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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Health Center

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Types of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

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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

Dealing With Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) at Work

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is especially hard on people at work, but there are ways to cope. Even getting ready to go to work can be hard for people with some types of IBS. It's not unusual for IBS sufferers to have four to five bowel movements before they leave the house, says Jeffrey Roberts, president and founder of the IBS Self Help and Support Group. The group has 60,000 active members online, as well as face-to-face meetings in the U.S., Canada, and other countries. "We have seen...

Read the Dealing With Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) at Work 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
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