When are IBS symptoms dangerous?
IBS doesn’t cause long term harm, but the symptoms can be a sign of something more serious.
Dr Philip Woodland, Consultant Gastroenterologist at The Princess Grace Hospital (part of HCA Healthcare UK said: “IBS can cause troublesome symptoms that your doctor can often help you with.
“Any long-term change in bowel habits should be checked, but some signs are important to get checked urgently.
“Particularly, if the persistent diarrhoea is associated with bleeding or if you have weight loss then medical attention should be sought.
“Often simple blood tests and stool tests are sufficient to distinguish IBS from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, where there is inflammation within the bowel and which requires medical treatment).
“Occasionally, particularly if there is concern about other problems such as cancer, camera tests (colonoscopy) can provide a conclusive result very quickly.
“Most of the time diarrhoea is not due to anything serious, and much of the time any problems found can be dealt with fairly simply.
“It is always worth taking professional advice if you are concerned.”