Which altered bowel habits indicate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Updated: Feb 06, 2018
  • Author: Jenifer K Lehrer, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Constipation results in complaints of hard stools of narrow caliber, painful or infrequent defecation, and intractability to laxatives. Diarrhea usually is described as small volumes of loose stool, with evacuation preceded by urgency or frequent defecation. Postprandial urgency is common, as is alternation between constipation and diarrhea. Characteristically, one feature predominates in a single patient, but significant variability exists among patients.


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