Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

It is a common functional gut condition. It is estimated about 1 in 6 of us suffers from IBS. IBS symptoms include abdominal discomfort and bloating, variable bowel habits between constipation and diarrhoea. The abdominal discomfort tends to get better after passing stool. The stools sometimes contain mucous. IBS sufferers often complain about the feeling of incomplete defaecation.


Although IBS is not a serious condition, the symptoms can be troublesome and can limit activities and affects their quality of life. It is more common in females than males.


Patients who are labelled with “IBS” may have underlying food intolerance such as sucrose or fructose or a small bowel bacterial overgrowth. It is therefore important to rule out these conditions before concluding a diagnosis of IBS.


The management of IBS is through lifestyle changes, avoidance of trigger foods, and managing stress. Low FODMAP (Fermentable Oligo Dimonosaccharides and Polyols) may be beneficial in some patient groups.