Douglas A. Drossman, MD, Co-Director, UNC Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorder: How can I help my IBS? Irritable bowel is very common and there's a whole spectrum of severity from mild to severe. Ten percent have the condition, probably only one or two percent of that have more severe symptoms. So we have to understand management in a spectrum of severity. For the mildest and most common form, where are symptoms that are occurring occasionally. Patients might have occasional episodes of cramps or diarrhea, but not enough to uh impair their quality of life, their work performance, we often look at lifestyle and dietary factors. If they have more constipation, they might take more fiber. If they have more diarrhea, they might get an over the counter product like loperamide. Um, they can look at not eating larger or fatty meals. They might look to avoid lactose if they are lactose intolerant. Um, they might try to live a healthy lifestyle with physical activity and avoiding stressful circumstances.