How common is IBS

How common is IBS? 

Approximately 10% to 15% of the population in Western societies report symptoms consistent with IBS. Younger individuals (25-45 years of age) are more likely to report IBS symptoms as compared with older individuals, although IBS can occur at any age. In some cases, symptoms of IBS date back to childhood. 

Women report IBS symptoms more often than men. In particular, women with IBS tend to experience more symptoms of constipation and abdominal discomfort, especially bloating, whereas men with IBS report more symptoms of diarrhea. In primary care clinics in Western societies, the female-to-male ratio of IBS is 3-4:1, whereas in specialty clinics, it can be as high as 5-6:1. In contrast, in the general population, the female-to-male ratio is approximately 1.5-2:1. Thus not only do women have symptoms more frequently than men, but they are also more likely to seek medical attention for their symptoms.


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