Due to the somewhat vague classification of IBS itself, you will not be surprised to see the large variation of IBS symptoms. We have included two variations of IBS symptoms. The first we have a standard list of IBS symptoms, which offers a fairly basic but useful list of the symptoms. On our second page we have included the list from ‘Net Doctor’ which is slightly more comprehensive for those that wish to seek further information.
While we hope that the lists prove useful to you, we do warn that IBS has become something as a ‘go to’ call for many ‘Doctors’ when faced with a digestive disorder. From our experience IBS symptoms vary tremendously from person to person. We do feel that there needs to be far greater clarity in definition for IBS, so that IBS treatments can be far more effective.
Please note that not only do we include the normal IBS symptoms, but we include symptoms which may indicate something more sinister. If you have any doubt whatsoever we urge you to check with your Doctor. In a direct appeal to those who like to soldier on and do not like to cause a fuss, that you put aside your reservations and get checked out. If you simply have IBS then we are here to help, by providing you with as much information as we can find for you to make your own informed decisions.
We hope you have found the list of use. If you are looking to see if you have IBS symptoms then we do recommend that you follow up this research with a trip to your Doctor. Once you have had you IBS Symptoms confirmed then please return to this site where we provide a wealth of information to help you.
The site has been written and compiled by IBS sufferers who know the difficulty this condition can create. We also know that the list of IBS symptoms is not exhaustive, many sufferers experience a great deal of pain and discomfort as a result of IBS. Anxiety also plays an increasing role in IBS as time goes by, however the psychological aspect of IBS is rarely touched upon, even by some of the better websites. Try to be as specific as you can with the noting of your IBS symptoms, it will greatly assist with the treatment and diagnosis of your condition if you are able to do so.
The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.
Long Term Sufferers
New IBS Sufferers
Life Long Sufferers
'Red flag' symptoms
Certain symptoms indicate you may have another serious condition and that you need further tests. These symptoms include:
IBS symptoms being digestion related are usually worse after meals and are likely to fluctuate in bouts. Often IBS sufferers will undergo flare ups of their IBS symptoms which may last for days, generally two to four. After flare ups the IBS symptoms often receded, however they rarely disappear.
Common IBS symptoms are:
● abdominal pain and cramping – relief often only arriving after emptying your bowels
● change in your bowel habits – such as diarrhoea, constipation, or sometimes both
● bloating and swelling of your abdomen
● excessive wind (flatulence)
● an urgent/frequent need to go to the toilet
● even after you have visited a restroom you may feel the need to go again.
● You may feel as though you have rarely fully emptied your bowels
● passing mucus
● Due to the embarrassment, pain and discomfort of IBS, many people with the condition also have feelings of depression and anxiety.
Three main patterns exist with regards to IBS symptoms of the bowel
● IBS with diarrhoea – when you have repeated bouts of diarrhoea
● IBS with constipation – when you have repeated bouts of constipation
● IBS mixed – when you have repeated bouts of diarrhoea and constipation
These patterns are not set in stone. You can switch from one to another and go for long periods with few or no symptoms at all. It is unclear which foods and drinks can trigger the symptoms of IBS. This is likely to vary from person to person, it has be shown that making dietary changes can help some IBS sufferers with IBS symptoms. In particular the low FODMAP diet is currently helping many sufferers tackle many of the symptoms of IBS. This is a very detailed area, so please follow the link if you wish to discover more information about FODMAPs.
The IBS Symptom Gap
There does appear to be a vast gulf in opinion over what is IBS ? This gulf seems to exist between sufferers, non sufferers and the medical profession. While we have listed as clearly as possible the symptoms most closely associated with IBS, it is by no means exhaustive.
At present only inflammatory bowel disorders such as Crohn’s and Colitis appear to have very clear definitions and treatments to match. They are both very serious conditions and certainly warrant the care and attention that they receive.
IBS symptoms have such a vast degree of variation that it makes it hard for others to comprehend the nature of the problem. We write this as we wish for other sufferers to be prepared for the often problematic journey that arrives after diagnoses.