Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (cont.)
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An expert panel has outlined a list of symptoms common in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Doctors often use this list of symptoms, known as the Rome III criteria, to distinguish IBS from other intestinal problems. But people who don't have all of these symptoms may still have IBS.
You meet the Rome III criteria for IBS if your symptoms began at least 6 months ago, you have had abdominal pain or discomfort at least 3 days each month in the last 3 months, and at least two of the following statements are true:1
The presence of any of the following symptoms supports a diagnosis of IBS.
Bowel movement patterns
When you have IBS, your pattern of bowel movements may be different over time. Two or more of the following may happen:
Other intestinal symptoms
Some people may have lower abdominal pain with constipation that is sometimes followed by diarrhea. Other people have pain and mild constipation but no diarrhea.
Symptoms that are sometimes present include intestinal gas and passage of mucus in stools.
You may sometimes have other symptoms that don't affect the intestines, such as:
Symptoms often occur after a meal, during stressful times, or during menstruation.
There are many other conditions with symptoms similar to IBS.
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