Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not actually a
disease. It’s a gastrointestinal syndrome, the name for a constellation of
symptoms that can make you feel very uncomfortable in a few different ways. The
symptoms typically include constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, mucus
in your stool and diarrhea. Some people with IBS suffer more from constipation
than diarrhea and vice versa. And still others experience alternating
symptoms—constipation, followed by a bout of diarrhea, followed by another
round of constipation. People often confuse IBS with a number of other
disorders and diseases, since it does have some symptoms in common with other
conditions. For example, you might also experience indigestion, fatigue,
headaches, and backaches, which can overlap with other syndromes and illnesses.
It may help to learn what symptoms are not
associated with IBS, and if you develop any of these issues, it might be worth
asking your doctor to reconsider your diagnosis.