Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a group of symptoms affecting the large intestine (large bowel). It usually includes pain, cramping, bloating and changes in bowel movement habits. These changes may be towards constipation (hard stool), diarrhea (soft or fluid stool), or alternating between the two.
No definitive cause has been found and diagnosis is usually made on symptom description only. The condition is most often experienced before age 45 and twice as often in women than in men.
Treatment commonly includes making changes in the diet, stress management, probiotics and medicine.