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Waitematā Gastroenterology

Private Service, Gastroenterology & Hepatology (Liver)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a very common disorder of the stomach and bowel due to disordered movement or motility. Up to one in five people can be affected. It may be triggered by infections or arise without obvious cause.

Common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain which often eases after going to the toilet
  • Diarrhoea or constipation or both
  • Feeling bloated
  • Passing mucus
  • Feeling of urgently needing to go to the toilet

Other symptoms may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Excessive wind
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Intolerance of certain foods

It is not normal to pass blood if you have IBS. If this happens you should consult with your doctor.

Diagnosis is made after a full consultation of your history, examination and relevant blood or stool tests. Often it is necessary to exclude infections or inflammatory bowel disease by performing a colonoscopy test (see above). Sometimes ultrasound or Xray tests are performed.

Irritable bowel syndrome does not lead to cancer and is usually treatable with changes to diet, lifestyle and use of some medications. A comprehensive assessment by our gastroenterologists and dietitian will definitely help this condition.

This page was last updated at 12:33PM on August 10, 2021.