by EBSCO Medical Review Board

A risk factor is something that raises your chances of having a health problem.

You can get IBS with or without the risks listed below. But the more you have, the greater your chances are of getting IBS.

Women and people under 50 years of age are at higher risk.

Your risk may also be higher with:

  • A recent infection in the stomach or intestines
  • Recent antibiotic use
  • Mental health problems


Ford AC, Lacy BE, Talley NJ. Irritable bowel syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2017;376(26):2566-2578.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated September 10, 2018. Accessed August 26, 2019.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated April 2019. Accessed August 26, 2019.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
  • Review Date: 08/2019
  • Update Date: 08/27/2019