These are some of the Faces of IBS in our community. See them all.

A Support Group Community for IBS Patients

IBS Patient Support GroupThe IBS Patient Support Group community aims to bring patients together for discussion and advocacy support combined with evidenced-based medical information.

When Irritable Bowel Syndrome was first described by the medical community, it was often described in negative terms with few treatment options. Thanks to research in the  discovery of new treatment options, women and men have begun to have lives improved despite the many quality of life issues related to IBS.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a problem that affects the large intestine. It can cause abdominal cramping, bloating, and a change in bowel habits. Some people with the disorder have constipation. Some have diarrhea. Others go back and forth between the two. Although IBS can cause a great deal of discomfort, it does not harm the intestines. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are two very different disorders.

IBS is common. It affects about twice as many women as men (in western culture) and is most often found first diagnosed in people younger than 45 years. No one knows the exact cause of IBS. There is no specific single test for all types of IBS. Your doctor may run tests to be sure you don’t have other diseases. These tests may include stool sampling tests, blood tests, and x-rays. Your doctor may also do a test called a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Most people diagnosed with IBS can control their symptoms with diet, stress management, probiotics, and medication.

According to the Rome IV diagnostic criteria definition of IBS, IBS is identified as one of the Disorders of the Gut-Brain Interaction (DGBIs), formerly known as Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (FGIDs), with these different varieties based on symptoms and/or cause:

  • IBS with predominant constipation (IBS-C)
  • IBS with predominant diarrhea (IBS-D)
  • IBS with mixed bowel habits (IBS-M)
  • Post-Infectious IBS (PI-IBS)
  • IBS unclassified (IBS-U)

Furthermore, each IBS variety can be further classified into mild (40%)moderate (35%) or severe (25%) based on patient-rated severity of symptoms.

IBS may be a lifelong condition. For some people, symptoms are disabling and interfere with work, travel, and social activities. Symptoms often get better with treatment. IBS does not cause permanent harm to the intestines and it does not lead to a serious disease, such as cancer.

What to read next:

Are you looking for a Community of IBS Patients?

Are you looking for Treatment Options for IBS?

Are you looking for Books for IBS Patients?

Are you looking for Podcasts with conversations with Patients, GI Researchers and Healthcare Providers?

Are you looking for the latest News about IBS?

Are you looking for a Registered Dietitian to help you with the low FODMAP Diet?

Are you looking for a Clinical Trial for IBS?

Are you looking for What is IBS?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources For People With IBS and IBD

People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are understandably concerned about coronavirus. There is no medical evidence at this time that people with IBS are at a greater risk of complications for COVID-19. There are some guidelines for people with digestive disease that can help in making decisions during this time. On these pages you will find trusted and verifiable resources for use during the pandemic. We will be updating these pages regularly as we work with the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) to gather more information and answer your questions.

IBS Resources:


  • It is believed that IBS Patients do not carry an increased risk with complications, or are susceptible to,  COVID-19
  • It is a good time to learn more about the low FODMAP diet and to implement all of the phases
  • Access to Registered Dietitians for managing the low FODMAP diet has increased with telehealth
  • Access to Physicians for questions about your health has increased with telehealth


  • Increased personal and financial stress
  • Stress related to accessing safe foods

IBD Resources


  • It is believed that IBD Patients who are not flaring do not carry an increased risk with complications, or are susceptible to,  COVID-19
  • Receiving immunosuppressant medications does not increase the risk of contracting COVID-19
  • Access to Physicians for questions about your health has increased with telehealth


  • Increased personal and financial stress
  • Patients receiving an infusion in an infusion center creates a risk of exposure
  • Stress related to accessing medications and “safe” foods

  Read More

Faces of IBS

This is the Faces of IBS project. We are some of the women and men who have IBS. If you would like to add your photo to this page, please visit

Read More

Advocacy Activities

Jeffrey Roberts and the IBS Patient Support Group have provided in-person testimony to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The IBS Patient Group has shared the perspective of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other functional GI and motility disorder (FGID) patients with several FDA committees. We bring the patient perspective to committees in the regulatory decision making process so that they can be directly informed as to how decisions affect patients.

Read More


National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Gastroenterology 2016;150:1262–1279

Last updated on Feb 9, 2022