Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome common in men?

My partner was recently told by our GP that he has Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It was quite a shock, as he had never suffered from stomach complaints before, and we had not heard of many men suffering from IBS.

His problems began a couple of months ago when he had to take time off work because of a really bad stomach bug. Since then he keeps suffering symptoms including constipation and retching. They are worse in the middle of the night, which also means that he has the added problem of a lack of sleep.

He might have a couple of days where he feels OK, but then the symptoms start again. He has a very responsible job so taking time off regularly is not really an option. Is there any medication he can take to alleviate the IBS? Is he likely to suffer from it indefinitely, or is there a chance it will eventually go away?

Karen, Ipswich

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