What is IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)?
IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic or ongoing condition which causes mild to severe digestive issues. Different people experience different symptoms, and the symptoms can come and go without warning.
THE THREE MAIN TYPES OF IBS
IBS - C IBS - D IBS - M
IBS - C refers to IBS with constipation. If you have this, you’ll experience changes in your bowel habits linked to constipation with stools being hard, lumpy and difficult or painful to pass. Bowel movements may only happen once or twice a week and it may constantly feel as if you haven’t finished going or completely emptied your bowels.
IBS - D refers to IBS with diarrhea. If you have this type of IBS, your bowel movements will be extremely loose and watery. You may go too frequently, and you may experience sudden severe pain and need to go immediately.
IBS - M refers to IBS mixed. In this situation your bowel habits may change intermittently, alternating from constipation to diarrhea without any obvious indication as to why.
In all types of IBS, the symptoms may come and go with periods of relief and periods of severity usually called flares.
OTHER COMMON SYMPTOMS OF IBS:
Passing mucus in the stool
HOW IS IBS DIAGNOSED?
Many of the symptoms of IBS are like those experienced in other digestive conditions. Because of this, your doctor will ask you not only about your symptoms themselves but crucially how often and how long you’ve been experiencing them.
They'll also want to rule out some of the more serious and life-threatening illnesses which have similar symptoms by checking for red flag symptoms such as sudden weight loss, blood in the stool, and a physical lump or obstruction.
They will probably also want to test for IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) and celiac disease, to see if they are the cause of your issues.