Symptoms of IBS

The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be categorised as follows:

Colonic symptoms (most common)

  • Diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, abdominal pain and heartburn
  • Straining and urgency at defecation and incomplete evacuation
  • Mucus in the stool 

Non-colonic symptoms

  • Psychosocial distress (anxiety, depression and/or stress)
  • Lethargy
  • Backache and headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea 

Typically, people with IBS would get up in the morning feeling fine, but as the day progresses, the bloating, pain and/or discomfort will start and intensify.

This can affect the person’s quality of life, both professionally and socially. 

Read more:
Causes of IBS

Reviewed by Kim Hofmann, registered dietitian, BSc Medical (Honours) Nutrition and Dietetics, BSc (Honours) Psychology. January 2018.

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