Learn more about IBS

What is IBS?

IBS symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea and/or constipation and bloating. People with IBS have a bowel that looks normal when examined with a colonoscope. Biopsies of the bowel are also normal under a microscope. While the bowel looks normal, it does not function normally and is sensitive to the fluid and gas within it. Bowel sensitivity may lead to abdominal symptoms.

How common is IBS?

IBS is common affecting 1/6 women and 1/9 men. The symptoms can vary in intensity and may come and go.

What causes IBS?

The cause of IBS is unknown. Occasionally it may be triggered by an episode of gastroenteritis. Because the cause is not known, there is no cure for IBS and treatment involves identifying and managing triggers.

How is IBS diagnosed?

IBS is diagnosed by your doctor. It is important that your doctor rules out serious conditions that may mimic IBS. In some cases this may require referral to a Specialist Gastroenterologist or Surgeon for further tests.

What are triggers for IBS?

Not everyone is the same when it comes to triggers for gut symptoms but stress may make symptoms worse in addition to specific foods in the diet.

The low FODMAP diet approach has been shown in scientific studies to successfully reduce symptoms in 3/4 of patients with IBS.

Digestive Health Services and Dietary Specialists offer diagnostic testing and specialist dietary advice to provide the best management plan to control your symptoms.