What Is IBS-D?

What Is IBS-D?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea, a chronic gastrointestinal disorder known as IBS-D, cannot be wholly generalized as each person experiences the symptoms differently. Affecting 10-15% of the people around the world, triggers for all forms of IBS-D often include eating certain foods which that may aggravate your system; these foods include wheat, dairy products, red wine, and caffeine.

There are some commonalities with the symptoms and diagnosis, as well as strategies with living with IBS-D and the treatment options. A clearer understanding of IBS-D will help individuals who are affected directly by the group of symptoms.

Symptoms of IBS-D

IBS-D symptoms include an urgent and sudden need to have bowel movements usually accompanied by loose and frequent stools, and abdominal pain. It is not uncommon for individuals to lose control of their bowels and soil their clothing, which makes living with IBS-D extraordinarily challenging and difficult. Most people change their lifestyles so that they always are near bathrooms and often will refrain from doing anything that will require the risk of having an accident.

Diagnosis of IBS-D

Although it is easy and one might be self-inclined to self-diagnose IBS-D, it is best for your gastroenterologist to make the official diagnosis after doing a health history, examining you, ordering a blood workup, and requesting a stool sample. It will be important for you to know if others in your family have had Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, and colon cancer. An official diagnosis for IBS-D is only given if you experience diarrhea about a quarter of the time and also have constipation than a quarter of the time.

Living with IBS-D

  • Eliminating Trigger Foods and Drinks. You will begin to recognize which foods are your trigger foods which give you an adverse reaction. Understand the relation between your diet and the severity of your symptoms is key, and you should plan to keep food journals until you can identify definitively what you’ll want to avoid if possible, whether that be dairy products, artificial sweeteners, highly fatty foods, vegetables that cause gassiness, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Finding the Right Treatment Plan. You will want to work with GI to find the best treatment plan for your symptoms, which may include taking antidiarrheal medications or prescription medications that may be recommended.
  • Exercise Regularly.  You will want to stay physically fit and get regular exercise which will help reduce stress and can significantly alleviate symptoms.
  • Reduce Stress and Address Depression. In whatever way is possible, be sure to work to ease any stressors as anxious feelings and depression may negatively impact your gut. Many individuals practice relaxation techniques including yoga, and or try biofeedback as well as treat depression. You will want to be sure to address whatever it is that troubles you head on.

There is no known cure for IBS, and it is likely that you will have episodic periods which will be challenging. Be sure you have an excellent GI following your case and who advises you accordingly.

What Is IBS-C?

What Is IBS-C?

With over 13 million adults across the United States suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), it is the most common gastrointestinal disorder. There are different types of IBS, and we are addressing here more about Irritable Bowel Syndrome Constipation (IBS-C), which is also referred to as constipation-predominant IBS.


The most prevalent symptoms of IBS-C is discomfort and pain in the abdomen, constipation, straining, and bowel movements that are both small and hard that look like pellets. Many women share that their symptoms are more prominent while menstruating. In general, IBS-C affects more women than men and is more common in adults who are under 50 years of age.


A diagnosis of IBS-C is individualized, but many individuals suffer from constipation having less than 3 bowel movements a week coupled with abdominal discomfort over the course of a few months. The diagnosis of IBS-C will be made by a general physician or gastroenterologist (GI), to be sure that there is not something more serious going on. A rule of thumb is that IBS is diagnosed by ruling out other potential issues.

Bring a complete medical history including a record of your bowel movements to your appointment with your doctor. It is also useful to provide a food history and a list of any medications you have taken. Providing as much information to your doctor, preferably in journal form, about your symptoms and what you were eating and drinking before and around that period will allow for the best opportunity to understand what is happening and which foods may be triggering your symptoms.


A first step for treating IBS-C usually includes taking a serious look at your diet to be sure it is balanced and strategic in terms of everything you eat. Significantly increasing your fiber intake with the goal of getting anywhere between 25-35 grams of fiber. Typically a GI will provide lists of the most fibrous fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans to help you build a diet designed to keep you symptom-free. There is no question that cutting out highly refined foods and avoiding white bread and carbohydrates is key; carefully planning what you eat with your doctor will help you be sure that you get relief from constipation without causing cramping and gas. Since not drinking enough water will often be a factor in constipation, you will want to prioritize monitoring your water intake to help move the food through your intestines.

Most individuals with IBS-C are encouraged to exercise and look into stress management programs to address any external factors that may be adversely affecting your gastrointestinal tract.


