IBS is a very misunderstood condition. 50% of patients never consult a doctor but in the remainder the condition can be life changing. Unfortunately the condition is often dismissed as psychological by both the public and many members of the medical profession. Patients attending secondary and tertiary care clinics suffer from severe pain and approximately 50% have faecal incontinence. Quality of life is very poor and up to 30% are suicidal as a consequence of the severity of their condition rather than any psychological problems. I never miss a chance to educate the public about IBS either in the media or in lectures.