Symptoms of IBS

The most common symptoms of IBS are stomach pain and cramps, recurring diarrhoea and constipation, and bloating. Learn more here.

The severity and symptoms of IBS are experienced differently by everyone. For some, it’s an extremely painful, depressing and debilitating disorder that affects every aspect of their lives. For others, it’s more manageable.

IBS symptoms usually flare up for a few days and then improve again. Some people have constant problems with their digestion, while others will see symptoms completely disappear for weeks or even months.

The most common symptoms of IBS are:

  • Stomach pain and cramps (which may be relieved by going to the toilet)
  • Recurring diarrhoea and constipation (which may occur together or separately)
  • Bloating and distension
  • Flatulence (excessive wind)
  • Experiencing an sudden and urgent need to go to the toilet
  • Passing mucus instead of, or with, stools
  • Nausea

Other symptoms can include:

  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Bladder problems such as frequent urination and difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Incontinence
  • Backache
  • Pain during sex


The various signs of IBS are often felt alongside feelings of stress, anxiety and depression.

It’s important that you don’t diagnose yourself with IBS without consulting a doctor. If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms, your GP will carry out a number of tests to ensure that you have IBS and not something else entirely.

If you have recently lost a lot of weight unexpectedly, have noticed any lumps or swellings in your abdomen or bottom, or have seen bleeding from your rectum then you must schedule an appointment to see your GP immediately. Rather than being signs of IBS, these symptoms could mean something more serious. 



Back to Health Concerns

Back to the top