Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, also known as irritable colon or spastic colon, is one of the most common gastrointestinal diseases in the world. As many as 15-20 percent of Sweden’s population have recurrent stomach problems and pains that can be linked to the diagnosis of IBS.

The disease belongs to a larger group of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract called functional gastrointestinal diseases. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is slightly more common in women and usually occurs before the age of 40. It often affects young, active, people and is sometimes also known as the nervous colon or balloon stomach.

a hand on the stomach to reduce the pain

Despite the fact that the disease is so common, very little is known about why some people suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and there is a great lack of effective drugs and treatment methods. Here at you can read more about common symptoms and causes and what treatments are available.


IBS is a disease that includes many different symptoms and the symptoms differ between different people – both in the type and their severity. Common symptoms of IBS are irregular gastrointestinal function with diarrhea, constipation or alternating between these, often along with a feeling of having to rush to the toilet. Although IBS is a harmless disease, it can have a very negative effect on the everyday life of the person affected. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has assessed the reduction in quality of life in IBS as great as in diabetes or depression and greater than in patients with chronic renal failure.

Learn more about the Symptoms.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a very common disease. Despite this, there is still a lack of knowledge about what is causing the problems. It has long been known that psychological factors can affect the course of events and that, for example, anxiety, worry and stress can have a negative effect on the disease. IBS has therefore previously been incorrectly seen as a psychosomatic disorder. Recent research, however, has provided new insights into possible physiological explanatory models, which has also given hope for new treatment methods. One cause behind IBS could be inflammatory changes in the intestinal nervous system that could, among other things, affect the signals between the intestines and the brain.


The lack of effective treatment has meant that many patients with IBS are left out to try a variety of drugs and experiment with changes in their diet by testing with avoiding different foods and diets to try to get rid of their IBS problems. For many, however, the problems can even worsen when they start experimenting with, for example, different fiber products and a one-sided diet with increased gas production swelling and pain as a result.

A doctor can diagnose and give advice and suggestions for the treatment of your ailments. A dietitian can also help review the current diet and give advice on how to reduce the symptoms of IBS through changes in diet. Here at you can get answers to questions, find facts about IBS and read about the latest research findings of, for example, new treatments.
Read more about IBS Diagnosis.


If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the goal is of course to be completely IBS-free. But IBS is recurrent/chronic and there is currently no effective medical cure. Attempts are therefore made by various means to alleviate the various symptoms. Those who often get constipation, gas or diarrhea can get some help from preparations that affect one of these conditions. However, it often becomes a problem if you periodically suffer from several different symptoms. Usually, patients also try to adjust their diet to see if certain foods worsen their symptoms.

By excluding these for a period of time, the symptoms may be alleviated. Probiotic treatment for IBS has been tried, however, there is limited evidence that such treatment would be effective for IBS patients. Various forms of therapy such as relaxation, hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral therapy have also been tried with some success, as anxiety and stress can otherwise aggravate the symptoms.

Learn more about Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.