Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a highly prevalent intestinal disorder that can cause abdominal pain and abnormal and erratic bowel movements. Although IBS symptoms may not be constant, they are persistent and the disorder requires long-term management. IBS is not life-threatening, and in many patients is a minor inconvenience, but in others, it significantly impacts the quality of life.
Two out of every three IBS patients are female. Although IBS can strike at any age, it is most common before age 50, and often develops in the second and third decade of life.