What is IBS-D?
Frequent abdominal pain or discomfort along with changed bowel habits are typical in IBS. People with IBS often report that these symptoms have been present, to some degree, for many months or years. The pain is usually described as abdominal cramps that come and go, which often improve after having a bowel movement. In IBS-D, stools are usually loose and frequent, sometimes include mucus, and happen during the day while the patient is awake.
Diarrhea that frequently awakens a person from sleep is not typical for IBS-D and should be mentioned to your doctor.
Are there changes I can make to alleviate my IBS-D?
- Eat regular balanced meals.
- Reduce caffeine intake.
- Exercise may help reduce stress.
- Smoking may worsen symptoms of the syndrome, which is another good reason to quit.
Other home remedies to soothe and lessen symptoms include:
- Increase fiber in the diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid soda, which may cause gas and abdominal discomfort
- Eat smaller meals to help lessen the incidence of cramping and diarrhea.
- Low fat and high carbohydrate meals such as pasta, rice, and whole grain breads may help IBS symptoms (unless you have celiac disease).
Does IBS-D put met at risk for any other conditions?
Risk factors for IBS include:
- Abnormal (too fast or slow, or too strong) movements of the colon and small intestines
- Hypersensitivity to pain caused by gas or full bowels
- A viral or bacterial infection of the stomach and intestines (gastroenteritis)
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
Are there medical reviews that I can read about IBS-D?
Yes, there certainly are! The scientific community continues to research IBS-D and test ways to improve its treatment:
Have you joined our IBS Support Group yet? Led by Kaitlyn Willwerth MS, RD, use this Q&A group as a forum to learn from experts and support the community.