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How Long Does Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms Last?

Irritable bowel syndrome which is commonly known IBS is a disorder that causes stomach discomfort, abdominal pain, gas or farting, diarrhea, and constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome is more common in women, with women having a higher percentage of being affected by this syndrome than men. This syndrome though, not life threatening, can alter the lifestyle of the person when affected totally. It has been known to make people miss work, school for a long period of absence because of its recurrent nature. Though the cause of irritable bowel syndrome cannot be exactly defined, it is believed that it may be due to some conditions in the large intestine (colon). These conditions may include:

  • Hypersensitivity of the colon, and leads to over reaction to the mildest change or stimulation in the colon.
  • It is also believed that irritable bowel syndrome may occur when muscles in your bowel become loose and lack strength to squeeze the stool properly.
  • It is also believed to be due to the presence of serotonin and gastrin in the body.

How Long Does Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms Last?

How Long Does Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms Last?

Irritable bowel syndrome can cause great discomfort in the body that will completely alter the lifestyle of the person. Although it is a chronic disease but not life threatening, you cannot determine how long the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome continue to persist. The condition cannot lead to other life-threatening conditions like ulcerative colitis, colon cancer and so on, but it needs to be managed properly. The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome vary with the degree of the disease and these symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea, which can be a regular episode and can be described as violent, depending on the degree of the condition.
  • Constipation and hard stools.
  • An alternating series of constipation and diarrhea are also the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Abdominal pains and cramps, which can be induced after meals.
  • Gas, farting or bloating regularly.
  • When the nature of your stool changes, as it becomes very hard or loss
  • Inflammation in the stomach.

These symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome mentioned above can be long lasting, so one cannot predict how long the irritable bowel syndrome IBS will last and one have to learn to manage the situation as long as symptoms persist. One can manage the condition of IBS by avoiding stress and this can lead to life-altering decisions, such as quitting your work, school, or changing work pattern by working from home or a much less demanding job.

It will also affect your social life as you should avoid alcohol; change the eating habits & probably going out less. You should also visit your doctor regularly especially at the early stages when the symptoms start to manifest. At the early stages irritable bowel syndrome can manage to the extent it does not deteriorate to a more adverse condition. This is because the doctor can help you with medication to prevent any complications that might arise from this condition. The condition of irritable bowel syndrome if not treated properly and on time can have a more long-lasting effect on the body. Irritable bowel syndrome may also degenerate to a more adverse condition that will include a combination of constipation and diarrhea and violent stooling which may complicate the health of the person.


  1. Mayo Clinic – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360016
  2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome
  3. MedlinePlus – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): https://medlineplus.gov/irritablebowelsyndrome.html
  4. American College of Gastroenterology – Irritable Bowel Syndrome: https://gi.org/topics/irritable-bowel-syndrome/

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 8, 2023

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