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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by a group of symptoms in which abdominal pain or discomfort is associated with a change in bowel pattern, such as loose or more frequent bowel movements, diarrhea, and/or constipation.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “the signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can vary widely from person to person and often resemble those of other diseases. The symptoms can range from mild to disabling.”

Among the most common symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome are:

  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • A bloated feeling
  • Gas (flatulence)
  • Diarrhea or constipation — sometimes alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea
  • Mucus in the stool

The relationship between eating disorders and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is poorly understood and researchers are now beginning to look for links. People with eating disorders are more likely to develop Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Preliminary findings in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research suggest that eating disorders may increase the risk of developing Irritable Bowel Syndrome.