IBS symptoms usually develop between the ages of 20 and 30, although it can affect people of all ages. It is more common in women and is quite rare in children.
The condition is not a disease, but a grouping of different symptoms. These will vary from person to person and can come and go – times when the symptoms are present are known as flare ups and can last from a few days to weeks.
In some cases, there are triggers for these flare ups, such as certain food or drink, or even stress and anxiety. Again, this will vary from person to person.
If you have already been diagnosed with IBS but your symptoms have changed, you should speak to a doctor so that they can rule out any other conditions.
There are three main types of IBS that the condition can be categorised into:
- IBS with constipation
- IBS with diarrhoea
- IBS with alternating constipation and diarrhoea
These categories may overlap – the symptoms can be very different from person to person.
What are the most common symptoms of IBS?
You may have some, or all, of the following symptoms:
- Tummy pain or cramps, which will ease after going to the toilet
- Bloating and swelling in your tummy
- Suddenly or urgently needing to go to the toilet, and feeling the need to go to the toilet several times quickly after emptying your bowels
- A feeling of not having emptied your bowels fully
- Regular headaches
- Muscle pains
- Feeling full quickly after eating
- Low energy levels and trouble sleeping
- Depression and anxiety due to the impact the symptoms can have on your life.
These symptoms do not necessarily mean that you have IBS – they may be a sign of something else, which is why it is important to see a doctor so that they can rule out other conditions.
IBS can be embarrassing to talk about, but you shouldn’t ignore your symptoms. Our caring doctors deal with these kind of issues on a day-to-day basis and are there to help, not to judge. Likewise, if your IBS is causing you to feel anxious or depressed, our doctors can help. Book an online appointment today.
Should I see a doctor about IBS?
If you have matched some or all of your symptoms the ones that we have mentioned, or you think you have IBS, then it is a good idea to speak to a doctor for support, help and the treatment plan that may you need.