(Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea)

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.

  • Medical Reviewer: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

IBS-D (Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea) Triggers

IBS-D or irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea triggers may include:

  • Fatty foods, for example, fatty meats and fatty dairy products
  • Foods that contain high levels of fructose or sorbitol (often found in chewing gum)
  • Fried foods
  • Broccoli, onions, cabbage and large helpings of beans

Facts and definition of IBS-D

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder.
  • Symptoms of IBS include:
  • The cause of IBS currently is unknown. It is thought to result from a combination of abnormal gastrointestinal (GI) tract movements, increased awareness of bodily functions, and a disruption in the communication between the brain and the GI tract.
  • IBS-D is irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea.
  • The most common symptoms of the disorder includes:
  • IBS is diagnosed by exclusion, which means a doctor considers other alternatives first, performing tests to rule out other medical problems.
    • Home remedies for include avoiding certain foods that "trigger" or worsen diarrhea, bloating and gas, such as foods high in FODMAPs, such as:
    • Cruciferous vegetables (for example, cauliflower, wasabi, kale, and broccoli)
    • Legumes (for example, black beans, edamame, soy nuts, and fava beans)
    • Dairy products
    • Wheats and grains
  • Other home remedies to relieve symptoms the condition include adding fiber to the diet, drinking plenty of water, avoiding soda, eating smaller meals, and eating more low fat and high carbohydrate foods.
  • There is currently no known cure for IBS. Medical treatment for irritable bowel syndrome includes antispasmodic medicines, antidiarrheal medicines, antidepressants, laxatives, and other drugs.
  • It is a chronic (long-term) disease, and symptoms usually recur.
  • It also has been called spastic colon, functional bowel disease, and mucous colitis, although IBS is not a true "colitis." The term colitis refers to a different group of diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, microscopic colitis, and ischemic colitis.

What are the risk factors for IBS-D?

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)
  • Reproductive hormones or neurotransmitters may be off-balance in people with IBS.

Anxiety or depression may accompany the syndrome, though these have not been found to be a direct cause of it.

What causes IBS-D?

  • IBS is not contagious, inherited, or cancerous. It occurs more often in women than in men, and the onset occurs before the age of 35 in about half of the cases. IBS occurs in 5% to 20% of children.
  • IBS also has developed after episodes of gastroenteritis ("stomach flu").
  • It has been suggested that the condition is caused by dietary allergies or food sensitivities, but this has not been proven.
  • Genetics also is suggested as a potential cause of IBS, but so far a hereditary link has not been found.
  • Symptoms of the syndrome may worsen during periods of stress or during menstruation, but these factors are unlikely to be the cause that leads to the development of IBS.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/27/2017

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