Skip to content

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Health Center

    Select An Article

    Types of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    There are three types of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. They include:

    There are about an equal number of people with IBS in each category. There is also evidence that most people with IBS will alternate between types over time.

    Recommended Related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    Do Your Hormones Affect IBS?

    No one knows the exact reason for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a digestive disorder that affects up to 15% of Americans. It causes belly pain, cramps, and bloating, as well as diarrhea and constipation. The one thing that experts are certain about: Your gender plays a role. Women are about twice as likely to have IBS as men. A growing body of research shows that sex hormones, like estrogen and progesterone, may be the reason. They can trigger IBS symptoms, which may explain why you have more...

    Read the Do Your Hormones Affect IBS? article > >

    This all makes it difficult for researchers to find a single drug treatment that will relieve all the symptoms of IBS. Different medications work for IBS with constipation and for IBS with diarrhea. Doctors will usually tailor an individual treatment regimen for people who have IBS with alternating symptoms.

    People with alternating IBS symptoms should not try to treat themselves, says J. Patrick Waring, MD, a gastroenterologist at Digestive Health Care of Georgia.

    "They should not take something for their constipation on their own, and then when they get diarrhea, take something for their diarrhea, and go back and forth," he says. "That can actually exacerbate the problem."

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on October 01, 2014
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    filling glass of water from faucet
    Prevention strategies to try.
    stomach ache
    From symptoms to treatments.
     
    tummy
    Causes, symptoms, and treatments.
    worried mature woman
    Are they related?
     
    IBS Trigger Foods
    Video
    Supplements for IBS What Works
    Article
     
    IBS Symptoms Quiz
    Quiz
    digestive health
    Slideshow
     
    gluten free diet
    Slideshow
    digestive myths
    Slideshow
     
    what causes diarrhea
    Video
    man with abdominal pain
    Article