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What is it like to have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

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The exact symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the severity of those symptoms may differ from person to person. That said, daily life for people with IBS is greatly influenced by the way their digestive system behaves. A flare-up of symptoms can mean hours of misery.

SOURCES: 

Jeffrey Roberts, president and founder, IBS Self Help and Support Group. 

American College of Gastroenterology. 

Mayo Clinic. 

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

Harvard Health Publications: "Understanding and treating an irritable bowel."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on May 12, 2017

SOURCES: 

Jeffrey Roberts, president and founder, IBS Self Help and Support Group. 

American College of Gastroenterology. 

Mayo Clinic. 

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

Harvard Health Publications: "Understanding and treating an irritable bowel."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on May 12, 2017

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How is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) defined?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.