Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects your large intestine (colon). Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common ailments of the bowel (intestines). The several terms used for IBS, including spastic colon, spastic colitis, and mucous colitis, attest to the difficulty of getting a descriptive handle on the ailment. Moreover, each of the other names is itself as problematic as the term IBS. IBS doesn't do any damage and there isn't any infection or other cause of disease


  • emotional stress
  • eating
  • excessive gas
  • female hormones (for women with IBS, symptoms often worsen during their periods)
  • certain medications and food (e.g., alcohol, chocolate, coffee, dairy products)


  • abdominal pain and cramps, which may come in "on-again, off-again" bouts or as a continuous dull ache
  • constipation or diarrhea, or alternating periods of both
  • urgent need to have a bowel movement
  • excessive gas
  • bloating
  • changes in bowel habits
  • mucus in the stool