Pediatric Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Pediatric Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)


What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a group of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms that produce abdominal pain and cramping in children.

Expanded overview

The GI tract is responsible for a child’s digestion of food. Sometimes, the GI tract changes how it works, causing collection of symptoms known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

How is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) diagnosed?

To be diagnosed with IBS, a child will typically meet two of the following three criteria:

  • Bowel movements are more or less frequent than normal
  • Stool is either looser or harder than normal
  • Symptoms improve with bowel movement

What are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Children diagnosed with IBS experience abdominal pain or discomfort at least once a week for a minimum of two months. Other symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Incomplete bowel movement
  • Passing mucus via bowel movement


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