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Signs & Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

It’s important to know that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is quite a common condition – around 1 in 5 people in the UK will experience it. IBS can affect anyone at any age and will impact the day to day life of those diagnosed with it.

It is essential to understand the signs and symptoms of IBS so you can spot any potential warning signs and know when you need to get checked out. At OneWelbeck, we understand that every patient is an individual with unique needs. When treating patients with IBS, our doctors will help design a pathway to diagnosis around you, and create a plan for a healthier lifestyle.

Here is some information to help you understand IBS.

Which are common signs of IBS?

Some common symptoms of IBS include:

  • Cramping, especially if it’s completely gone after going to the toilet
  • Stomach pain when you’re eating that gets worse after you’ve finished a meal
  • Diarrhoea on an intermittent or constant basis, especially after you eat a particular food type
  • Constipation and the sensation after a bowel movement that you still need to go to the toilet
  • Bloating at seemingly random moments of the day

These symptoms are sometimes referred to as Rome criteria for IBS. If you experience any of them, we recommend you go and see a doctor.

What are less common IBS symptoms to know about?

Sometimes people experience underlying symptoms which may appear unrelated but may be signs of IBS. These may include:

  • Trouble urinating, especially if it feels like you can’t finish
  • Incontinence
  • Parts of the day where your energy levels feel like they’re dropping
  • An increase in flatulence
  • Aches in the lower part of the back

These symptoms are sometimes referred to as Manning criteria for IBS.

Some people may find themselves with some of these less common symptoms on top of the main symptoms previously mentioned.

Can IBS run in the family?

It’s believed that there is a genetic tie to some cases of IBS, as such family history can be a marker for IBS.

What are the warning signs to see a doctor?

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, we advise going to see a doctor immediately. Some of these include:

  • You notice bleeding after going to the toilet
  • Swelling in the stomach area all of a sudden that doesn’t feel like bloating
  • Rapid weight loss with no change in diet

What will a doctor want to know?

If you have experienced any of the symptoms mentioned above, your doctor will ask you the regularity of them and for how long these symptoms have been occurring. Doctors at OneWelbeck health advise that you keep a written record of when your symptoms occur – this can be kept as notes against dates on your phone.

How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed?

Tests are common, and a patient would expect to have a blood test carried out along with a stool sample.

A patient’s IBS will generally fall under one of three categories:

  • Constipation-predominant
  • Diarrhoea-predominant
  • Mixed nature

What makes patient care for those suffering with IBS unique at OneWelbeck?

IBS patients who come to our clinic are matched with leading digestive health specialists who use the latest technologies to help understand IBS on an individual level. Our patient-centred clinic is attuned to each patient’s needs, delivering an experience that works just for you, to get the best results.

IBS is a lifelong condition, therefore knowing how to adapt and live a healthier life can have vast improvements on quality of life.

Find out more about our digestive health specialists and how they work with IBS patients.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about irritable bowel syndrome, please get in touch with us, and we’ll be happy to discuss how our specialists at OneWelbeck digestive health can help.