Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)


IBS can cause a variety of symptoms including abdominal cramps, bloating, constipation, loose motions, urgent need to pass stool, shooting pains in the bottom. Some or all of these symptoms may relate to a previous episode of gastroenteritis and then be made worse by subsequent stress.


some cases are very typical and can be treated as IBS with an expectation of improvement. Failure to improve or unusual features may require certain tests to act as supporting evidence that there is no other more serious problem going on. IBS is sometimes regarded as ‘a diagnosis of exclusion’ ie there needs to be confidence that other conditions have been excluded.


may include blood tests including screening for coeliac disease, a stool sample to rule out infection, a test on faeces to assess for possible inflammation within the bowel, an endoscopic test,  and /or a scan (ultrasound or CT) depending on the symptoms.

Basic facts