Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) That You May Be Unaware Of


It is estimated that almost 15% of the world’s population is affected by IBS. Characterized by a noticeable change in bowel movements or mild to severe abdominal pain, IBS can wreak havoc with your ability to live and function normally.

And it has so many triggers that it becomes extremely difficult to find the exact cause behind it.

Most people miss the symptoms or mix it up with common stomach problems like flatulence or bloating until the condition has aggravated greatly.

Today, we take a look at some of the most common IBS symptoms that you must not ignore.

Abdominal Pain

One of the commonest symptoms of IBS is acute pain in the lower abdomen. The pain might be sporadic or consistent. It might increase before a bowel movement and subside after it. IBS interferes with the ability of the gut-friendly bacteria to signal to the brain to begin the digestive process which causes the pain. However, abdominal pain is also common with many other conditions. You might just have had a bad batch of street food for example. So, never ignore stomach pain, especially if you are experiencing frequent bouts of it.


Almost one-third of the patients with IBS suffer from an extreme form of diarrhea that can occur suddenly. A lot of them stop socializing for the fear of an uncontrollable urge to pass stools. The stools may be watery and some people can have more than 15 to 20 bowel movements in a week. Not only does frequent diarrhea cause excessive stress, it also tends to dehydrate the body. Have frequent watery stools? It might warrant a trip to the gastroenterologist.


The same interrupted signals between the gut-friendly bacteria and the brain can slow down the passage of stool in the intestines. More the time the tool is present in the bowel, more the water absorbed from it causing it to be harder. This increases the difficulty in passing it. If you are passing stool less than thrice a week, you might be suffering from IBS related constipation.

Constipation followed by diarrhea

This is another IBS symptom that’s extremely difficult to spot. You may be constipated for a week and then have diarrhea in the next week with bouts of intense abdominal pain in between. Most people attribute the diarrhea as a bodily response to the intense constipation that occurred the week before and ignore it. However, because this type of IBS is rare, it needs a very personalized approach to treatment.

Gas and Bloating

Because of the many changes that the digestive system undergoes, IBS can increase flatulence and the bloating that occurs due to it. It can cause severe discomfort and this is one of the commonest symptoms that is almost synonymous with IBS. The best home remedy to relieve the problem is to avoid FODMAP foods and if possible, diary products because lactose is considered to be the main trigger for this type of IBS.