Pediatric Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Pediatric 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).

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


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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