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Does irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) cause permanent damage?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is indeed irritable, often causing a great deal of discomfort and distress. But the good news is that the syndrome does not cause permanent harm to the intestines, doesn't lead to intestinal bleeding and doesn't cause cancer or inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis). Moreover, if you have IBS, you may not have symptoms all the time. Some people can go for weeks or months without any symptoms. Others may experience them daily. IBS is often chronic. However, when followed for several years, about a third of people no longer have IBS.

This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.