Taking medications is commonly prescribed for individuals with IBS-C because they usually provide fairly quick relief from the discomfort you may be feeling. Common medications include laxatives, Linaclotide, and Lubiprostone and you will need to plan for the best medication to find the best treatment options for you to follow. Many individuals also will take fiber supplements to help supplement their daily intake of fiber.


IBS-C is individualized and is the experience of constipation may manifest itself differently for each person. There is no cure for IBS, but the symptoms can be mitigated with a well-planned treatment strategy that continues to be tweaked and adjusted until optimum results are achieved.

Digestive Enzymes & IBS

Digestive Enzymes & IBS

IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and it is difficult to diagnose. Although there is no known cure, there are many ways to appease your sensitive bowels. Symptoms of IBS alternate between both diarrhea and constipation, accompanied by pain from bloating, gas, and stomach cramps. This is not just caused by the stomach flu; symptoms occur for 6 months or more. If you have prolonged symptoms of anything on this list, make an appointment to see your doctor.

Because IBS is located in the large intestine, a healthy diet and frequent exercise are not the only treatments needed for this disorder. An enzyme supplement should be added to your diet. Digestive enzymes have proved to appease nasty IBS symptoms by helping your digestive tract back to its normalized state. More about how these enzymes work is written below.

Medication vs. Enzymes: What You Need To Know

Your doctor has probably outlined the kinds of medications you can take to help treat your IBS. However, many clinical studies have not concluded that medications help IBS at all.

That’s where enzymes come in. Enzymes designed to be easily digested are actually complex proteins. They work by breaking down foods so your body can use the nutrition for energy. Your pancreas has the job of creating these types of enzymes, but sometimes it needs an extra amount if your bowel is having severe problems.

Just like you should be well-versed on the medications you take, so, too should you be on the quality of the digestive enzymes you may take. Anti-inflammatory ingredients like peppermint oil and turmeric help soothe irritated abdominal organs, while the enzymes work to relieve unpleasant symptoms like uncomfortable bowel movements, gas and bloating.

3 Ways Digestive Enzymes Help Your Digestion

IBS is triggered by your diet. If you eat something that causes a flare-up or have a poor diet that is causing intestinal distress, taking a digestive enzyme can treat both your pain and stabilize the enzymes in your gut to prevent further troubles in the future.

Three things digestive enzymes help you are:

  • maintain a healthy digestive tract
  • break down fats, protein, and carbs for nutrient absorption
  • reduce bloating, gas and cramping after eating

All three of these functions do not function normally if you suffer from IBS or any of its symptoms. And all three of these can be assisted by an influx of enzymes. If you eat some food and get food poisoning, your digestive tract may be out of commission for a few days, but then go back to normal. However, this doesn’t happen with IBS: flare-ups and painful cramps happen all the time and do not go away.

The same thing is to be said of nutrient absorption. If your stomach doesn’t have the correct amount and type of enzymes, nutrients will not be efficiently absorbed and used by your body. That’s where digestive enzymes come in: they can maintain a healthy balance of enzymes while reducing IBS symptoms like bloating.

Using Turmeric To Treat IBS

Using Turmeric To Treat IBS

IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a common disorder in the large intestine. Symptoms of IBS are diarrhea, constipation, bloating and stomach cramps. IBS can be treated but so far there is no cure for it. IBS can be maintained by a healthy diet and certain medications. A supplement of turmeric is a great way to diminish pain symptoms and other digestive issues that crop up with IBS. Keep in mind that a supplement is just that – a supplement – and in no way can replace a full treatment for IBS. However, there are so many benefits that turmeric provides to the body that it is hard to find any negatives to say about it.

What’s So Great About Turmeric?

Turmeric has been used a supplement for a long time, especially in Indian and Chinese cultures, used both as a spice and as a medicine. Its rich yellow color and pungent smell are easy to recognize. A supplement can be added to your daily nutrition intake to help ease pain and quicken digestion. Studies have shown turmeric can appease unpleasant IBS symptoms such as diarrhea, because it assists the bowel is working well and not be inflamed due to illness.

Turmeric was tested to see if it helps mitigate mood disorders or mental illnesses, like depression, stress, and anxiety.  Although this has only been tested on animals, rats who took turmeric showed improvement in their mood and acted much less stressed than the control group. There are strong links from the conclusion of these studies to show that turmeric increases the function of neurotransmitters.

How Do I Know If I Have IBS?

