logo logo logo logo

Comorbidity with other Disorders

Persons suffering from IBS may also have psychiatric illnesses (a psychological illness causing distress and disruption to normal daily living). Studies from tertiary care (a highly specialised consultative care) suggest that up to two thirds of patients have a psychiatric disorder, especially anxiety and depression. Approximately two thirds of IBS patients referred to secondary care (short-term consultation from a specialist) show some form of psychological distress. These psychiatric conditions are not viewed as causes of IBS, but rather as factors that may influence an individual’s response to IBS symptoms and treatment of these problems can improve clinical outcomes.

In addition to a sensitive gut, IBS patients are more likely to have a sensitive “irritable body”, a disorder known as somatisation where there are chronic varied physical symptoms. Between 20% and 50% of IBS patients also have fibromyalgia, a chronic widespread pain and fatigue disorder without any known physiological cause. IBS is also common in several other chronic pain disorders, being found in many with chronic fatigue syndrome. Patients with multiple conditions tend to have more severe IBS.


If you are interested in other gastrointestinal-focused information and intervention websites developed and hosted at
Swinburne University of Technology,
please go to:

IBDclinic.org.au for individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Gastroparesisclinic.org for individuals with Gastroparesis


This website and its content is not intended or recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions.

© 2014 Swinburne University of Technology | CRICOS number 00111D