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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (cont.)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms

Irritable bowel syndrome affects each person differently. The hallmark of IBS is abdominal discomfort or pain. The following symptoms are also common:

  • Abdominal cramping and pain that are relieved with bowel movements

  • Alternating periods of diarrhea and constipation

  • Change in the stool frequency or consistency

  • Gassiness (flatulence)

  • Passing mucus from the rectum

  • Bloating

  • Abdominal distension

The following are NOT symptoms or characteristics of IBS (but should still be brought to the attention of a physician since they may be signs and symptoms of other conditions):

  • Blood in stools or urine

  • Black or tarry stools

  • Vomiting (rare, though may occasionally accompany nausea)

  • Pain or diarrhea that interrupts sleep

  • Fever

  • Weight loss
Medical Editor:

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Irritable Bowel Disease »

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional GI disorder characterized by abdominal pain and altered bowel habits in the absence of specific and unique organic pathology.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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