Main symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include abdominal pain that lasts for about 2 months. Along with this, the pain must be accompanied by at least two of the following factors in a period of 12 weeks, although not necessarily consecutive. The three factors are: change in the appearance of the stool; change in the frequency of stool excretion and pain relief after defecation.
Other sets of symptoms that doctors watch out for are: abnormal frequency of defecation, which sometimes reach three times a day or less than three times in a week.); abnormal appearance of the stool, which are often lumpy and hard or watery in form.); abnormally hard passage of stool, characterized by a feeling of incomplete evacuation, difficulties that lead to straining and urgency to defecate. In some cases, there are mucus threads that are found on the stool. Mucus is a substance that aid in the passage of stools by moistening the path.
Another symptom is bloating, perhaps because of the inability to defecate or the feeling of abdominal distention. Remember though that these are all secondary symptoms and not the main ones. These symptoms only serve as support for the main symptoms. Their presence, even all of them, is not enough for a diagnosis.
Some patients that suffer from irritable bowel syndrome also complain of experiencing heartburn and nausea. About 25 to 50 percent of the patients diagnosed with irritable bowel movement report these. Another symptom that patients may feel is the early feeling of satiety when eating, brought on by the fullness of the stomach.
Many patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome also experience fatigue and muscle pain. There will also be sleep disturbances and even sexual dysfunction. Although these items are also symptoms, these may already be consequences or complications that have arisen from body dysfunction.
As with other problems, symptoms may vary from one person to another. A patient will not feel all the symptoms. The severity of each symptom particularly the abdominal pain also varies from one patient to another. In fact, some patients have abdominal pain that is so mild that they do not even know that they have a problem.
This is often the problem with irritable bowel syndrome. In addition to having no direct cause and no specific diagnostic test, the symptoms are so varied and so common that people do not even recognize the problem. Most, in fact, believe that they have just suffered from a mild case of food poisoning when they do feel the pain and experience diarrhea.