Clinical Features of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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The clinical course of IBS is chronic, although symptoms vary and oscillate not only between subtypes, but also within the same patient over time. Overall, women are twice as likely as men to suffer from constipation-associated symptoms such as bloating, straining, abdominal distension and feelings of incomplete evacuation. Men in turn, tend towards diarrhea-associated symptoms, including watery stools, enhanced stool frequency, abdominal pain and bloating. Irrespective of the subtype, patients suffering from IBS tend to exhibit psychiatric and psychosocial disturbances, they are more vulnerable to stress and generally exhibit a high degree of abnormal illness behaviour. The current chapter summarizes major clinical features that are linked to the particular subtype of IBS. We also put interest on factors such as gender differences or lifestyle that may predispose to the occurrence of IBS symptoms.
KeywordsClinical features IBS symptoms Gender differences
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