About IBS

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, long-term condition of the digestive system.

It affects everyone differently and can have a negative impact on the quality of life1 including work, family, friends and social events.

Who does IBS affect?

IBS affects up to 1 in 5 people in the UK1 at some point in their life, so if you experience symptoms you are not alone! It is around twice as common in women as in men and usually develops when a person is between 20 and 30 years old1 but can flare up throughout life.

How is it diagnosed?

Because symptoms vary from person to person, IBS can be difficult to diagnose, but don’t let this put you off from seeking help if you are in any discomfort.

Although there is no specific test to accurately diagnose IBS2, there are symptoms that you can look out for such as abdominal cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation and excessive wind3.

Read more about IBS symptoms and causes here. No one should suffer in silence! If you are concerned about any gut discomfort or symptoms associated with IBS and have not previously been diagnosed, then speak to a GP or pharmacist to discuss this further.

For further information about IBS visit:

NHS Choices

IBS Network

  1. NHS Choices, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – Introduction. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Irritable-bowel-syndrome/Pages/Introduction.aspx (Last accessed May 2017)
  2. NHS Choices, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – Diagnosis. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Irritable-bowel-syndrome/Pages/Diagnosis.aspx [Last accessed May 2017]
  3. NHS Choices, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – Symptoms. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Irritable-bowel-syndrome/Pages/Symptoms.aspx.