Identifying What Type Of IBS You Have

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disorder based in the large intestine. It is treatable and manageable, but undiagnosed, it can make your life unpleasant and even unmanageable. IBS is not easy to treat as there are a variety of symptoms that vary from person to person. Occuring at any time of the day, IBS symptoms may worsen after eating a certain food or if you’re undergoing a lot of stress. These are called flare-ups, which means your symptoms are worse than usual.

Some symptoms of IBS include:

  • bloating
  • stomach cramping
  • constipation
  • diarrhea

There are three different kinds of IBS, which come with their own individual symptoms and treatments. Here is a short description of each type and possible ways to diminish your symptoms.

IBS with Constipation

IBS is diagnosed by the kinds of stool you pass, so noticing the constituency and pain you may feel helps your doctor the best way to treat you. The kind of IBS that includes mostly constipation is known as IBS-C. Stools are hard and painful and difficult to pass more than 25% of the time.

To relieve IBS-C symptoms, consider changing your diet, taking medication and even adding a supplement. High-fiber foods are especially helpful in softening your stools. Some of these foods include beans, peas, cauliflower, whole wheat pasta and oatmeal.

Besides laxatives, you can take a supplement to help relieve any inflammation and also soothe your stomach. Look for supplements with Psyllium for an additional amount of fiber, while supplements that also contain ginger root and fennel oil help eliminate stomach cramps.

IBS with Diarrhea

Another type of IBS is IBS-D, which is diagnosed by loose stools for over 25% of the time. Mucus may also be found in your stool, as well. This type can be triggered by eating spicy foods or dairy, but may occur with no clear outside influence. It is recommended to go on a low-fiber diet if you have IBS-D. Low-fiber foods include fish, peanut butter, eggs, white rice and lean meats like poultry. It is also advisable to cut out dairy from your diet, including milk, cream, cheese and ice cream.

There are several kinds of medications prescribed to help treat IBS, including antibiotics. Others include dietary supplements that you can take for IBS-C can be taken along with these medications, which may help relieve pain, cramping and gas.

Mixed Type

The third kind of IBS is called IBS-M, for “mixed type.” This means that there is no consistent bowel movement symptoms but it alters between diarrhea and constipation, along with stomach cramping, gas, and general abdominal pain. Treatment for this kind is the most difficult because symptoms change so much with no warning. Here, it is suggested you go on an elimination diet, where you slowly cut out certain foods for a week or two to find possible trigger foods that cause flare-ups. Both kinds of medications should be on hand as well.

Diagnosis and Treatment

To be properly diagnosed, IBS symptoms should occur for over a period of six months. There are several tests that your doctor could give you to narrow down the type of IBS you may have. Some tests that are most commonly given are blood tests, stool tests, x-rays of your colon and even a colonoscopy.