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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

26 Mar 2012
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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition of the digestive system that affects the large intestine.

IBS is often triggered by stress or the immune system, which causes the bowel muscles to stop working normally. IBS has no effect on longevity or life expectancy.

  • Changes in the body
  • Heightened sensitivity to gut pain
  • Psychological factors
  • Stress
  • Triggers (food or drink)


  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Back pain


  • Change in diet
  • High-fibre diet
  • Regular meals
  • Restrict intake of tea, coffee, alcohol and soft drinks
  • Regular exercise
  • Use of probiotics
  • Relaxation techniques to lower stress
  • Medication
  • Psychological treatment
  • Complementary therapies


If you have a combination of the above symptoms consult your general practitioner.




Video: NHS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome



Video: Embarrassing Bodies – Irritable Bowel Syndrome




Irritable Bowel Syndrome NZ
Health Navigator – Irritable Bowel Syndrome



NHS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Best Health BMJ – Irritable Bowel Syndrome
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders – IBS
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearing House – Irritable Bowel Syndrome



British Medical Journal
Journal of the American Medical Association
The Lancet


FORUMS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome Forum
Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Support Group



The information above is of a general nature and is designed to provide you with an overview of the topic with links to local and international resources which maybe of interest. We do our best to ensure that this information is accurate and up to date.

You should always, however, seek specific professional medical advice, treatment and care appropriate to you, and as such we strongly recommend you consult with your general practitioner first.



Updated April 2012
Image source: Wikimedia Commons – Colon