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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects the normal functions of the intestines, causing recurrent abdominal pain and discomfort, changes in bowel function, diarrhea and constipation. People with IBS have colons that are more sensitive and react to things that might not bother other people, such as stress, large meals, gas, medicines, certain foods, caffeine and alcohol.

IBS occurs in an estimated one in five Americans, and is more prevalent among women. It usually develops in late adolescence or early adulthood around age 20 and rarely appears for the first time after the age of 50.

Our Approach to Irritable Bowel Syndrome

UCSF delivers state-of-the-art, comprehensive care for all gastrointestinal conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Although there is no cure for IBS at this time, treatments can help patients feel better. These include lifestyle changes to reduce stress and negative emotions, both of which can trigger IBS, as well as dietary changes and medications. Our goal is to reduce and – if possible – eliminate our patients' symptoms.

Awards & recognition

  • usnews-neurology

    Among the top hospitals in the nation

  • One of the nation's best in gastroenterology & GI surgery

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.