Many people have occasional signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, but you're more likely to have IBS if you:

  • Are young. IBS tends to occur in people under age 45.
  • Are female. Overall, about twice as many women as men have the condition.
  • Have a family history of IBS. Studies suggest that people who have a family member with IBS may be at increased risk of the condition.
  • Have a mental health problem. Anxiety, depression, a personality disorder and a history of childhood sexual abuse are risk factors. For women, domestic abuse may be a risk factor as well.

The influence of family history on IBS risk may be related to genes, shared factors in a family's environment or both.

Jul. 31, 2014

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