Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

For a diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), patients should report the following (ABC) for at least 6 months: 

  • Abdominal pain/ discomfort
  • Bloating
  • Change in bowel habit

Referral for further investigation is necessary if any of the following are present:

  • Unintentional / unexplained weight loss
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Family history of bowel cancer or ovarian cancer
  • Change in bowel habit to looser / more frequent stools for more than 6 weeks in patients over 60 years of age
  • Anaemia
  • Abdominal masses
  • Rectal masses
  • Raised inflammatory markers (suggestive of inflammatory bowel disease)

The abdominal pain / discomfort should be relieved by defaecation or associated with altered bowel habit or stool form.  Furthermore, the abdominal pain / discomfort may also be accompanied by the following:

  • Altered stool passage (straining, urgency, incomplete evacuation)
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Symptoms become worse by eating
  • Passage of mucus


What are the next steps?
If you think you have this condition or any of these symptoms
you will need to seek medical advice.
For more information or to make an appointment.
Contact birmingham bowel clinic on 0845 241 7762
or email
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Thanks to our daughter’s knowledge of the excellent reputation of the Birmingham Bowel Clinic, I was able to make the best decision I could make and I met Mr Radley within a few days for an initial consultation. ”
Dr Judy Sheahan. January 2012