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IBS symptoms affect the intestines. The symptoms may come and go.

Normal Anatomy

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Symptoms of IBS range in intensity from mild to severe and include the following:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Pain that resolves with a bowel movement
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation
  • Loose stools
  • Urge to move bowels, but no stool is passed
  • Feeling of incomplete bowel movement
  • Urge to move bowels after having a bowel movement
  • Mucus in the stool

If you see blood in the stool, consult your doctor immediately.


Fauci AS, Braunwald E, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 14th ed. New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2000.

IBS. American Gastroenterological Association website. Available at: Accessed December 18, 2015.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated March 14, 2016. Accessed October 4, 2016.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated July 2013. Accessed December 18, 2015.

Last reviewed December 2015 by Daus Mahnke, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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