Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a functional disorder that affects around 10-20% of the population1, with the condition affecting women three times more than men2. For practitioners of ingestive medicine, it’s relatively common to be consulted by people with this complaint. Up until fairly recently, IBS was a diagnosis of exclusion, i.e., those presenting to a GP or specialist with abdominal pain and an alteration of bowel habits, in the absence of an identifiable organic pathology, were usually told that they had IBS. Since then, IBS has become a recognised clinical entity, with the following diagnostic criteria:
Abdominal distension (bloating).
Diffuse lower abdominal pain, noticed particularly in the lower left quadrant. Pain is usually reported as a constant dull ache with occasional episodes of acute sharp pain. Eating may precipitate this pain and it’s often relieved by defecation. For diagnostic purposes, the pain described here should have been present for at least 3 days per month during the previous 3 months.
Altered bowel habits, consisting of constipation, diarrhoea, or an alternation between the two, including defecation urgency, particularly after a read more [...]