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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Dr Adam Harris, Consultant Gastroenterologist | November 2017

What is it? IBS is a chronic, relapsing and often life-long disorder of the digestive system. It consists of abdominal pain or discomfort that is associated with defaecation and/or accompanied by a change in stool form and frequency (constipation or diarrhoea, or both). Other common symptoms include altered stool passage (straining, urgency, incomplete emptying of bowels); abdominal bloating, passing mucus, lethargy and low backache. IBS most often affects people between 16 and 30 years and is at least twice as common in women as in men. It is the most common functional disorder, wh...

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