Diagnosing IBS is difficult because there are various symptoms that are sometimes complete opposites. For instance, IBS symptoms include diarrhea and constipation, or a combination of both. The difference between having just one of these symptoms during the bout of the flu and having IBS is the continuation of symptoms over a long period of time, from 6 months to a year. IBS luckily does not do any lasting damage to the organs, but it can cause so much pain and discomfort that can seriously impact your quality of life.

How Much Tumeric Is Too Much?

Turmeric capsules that are high quality should have at least 1,000 mg and should also contain BioPerine, or piperine, which helps your digestive system process turmeric faster. Piperine is an extract made from black pepper, and a turmeric supplement must contain at least  20 mg of BioPerine in order to work properly.

You should not take more than 2,000 mg of turmeric a day. There are many side effects to turmeric, like nausea, dizziness, and hematoma. Ask your doctor to see how turmeric can help in your digestive system.

Turmeric Summed Up

IBS is a difficult disorder to live with, making your life unpleasant and sometimes unmanageable when trying to plan trips. However, there are many ways to help treat this condition to make your digestive system work normally again. IBS can be treated with certain medications, a healthy, balanced diet, and some studies have shown turmeric is a great supplement to decrease unpleasant symptoms.

Can Eating Yogurt Help IBS?

Can Eating Yogurt Help IBS?

IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is estimated to affect anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the American population but only a fraction will seek a diagnosis or treatment. The exact cause of IBS is unknown but it is a disorder that affects the large intestine, also known as the colon. Researchers suspect that it may be caused by faulty communication between the brain and intestinal tract. IBS occurs when muscles lining the small intestine do not contract and relax in a coordinated manner. Symptoms include stomach pain and cramping, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, food intolerance, changes in bowel movements and depression. Some will find that changing their diet will help manage their diet but many will take medication to get their symptoms under control. Recently, studies have shown that eating yogurt that has probiotics can possibly help get symptoms of IBS under control. Continue reading to learn more.

What are Probiotics?

Although bacteria have often been associated with being detrimental to your health, probiotics are a type live “good” bacteria and yeast that are good for you health, especially your digestive system. Probiotics are thought to keep you healthy by replacing the “good” bacteria in your body. This is especially important after taking antibiotics, as probiotics can help replace them. They can also help restore a balance to your digestive tract by balancing your “good” and “bad” bacteria. There are two main types of probiotics, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Lactobacillus is the more common type of probiotic that can help people with diarrhea and people who are lactose intolerant. You can find the min yogurts. Bifidobacterium is found in dairy products and are believed to help ease symptoms of IBS. Research also indicates that taking probiotics may also be helpful for skin conditions, urinary and vaginal health, oral health, allergies, and colds.

How Can Eating Yogurt Help?

A study done in which patients consumed a probiotic yogurt every day for four showed that stomach distention was reduced by up to 78 percent in 34 women. The study also showed that patients who ate yogurt with probiotics had improved gastrointestinal transit time. Patients also reported experiencing relief from abdominal pain and cramping. The yogurt contains Bifidobacterium Lactis which is a bacteria that supports stomach health. It can be found in various yogurt brands across the market. You can identify yogurts containing probiotics by their seal. In order to obtain this seal, a manufacturer must provide evidence that their product contains at least 100 million CGU per gram.

The bottom line regarding whether or not yogurt can be beneficial for someone with IBS is that it depends on each individual. Research has indicated that having probiotic yogurt can decrease symptoms of IBS and can improve overall digestion but because every person can have individual triggers and reactions to different foods, the results can vary according to each person. If you are suffering from IBS but are not triggered by eating dairy, trying a probiotic yogurt is definitely worth it exploring. Talk to your doctor about making a plan to get your IBS symptoms under control.

Foods That Can Trigger IBS

Foods That Can Trigger IBS

IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is categorized by abdominal pain or discomfort and bowel irregularity. IBS is estimated to affect between 25 and 45 million Americans with two third of IBS sufferers being women. Although the number of those affected is high, few will visit their doctor to discuss treatment options. Treatments can range from medication to change in diet, although the majority of IBS patients choose to treat their symptoms through diet. Different foods can trigger different symptoms so there are no set rules about what foods to avoid with IBS but by avoiding commonly food triggers you may see a bit of relief from your usual symptoms. This article is going to discuss different food triggers that will often worsen symptoms of IBS. Continue reading to learn more.

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber is a type of fiber that does not absorb or dissolve in water. It passes through the digestive system close to its original form. Soluble fiber is soft and sticky and turns into a gel-like substance inside the digestive system. It can help soften stool so that it passes through the gastrointestinal tract easily. Insoluble is can be problematic for those with IBS because it can cause or even worsen diarrhea. Foods with insoluble fiber include oatmeal, barley, root vegetables, fruits, and legumes.


