly what causes IBS, but it is known that there are some common triggers for these symptoms. These triggers are known to include being stressed, diet, hormones and some medicines. Knowing what sets off your IBS can help you to manage it.

Even though sometimes you can have a bad day and feel terrible, there will be other times when your symptoms are mild - and you can go for months with no symptoms at all. Everyone’s different and it’s all about finding something that works for you, and living life your way.

Can you manage your IBS through diet? Find out with the diet section.

Everyone's different and it's all about finding something that works for you...

Help with your GP Appointment

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Symptom Checker

Not sure if you have the symptoms of IBS? Use our symptom checker to find out.

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What's next?

Symptoms of IBS

Find out more

Causes of IBS

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Symptom checker

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