What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Updated: Dec 11, 2019
  • Author: Jenifer K Lehrer, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder characterized by abdominal pain and altered bowel habit in the absence of a specific and unique organic pathology, although microscopic inflammation has been documented in some patients. [1] Population-based studies estimate the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome at 10%-20% and the incidence of irritable bowel syndrome at 1%-2% per year.


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