Dairy can be problematic because dairy products generally have a higher fat content which can cause diarrhea. The other problem with dairy is that often times, most people suffering from IBS are lactose intolerant as well. Dairy is oftentimes the first thing that doctors will recommend cutting out of a diet to improve symptoms of IBS.


Caffeine can be problematic because it can produce a laxative effect on your bowels. Unfortunately for coffee lovers, decaf appears to have a similar laxative effect so it is not recommended to consume any type of coffee if you are suffering from IBS. Furthermore, coffee elevates stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. These hormones can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Blood will be redirected from the digestive system which can lead to indigestion and amplified symptoms of IBS. Another issue with coffee is that it is highly acidic and can cause hypersecretion of gastric acids which can stimulate symptoms of IBS.


Although beans and legumes are an excellent source of fiber, they contain indigestible carbohydrates which can irritate IBS. Another issue is that they can increase gas, bloating and cramps. They can also be harder for people experiencing IBS to digest.


Foods containing gluten like rye, wheat, and barley are a common allergy that is defined as celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease when occurs someone with a gluten allergy eats something with gluten in it and it triggers an irregular immune response. This can damage the inside of the small intestine which causes it to decrease its ability to absorb nutrients. People with IBS can have a gluten intolerance without the immune response or changes in the intestinal cells. This means that you can experience the same side effects and GI symptoms of gluten ingestion as one diagnosed with celiac disease.

It is important to keep in mind that every person’s food triggers can be different. Make sure to talk to your doctor or dietician to come up with a plant that can help get your IBS symptoms under control.

Key Symptoms Of IBS

Key Symptoms Of IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects 6–18 % of the world’s population. This is a bowel condition classified as a chronic disease if the typical symptoms are constantly present for at least six months. The main symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain and discomfort linked to bowel dysfunction. These symptoms can lead to emotional distress and much pain.

Symptoms of IBS

  • Abdominal bloating and gas – Owing to changes in digestion there is an extra build-up of wind, which manifests as an uncomfortable and swollen bowel. An IBS patient usually experiences flatulence. The pain, sometimes more discomfort than pain, is usually localized to the bowel area. IBS sufferers sometimes feel pain in the upper legs, chest, and back.
  • Problems sleeping and fatigue – Poor sleep quality may be owing to gastrointestinal symptoms, which could lead to fatigue and lethargy.
  • Constipation – The bowels don’t empty out completely; there is some pain during bowel movements.
  • Diarrhea – Sufferers may be unable to control bowel movements; stools may be watery, and include some mucous.
  • Cramping – Normally after eating, IBS patients experience lower-abdominal pain and cramping. This will diminish after a bowel movement.
  • Food intolerance – In some 50% of IBS patients, certain foods or drinks can trigger a bowel movement.
  • Depression and anxiety – IBS patients can develop anxiety over digestive problems. In turn, anxiety can worsen an IBS patient’s digestive symptoms.
  • Other symptoms of IBS include feeling ill, having backache, and experiencing problems urinating.

Tools used to assist patients to describe their symptoms

Patients can use one of two tools, namely, the Bristol Stool Form Scale, and the MyGIHealth Mobile App, to describe their symptoms to their doctor.

The Bristol Stool Form Scale, for example, may be used to describe seven different types of stool, based on visual depictions. The seven types are:

  • Type 1: Stools are divided into hard lumps resembling nuts, and are difficult to pass.
  • Type 2: Stools have a sausage-like shape, however, they are lumpy.
  • Type 3: Stools look like sausages with surface cracks visible.
  • Type 4: Stools are similar to a snake or sausage, the texture being soft and smooth.
  • Type 5: Stools are easily passed, displayed as soft blobs with definite edges.
  • Type 6: Stools are mushy, reflecting fluffy pieces with ragged edges.
  • Type 7: Stools are watery, and have no solid masses.

The MyGIHealth Mobile App is designed with the help of doctors and research from the National Institute of Health. This free app is a tool that may be used by patients to screen and evaluate signs of IBS. In addition, to properly identify IBS, and to initiate appropriate diagnostic tests and a treatment strategy, it is important to identify the correct IBS subtype. The four IBS subgroups are:

  • IBS with constipation (IBS-C)
  • IBS with diarrhoea (IBS-D)
  • IBS with mixed or alternating diarrhea and constipation (IBS-M)
  • IBS post infectious (IBS-PI).