Signs and symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) differ from person to person. The general symptoms of IBS are bowel dysfunction accompanied by abdominal disorder or pain. If this disorder stays for around 12 weeks in a period of 1 month then it is an indication of IBS.
As abdominal pain may be caused by a number of other disorders, so one should not jump to conclusions immediately. Remember that the pain caused by IBS is relieved by a bowel movement, and the color of the stool also changes.
Some IBS patients suffer from constipation, while others may have diarrhea. As IBS affects colon movements so either it becomes very difficult to pass the stool, or the colon spasms push the stool too fast. Many patients suffer from alternating diarrhea and constipation. Bloating is another common symptom of IBS. It refers to the building up of gas in intestines. The result is that the patient feels pressure in his or her abdomen.
There are certain mental and emotional symptoms associated with IBS. The patients suffering from IBS often experience depression, anxiety, insomnia and panic. However, this does not mean that IBS is a psychiatric problem.
The latest research has re-emphasized the fact that there is a strong relation between the gut and the brain, as both of them have a number of common chemical messengers. So a disturbance in the function of one is likely to affect the function of other. Thus, certain mental symptoms are associated with IBS. If you experience a sudden change in the number of stools that continues over a long period of time, then it is time to consult your doctor and check yourself; it may be IBS.