IBS Diagnosis
IBS Treatment
IBS Symptoms

What are the symptoms of IBS?
The most common symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain or discomfort, often reported as cramping, along with changes in bowel habits. To meet the definition of IBS, the pain or discomfort will be associated with at least two of the following three symptoms:

  • bowel movements that occur more or less often than usual
  • stool that appears less solid and more watery, or harder and more lumpy, than usual
  • bowel movements that improve the discomfort

Other symptoms of IBS may include:

  • diarrhea—having loose, watery stools three or more times a day and feeling urgency to have a bowel movement.
  • constipation—having fewer than three bowel movements a week. During a bowel movement, stools can be hard, dry, and small, making them difficult to pass. Some people find it painful and often have to strain to have a bowel movement.
  • feeling that a bowel movement is incomplete.
  • passing mucus—a clear liquid made by the intestines that coats and protects tissues in the GI tract.
  • abdominal bloating.

Symptoms may often occur after eating a meal. To meet the definition of IBS, symptoms must occur at least three times a month.