Gastrointestinal disorders

Irritable bowel syndrome

(IBS)

About Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a problem that affects the large intestine. It can cause abdominal cramping, bloating, and a change in bowel habits. Some people with the disorder have constipation. Some have diarrhea. Others go back and forth between the two. Although IBS can cause a great deal of discomfort, it does not harm the intestines.

IBS is common. It affects about twice as many women as men and is most often found in people younger than 45 years. No one knows the exact cause of IBS. There is no specific test for it. Your doctor may run tests to be sure you don't have other diseases. These tests may include stool sampling tests, blood tests, and x-rays. Your doctor may also do a test called a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Most people diagnosed with IBS can control their symptoms with diet, stress management, probiotics, and medicine.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Abdominal cramping or bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Top Medications for Irritable bowel syndrome according to our users

Button Group. All currently active

All Medications for Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Benzodiazepine > Long-acting benzodiazepine

  • Antispasmodic > Antimuscarinic

  • Laxative > Bulk-producing

    • Metamucil
      (Psyllium)
      Over-the-counter

      The natural psyllium fiber in Metamucil (Psyllium) does more than relieve constipation. It lowers cholesterol, keeps blood sugar levels healthy, and makes you feel less hungry between meals.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Liquid
  • Antidepressant > Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)

    • Elavil
      (Amitriptyline)
      Prescription only

      Elavil (Amitriptyline) is an older antidepressant that's sometimes used to treat pain and sleep problems, but it can have more side effects than similar medications.Will Elavil work for you?

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Irritable bowel syndrome

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • Change your diet (paleo)
What’s your best coping strategy?
  • Prescript Assist probiotic
  • Flax seed
  • I am taking align probiotics which hasn't solved the problem, but it has helped
Besides medications, what else has worked for you?
  • Paleo diet
  • reducing stress and anxiety
  • diet
  • exercise