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Psychological Factors

Psychological stress is recognised as an important factor contributing to IBS in some sufferers. Occasionally, people with IBS can link the start of their symptoms to particular events, such as leaving home, or starting work. It is not known if stress alone can cause IBS in the first place, but stress can certainly trigger IBS symptoms, and seems to have a greater physiological effect in people with IBS than in people who do not suffer from the condition. Approximately three quarters of people with IBS report that stress leads to acute abdominal pain and changes in stool patterns.

Psychological distress, such as anxiety and low mood can also contribute to, and maintain IBS symptoms. For more information click the Psychological symptoms tab above.


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.

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