Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – Your Most Important Questions Answered

In this guide, we will address key questions we are often asked about IBS, from its definition and symptoms to causes, diagnosis, and available treatments. Our goal is to provide valuable information to empower individuals with IBS and improve overall awareness of this condition.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder characterized by a combination of symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and changes in bowel habits. It is a functional disorder, meaning there are no structural abnormalities, yet it significantly impacts the way the digestive system works.

What are the common symptoms of IBS?

Individuals with IBS may experience a range of symptoms, including abdominal discomfort or pain, bloating, excessive gas, and alterations in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or a mix of both. It is important to note, generally, IBS is not associated by bleeding, so if you are expriencing bleeding, please seek medical attention.

What causes IBS?

Unfortunately, the exact cause of IBS is not yet fully understood, but several factors can contribute to its development and each case can be caused by something different. These may include dietary factors, stress, genetics, and imbalances in the gut microbiota.

How is IBS diagnosed?

Diagnosing IBS involves a comprehensive process, including a detailed medical history, physical examination, and, in some cases, tests or screenings to rule out other more serious conditions. A diagnosis is typically made based on the presence of specific symptoms and the absence of any alarming signs.

What are the different types of IBS?

IBS is classified into subtypes based on predominant bowel habits:

  • IBS with Constipation (IBS-C)
  • IBS with Diarrhea (IBS-D)
  • Mixed-type IBS (alternating between constipation and diarrhea)

How can lifestyle and dietary changes impact IBS symptoms?

Lifestyle modifications and dietary changes can play a crucial role in managing IBS symptoms. One popular approach is the low FODMAP diet, which involves restricting certain types of carbohydrates that may trigger symptoms.

What medical treatments are available for IBS?

Various medical treatments can help manage IBS symptoms, including medications (antispasmodics, laxatives, and anti-diarrheal drugs) and probiotics.

How can stress and mental health affect IBS?

Stress and mental health play a significant role in exacerbating IBS symptoms. Managing stress through relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and counseling can contribute to overall well-being.

Can IBS be cured, or is it a chronic condition?

While there is no cure for IBS, symptom management is achievable through a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, and therapeutic interventions. Often exclusion diets and experimentation is the best way to deal with Irritable Bowel Syndrome in order to identify what foods may be causing it and then elimnating those from your diet.

When should someone with IBS seek medical attention?

Individuals with IBS should seek medical attention if they experience worsening symptoms, significant changes in bowel habits, unexplained weight loss, or the presence of alarming signs that may indicate other health issues.

What ongoing support is available for individuals with IBS?

Ongoing support for individuals with IBS is crucial. There are many support groups and online communities that provide valuable information and a sense of community for those navigating life with IBS.

How can Midlands Colorectal help individuals with IBS?

Our team are commited to providing expert care for all individuals with IBS. If you are experiencing any symptoms of IBS, please speak to our team to rule out anything more serious and discuss your treatment options if you are diagnosed with IBS.

Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the first step towards effective management. By addressing the questions outlined in this article, Midlands Colorectal aims to empower individuals with IBS and contribute to the overall awareness and support for those living with this common gastrointestinal condition. For personalised guidance and expert care, contact Midlands Colorectal to explore how we can assist you on your journey to managing IBS.

Please email us at or enquire online to learn more.