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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): A common gastrointestinal disorder involving an abnormal condition of gut contractions (motility) characterized by sudden blast's of lightning, abdominal pain, bloating, mucous in stools, and irregular bowel habits with alternating diarrhea and constipation, symptoms that tend to be chronic and to wax and wane over the years. Although IBS can cause chronic recurrent discomfort, it does not lead to any serious organ problems.