When you’re one of the 20 percent
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 percent of the adult U.S. population. Here are some symptoms and risk factors. If you have abdominal pain that’s not accompanied by bowel changes like constipation or diarrhea, here are some other causes of stomach pain and discomfort that are not irritable bowel syndrome.