irritable bowel syndrome

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Causes and Symptoms

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the most common digestive issues found nowadays. More than 10% of the total population suffer or has suffered IBS,making it a real concern.

What causes IBS, and what are the symptoms? This and much more in this post!!

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a series of digestive issues. Because it’s a syndrome, there are numerous the symptoms you can suffer from. These include bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, cramping, or a combination of these (source)

As the symptoms and causes of IBS are still quite unclear, there’s no specific assesment for it. To define IBS in the patient, physicians have been using the Rome Criteria (source).

Types of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

There are 4 subtypes of IBS, depending on the major symptoms of the patient. These are:

  • IBS-C: Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation
  • IBS-D: Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea
  • IBS-M: Mixed Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • IBS-U: Unsubtyped Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The stool type and frequency can be a good indicator of the subtype of IBS.

IBS Diagnosis

Epidemiology of IBS

Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome common in society?

Worldwide, it’s estimated that 5-10% of the entire population suffer from IBS. Taking that there are 7 bil. people in Earth, there are around 350-700 million people suffereing from IBS.

Most persons with IBS are under the age of 50 (source). Two of every three persons suffering from IBS are females. Thus, IBS is a major women’s health issue, increasing the risk of hysterectomy or ovarian surgery.

Symptoms from IBS can go from mild to severe. Physicians are told to ask their patients about the severity of the syptoms following the guides FBDSI, and almost 50% of persons with IBS report moderate to severe symptoms.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is a growing concern in our society. Prevalence of having IBS is rocketing due to integration of the new Western Modern Lifestyle into our lifes. Unhealthy diets, sedentarism, stress, and disturbance of the gut health lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (source)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Epideomiology

Main Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

As a syndrome, IBS is a consequence of an array of multiple causes. These are mainly originated from the new modern Western Lifestyle.

Gastrointestinal disfunction, hypersensitivity of your digestive tract, and altered gut microbiota are the main causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (source).

Diet and stress seem to play a role in the pathophysiology of IBS. Eastern diets widely differ from Western Diets, and the prevalence of IBS is much lower when compared to the Western World.

Many IBS patients relate their symptoms with specific food intakes. These may include FODMAPS, excess of fiber, or dairy products (source).

Eating too quickly, physical inactivity, antibiotics, and stress can cause IBS. However, rather than a single cause, IBS originates from a variety of different causes of our lifestyle.

causes of irritable bowel syndrome

Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome what you have?

IBS, once again, is an array of multiple symptoms related to your gut health.

The most common symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating.

The movement of your bowel is also disturbed. If food stays in your bowel for more than it should, more water is absorbed, and it causes constipation.

On the other hand, if food stays in your bowel for less than it should, less water is absorbed, and it causes diarrhea.

Consistency of the stool can be a good indicator of your bowel movement


Other symptoms often found in IBS patients are:

  • Farting
  • Nauseas
  • Problems with peeing too much, or too little
  • Uncontrolled poop
  • Chronic abdominal pain


Irritable Bowel Syndrome, also called IBS, is a health concern related to gut health. Almost 10% of the entire population suffer of this disease.

In this post, we have seen what is irritable bowel syndrome, the main causes, and symptoms of the disease. In further posts, we'll look deeper into each of this aspects!

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