Common Specialities
Common Issues
Common Treatments


Last Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Change Language

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Symptoms, Triggers, Causes, Diet And Treatment

What is irritable bowel syndrome? When should you see a doctor? What causes irritable bowel syndrome? Risk factors of irritable bowel syndrome:

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common disorder which affects the colon (large intestine). It causes constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, abdominal pain and cramping. Irritable bowel syndrome is usually long term. Unlike other disorders like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome doesn’t result to colorectal cancer or changes in bowel tissue disorder. Irritable bowel syndrome can be controlled by administering changes in your diet and lifestyle. Some also require counseling and medication.

When should you see a doctor?

  • When you acquire symptoms like sudden weight loss, severe abdominal pain which progresses at night and rectal bleeding, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.

What causes irritable bowel syndrome?

The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome is not yet known but studies suggest that a lot of factors play a major role. The intestinal walls are lined with a layer of muscle which contracts and relaxes in a rhythm when they move to your rectum through your intestinal tract. If you acquire irritable bowel syndrome, the contractions can get stronger and last much longer than usual. This causes diarrhea, bloating and gas. In some cases, the opposite can also occur, this can be characterized by weak intestinal contractions, which slows food passage resulting to dry and hard stools.

    However, some factors which cause irritable bowel syndrome include:

    • Foods- Many people have severe symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome when they consume certain things such as alcohol, carbonated beverages, milk, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beans, fruits, fats, spices and chocolates.
    • Stress- Most people who have irritable bowel syndrome find that their symptoms worsen and are more frequent during periods of extreme stress. While stress can aggravate these signs, it doesn’t cause irritable bowel syndrome.
    • Hormones- Studies state that women are more likely to develop irritable bowel syndrome than men. Hormonal changes play a big role in triggering irritable bowel syndrome. Many women experience worsening of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) during their menstrual periods.
    • Other illnesses- Other medical disorders such as bacterial overgrowth and gastroenteritis can also trigger irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Risk factors of irritable bowel syndrome:

  • People below the age of 45 are more likely to develop irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Studies state that people who have a parent or any family member suffering from irritable bowel syndrome are at a higher risk of developing it themselves.
  • Personality disorder, depression, anxiety, a history of sexual abuse and domestic violence is a major risk factor for developing irritable bowel syndrome.

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 46 years old male suffering from anxiety, depression for which I am taking medication. I also have bad ibs problem for which I take normaxin tablet before dinner. I tried kutzarishta 4tsf bid, kutaz ghanvati 1 tab bd, chitrakadi vati 2 tabs bd but my ibs symptoms got bad. So what should I do now.

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Mphil in Medical Psychology, PG Dip Edu Counselling , Certificate in Nutrition & Mental health, Consultant Clinical Psychologist , EMDR Certificate
Psychologist, Trivandrum
Hello for anxiety and depression you can try psychological therapies which are proved to be effective if done by a trained psychologist. No sideffects and effect will be life long but need to undergo in a systamatic manner it will correct, problem...

My mother is a ibs d patient, age 58. She goes for stool every day for 10-12 times. She is under medication and have a sedentary life style. She regularly takes loperamide, inset, librax and rifaxcin for 2 months. Alternatively she is taking this treatment for 2 years. She used to have leg swelling since then which occurs but automatically gets cured. 1 year before her kidney and liver profile test were ok. But during this 1 month her swelling of leg have increased. So her liver function and kidney profile test have been done. Her albumin level is 3.2,24 hour urine protein test- 324 mg/day, urine protein -18 mg/dl, esr-20, crp-.04, urea-9.87, creatine-0.57. Her weight is 26 kg since childhood she suffers from digestive problems and her weight was 32 kg. She cannot digest protein, diary products hence her diet is low in protein .her stool frequency is not getting low even after taking so many medications also. She regularly goes to toilet for 10-12 and it is more after eating anything. Recently it has increased as during night time before going to bed she is also going for stool. Previously before 6 months she only use to go for stool in the morning till 11 am. After that it gets stopped. Her colonoscopy and endoscopy reports done 1 year before were ok. Due to her increased frequency of stool during this 1 month she took kutsjghsn vati from dabur and stooped the allopathy. She got relaxed from it. But suddenly drop in albumin and excretion of protein from urine is whether the side effects of kutajghanvati?/ loperamide 2 tablets she takes in a week interval of 4 days. Is the reports of the recent blood test and urine test anything serious. Kindly suggest for any medicine or remedy during this covid period as we are not able to go to hospital.

DM - Gastroenterology, MD - Medicine, MRCP (UK), DNB ( Med)
Gastroenterologist, Trivandrum
1. Is she passing loose stools or formed stools? 2. Any associated diseases like diabetes, heart diseases will have to do more tests and have to optimise medicines.

