What is IBS?

IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, is a medical disorder with such symptoms as abdominal cramping and pain and changes in bowel movements. In most IBS cases the bowel structure is abnormal. IBS does not cause changes in bowel tissue or increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

IBS is sometimes confused with, but not the same as, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Some types of IBD are Crohn's and ulcerative colitis.

Up to 20% of adults in the United States have symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS usually begins before age 35, is more likely to happen if a family member also suffers from IBS. It also usually effects women.

  • The cause of IBS is unknown, and there is no cure. There are many ways to treat symptoms, and you can generally start to feel quite normal once you learn how to control the symptoms.

    You can more information from these products or by contacting your health care professional.

For More Information

For more information on IBS, please view the information below. There are many health professionals and organizations you can consult.
  • The American College of Gastroenterology
    Phone: 301-263-9000
  • American Gastroenterological Association
    Phone: 301-654-2055
  • American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons
    Phone: 847-290-9184
  • International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
    Phone: 888-964-2001 or 414-964-7176
  • National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, NIDDK, NIH
    Phone: 800-891-5389 (TDD: 866-569-1162)
  • National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases
    Phone: 301-496-3583
  • North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
    Phone: 215-233-0808