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Irritable bowel syndrome

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Introduction
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition of the digestive system. It can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.
Symptoms of IBS
The symptoms of IBS are usually worse after eating and tend to come and go in bouts.
Causes of IBS
The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is unknown, but most experts agree that it is related to an increased sensitivity of the entire gut.
Diagnosing IBS
There are no specific tests for IBS, as it does not cause any obvious detectable abnormalities in your digestive system.
Treating IBS
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can often be reduced by changing your diet and lifestyle. Medication or psychological treatments may also be helpful.
Complications of IBS
As irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not life-threatening, people who do not understand the condition are sometimes quick to trivialise it.
See what the doctor sees with Map of Medicine
See what your doctor sees, find out what is happening with your treatment and what the next steps might be.
'I've found the wheat-free ranges at the supermarket very helpful'
After having irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for more than 20 years, Ansar Ahmed Ullah is learning to live with the condition.
'A non-dairy diet seems to help'
Geoff Lyon, 57, has had severe IBS since early childhood. He tells us his story.