Who is affected by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common intestinal disorders, affecting about 10% to 15% of people in North America.1 But only about 30% of the people who have IBS will see a doctor for their symptoms.2

IBS is twice as common in women as in men.1 In the United States, it is estimated to occur in 14% to 24% of women and 5% to 19% of men.3 The condition is also common in India, Japan, and China.


  1. American College of Gastroenterology Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Task Force (2002). Evidence-based position statement on the management of irritable bowel syndrome in North America. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 97(11, Suppl): S1–S26.
  2. Olden KW (2002). Diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology, 122(6): 1701–1714.
  3. Spanier JA, et al. (2003). A systematic review of alternative therapies in the irritable bowel syndrome. Archives of Internal Medicine, 163(3): 265–274.

Last Updated: May 23, 2008

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.