We use cookies to so our web site can function correctly. By Clicking "OK" or by clicking into any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more visit the cookies section of our privacy policy.

Privacy Statement

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

Cookie group mandatory

(Req)
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

These cookies are required

Functional

These cookies allow us to adtertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal inforation is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from HCA only

Marketing

These cookies allow us to advertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal inforation is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from HCA only

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site.  All information collect is annonomas unless you provide personal information to us.
If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

Irritable bowel syndrome

IBS

A condition that causes abdominal pain and a change in the way the bowel works

About Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS is a disorder of the way the muscles and nerves in the gut work. It is called a ‘functional gut disorder’ because it is a problem with gut function rather than the structure of the bowel. The condition affects up to one in five people at some point in their lives. Although it is often a life-long condition, it can improve over several years.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome icon plus

    Symptoms vary but may include: - Loose and frequent stools (diarrhoea) - Hard stools which are difficult to pass (constipation) - Bloating and the feeling of not having emptied your bowels completely, so needing to return to the toilet shortly after a bowel action
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    IBS is diagnosed by matching up your symptoms with examination findings and diagnostic test results. Blood tests, stool tests and a variety of endoscopic and radiological tests are used to exclude other serious conditions. The necessary tests vary from person to person but may include: - Gastroscopy, to examine the stomach and first part of the small bowel - Colonoscopy, to examine the large bowel and last section of the small bowel - Capsule endoscopy, to examine the rest of the small bowel - Imaging tests, such as ultrasound, CT and MRI scans - Breath testing for sugar malabsorption Most people need only some of these tests.
  • Potential treatment options​ icon plus

    Although there are no cures for IBS, treatments are available that can improve your symptoms and quality of life. These include: - Lifestyle Changing your diet can make a significant difference. Reducing the amount of stress you experience and increasing your ways of coping with stress can also help. - Probiotics and medicines Probiotics can supplement your diet and may help to relieve symptoms of IBS. You are advised to take this for at least four weeks to determine its effectiveness. Medicines to relieve the symptoms of IBS are available such as laxatives, antispasmodics, anti-motility medicines and low-dose antidepressants.
Consultant in theatres

Find a gastrenterology consultant

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
back to top