Irritable Bowel Syndrome: 9 Symptoms and Risk Factors You Need to Know

How to know when common constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, or abdominal pain may be a symptom of a more serious digestive issue.

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When you’re one of the 20 per cent

Most of us have experienced some mild gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort, such as gas, bloating, pain in the lower belly, and constipation or diarrhea. When it comes to the latter two, the cause might be attributed to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). When does occasional constipation or diarrhea cross over into IBS territory? IBS, like most “syndromes” is a “diagnosis” that can read like a laundry list of symptoms, but no one can pinpoint the actual cause. IBS affects up to 20 per cent of the adult North American population. Here are some symptoms and risk factors—and 10 more stomach pains you should never ignore.