Hello Dr. i’m suffering from irritable bowel syndromes inflammation in the intestines associated with loose stools kindly advise me a best medicine which can cure my problem permanently someone refers me a mesacol but I really want to know.

Homeopathy Doctor, Noida
Follow this 1. Don't take tea empty stomach. Eat something like a banana (if you are not diabetic) or any seasonal fruit or soaked almonds and a glass of water first thing in the morning (within 10 mins of waking up). No only biscuits or rusk will...

My mother weight is 26 kg and height 5. She is suffering from ibs d as described by doctors as she usually goes to toilet for 5-7 times every day. From childhood she was 32 kg. But due to this loose motion she is unable to gain weight. She even can't digest protein, fat and dairy products. So she don't like to take protein and dairy products and her diet is mainly carbs and low fat meals. She takes a lot of medicines like lopamide, librax, pantop 20, rifaximin in regular basis. Even in ayurvedic she takes kutsjghan vati. But nothing relieve her from this symptoms. She is suffering from disease since 5 years and in this time period sometimes are feet swell. But now a days it is swelling a lot. All her endoscopy, colonoscopy, stool reports are ok. So I did my liver and kidney profile test. In the report I found my albumin level is 3.2l. Urea -9.8l, bun- 4.6l, bun creatine ratio -8l. Due to covid we could not consult any doctor. Kindly suggest if there is any emergency and why her leg swelling has increased. What can she take to stop her diarrhea and leg swelling. Due to this ibs she has just stopped going out, she becomes nervous and tremble while going out, while talking with new people's, going to doctors for checkup.

DNB Gastroentrology
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Hi primarily it looks to be case of malabsorption. Has she undergone endoscopy biopsy of small intestine and other tests for malabsorption? As her kft is ok the swelling in legs look to be due to low albumin levels secondary to malabsorption. Pl s...
1 person found this helpful

Popular Health Tips

Gastrointestinal Surgery - All You Should Know About It!

MBBS, FIAGES, MS - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Ahmedabad
Gastrointestinal Surgery - All You Should Know About It!
In recent years there has been a rise in gastrointestinal disease due to lifestyle changes. Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver, cancer of colon, liver and pancreas have been affectin...
3132 people found this helpful

Bowel Resection - What Should You Know?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery, DNB - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Pune
Bowel Resection - What Should You Know?
Cancer can affect almost any part of the body. However, the more severe cases of the disease affect your colorectal region. It is the third and fourth most common form of cancer to affect women and men, respectively. While chemotherapy and radiati...
2661 people found this helpful

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - What To Expect

DM - Gastroenterology, MD - Internal Medicine, MBBS, FRCP - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Noida
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - What To Expect
Irritable bowel syndrome which is referred to as IBS, in short, is a set of health symptoms that occur at the same time. These symptoms include abdominal pain, changes in bowel movements such as diarrhoea and constipation. You may experience these...
3182 people found this helpful

5 Common Stomach Disorders!

DM - Gastroenterology, MD - General Medicine, DNB (Medical), MBBS
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
5 Common Stomach Disorders!
A healthy digestive system is a boon for any person, but very few people in the world have immaculate digestion. Disorders related to digestion can create serious issues, which may, in the future, lead to severe and chronic diseases. Here is a loo...
2740 people found this helpful

6 Most Common Gastrointestinal Problems!

MBBS, M.S (Gen Surg), M.Ch ( Surgical Gastro)
Gastroenterologist, Hyderabad
6 Most Common Gastrointestinal Problems!
The gastrointestinal tract is a large muscular tube that extends all the way from the mouth to the rectum in human beings. It is also called the digestive tract or alimentary canal. The muscles in this tube move the food, all the way to the stomac...
2085 people found this helpful
Play video
Pain Management
Hi, I am Dr. Uttam Sidhaye. Today I will talk about pain management. We see a lot of patients of back pain. Every time surgery is not the way to get rid of it. You can do some exercises, take some medicines. 90% of the patients can control their b...
Play video
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Hi, I am Dr. Nitin Madanlal Darda, Homeopath. Today I will talk about irritable bowel syndrome. Homeopathy play a very important role in this disease. Its symptoms are frequent desire to pass stool and stool contains mucus, pain in abdomen, gastri...
Play video
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome): Causes And Symptoms
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a group of symptoms which involves abdominal pain and changes in the pattern of bowel movements without any evidence of underlying damage. There is no cure for IBS , however treatment is carried out to improve sym...
Play video
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome explained in detail Hi I am Dr Chhavi Bansal and I am practicing homeopathy at Homeo Sure in Pritampura. Today I would like to discuss about irritable bowel syndrome. Most of us do not know the disease by its name but its ...
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice