IBS has no organic cause, it is a collection of functional symptoms that can include:
- Stomach pain
- Abdominal cramps
- Stomach cramps
'Functional' means the bowel looks normal but does not function properly. There are several risk factors that may increase your chance of being diagnosed with IBS, including being a woman, being over 50 years of age and having a family history of IBS.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be quite different for everyone. Some people will suffer different symptoms than others, and the characteristics and intensity of symptoms may change over time. There are 4 types of IBS:
- IBS-D (Diarrhoea dominant): The predominant symptom of these IBS patients is diarrhoea.
- IBS-C (Constipation dominant): The predominant symptom of these IBS patients is constipation.
- IBS-M (Mixed): IBS patients show alternating diarrhoea and constipation.
- IBS-U (Unspecified): This type of irritable bowel does not meet the criteria for either IBS-C, IBS-D or IBS-M but still patients present with common IBS symptoms.