- Reviewed by Toni Golen, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing; Contributor
Up to 45 million Americans have a condition that people affected may only reluctantly mention: irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. Despite its prevalence, IBS is still somewhat mysterious when it comes to who gets it — two-thirds of patients are women — and why.
But scientists are steadily peeling this proverbial onion, with newer treatment approaches targeting pathways that appear to be involved in the cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and/or constipation that disrupt patients' everyday lives.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
About the Author
Maureen Salamon, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch
About the Reviewer
Toni Golen, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing; Contributor
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.