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Introduction



Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal syndrome with symptoms such as chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habits in the absence of any organic cause.1 It is the most commonly diagnosed gastrointestinal condition.2 The prevalence of IBS as estimated from population-based studies is approximately 10 to 20 percent.1 IBS affects both sexes as well as young patients and the elderly. However, IBS is more prevalent in younger patients and in women.3 It is believed that IBS patients comprise 25-50% of all referrals to gastroenterologists.4
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