Symptoms and Signs of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Doctor's Notes on Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is known as a functional gastrointestinal disorder, meaning that is diagnosed based on having a set of symptoms over time affecting the movement of the gastrointestinal tract rather than a specific type of damage to the gastrointestinal tract. The cause of irritable bowel syndrome is not well understood. Symptoms and signs of irritable bowel syndrome can include

Other associated symptoms can be

  • abdominal swelling,
  • nausea,
  • loss of appetite,
  • weight loss,
  • loose stools,
  • straining to have a bowel movement, and
  • the presence of mucous in the stool or foamy-appearing stool.

The specific symptoms depend on the type of IBS that is present, whether constipation or diarrhea is the predominant feature.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 5/16/2020

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.