IBS varies in intensity and shares symptoms with a lot of other problems. So you can be pretty mild to quite severe. So some with IBS have fewer more mild symptoms than you describe and others have much worse symptoms than you describe. However, when it is something other than IBS usually there are other things going on that are often called "Red flags" Most people who have no red flags on extensive testing turn out to have IBS. Most of what is "other than IBS" tends to be much more serious.Red Flags.Inexplicable weight loss completely unrelated to what you eat/how much you exercise. If you stop eating to ease symptoms it is normal to lose weight. This is usually the no matter how much you eat you lose weight or barely maintain your weight sort of thing. (Eat like Sumo wrestler look like heroin-chic model sort of thing).Anemia and other abnormalities in routine blood tests (esp elevated sedimentation rate)Blood (esp brownish blackish blood) in stools. Small amounts of bright red blood on the outside of stools or when you wipe is usually anal irritation/hemaroids.Pain that wakes you up from a sound sleep in the middle of the night.Diarrhea that is very watery or occurs so that you are well over the normal range of Bowel movements per day (so greater than three a day)K.