LIVING WITH IBS-D

Causes of IBS-D

IBS-D* is a complicated condition with several factors that can affect the digestive system. However, the precise cause of IBS-D is unknown.

An imbalance in the normal healthy bacteria in the digestive system has been found in some people with IBS-D. The bacteria and microorganisms in your digestive system, collectively called the microbiota, help you digest and absorb food and are constantly working to keep your body functioning normally.

Other factors could include improper signaling between the brain and the digestive system, inflammation or severe infection in the intestines, too strong or weak intestinal muscle contractions, family history and genetics, and in some cases anxiety and/or depression.

*IBS-D = irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea.

Photograph of man with arms wrapped around stomach
Photograph of man with arms wrapped around stomach

Symptoms of IBS-D

IBS-D symptoms can happen on a regular basis and vary widely from one person to the next. Symptoms always include abdominal pain and diarrhea.

How is IBS-D diagnosed?

Healthcare providers can now diagnose IBS-D based on your symptom history, which means medical tests aren't typically needed. Your healthcare provider may ask:

  • Has your stomach pain been bothering you for an average of at least 1 day every week for the last 3 months?
  • Are more than 25% of your stools/bowel movements loose or watery (diarrhea) and are less than 25% hard or lumpy (constipation)?
  • Did your symptoms start at least 6 months ago?

There’s no one profile for a person who will develop IBS, but

AS MANY WOMEN AS MEN SUFFER FROM IBS

IBS MORE OFTEN OCCURS IN PEOPLE YOUNGER THAN

Living with IBS-D

Everyday life and commitments can be a challenge if you are suffering from IBS-D. The unpredictability of symptoms may cause you to limit your social life, stay home from work or school, avoid traveling long distances, avoid favorite foods or drinks, and constantly plan for the bathroom.

Graphic showing how Xifaxan inhibits growth of certain bacteria in the digestive system
The Gut Guy character with arms wrapped around stomach

Tips for managing your IBS-D

Depending on what triggers your symptoms, there are some lifestyle changes that could help. People living with IBS-D have had success with regular exercise, meditation, and other stress-reducing techniques. Eliminating trigger foods from your diet, such as those that cause gas or contain gluten, can make a difference. And it’s important to stay educated about IBS-D and talk to your healthcare providers. There can be a great benefit in joining local or online support groups as well.

IBS-D treatments

If your lifestyle changes or your medication hasn’t helped, ask your healthcare provider about XIFAXAN. There are different types of prescription treatments for IBS-D, so if one isn’t working, talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms to help decide which treatment option is right for you.

Talk to your doctor

Community and online support

With an estimated 16 million Americans living with IBS-D, chances are that some of them share your experience. For support in your local community, talk to your doctor, hospital, or health center for support groups.