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The Five Primary Symptoms of IBS

IBS, which stands for irritable bowel syndrome, is a big label given to people who have one or more very common digestive symptoms (1). The five major symptoms that the IBS umbrella covers are diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, gas and bloating.

Keep in mind that you may experience only one of these symptoms, or any combination of them.  And it’s not unusual for symptoms to change over time, which can be in the same day or over the course of several years. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that IBS presents differently in different patients.

Finally, the symptoms of IBS are also found in several other diseases. Those other diseases are what other doctors, including your gastroenterologist, are primarily looking for. They are not focused on looking for IBS, but on ruling out other problems, which is important (2).

When they don’t find any of other problems (i.e. appendicitis, gallstones, pancreatitis, C. difficile, cancer, etc.) then they end up unable to help you, and you end up with IBS. This is why you need an IBS specialist, a doctor who is an expert in IBS. And that's why we're here.

IBS with Diarrhea (IBS-D)

Diarrhea, which may be called IBS-D, is often thought to be the classic component of IBS, but less than half of people with IBS have diarrhea. Although it can be urgent and explosive, diarrhea comes in many other forms. Stools can be regular but very loose and watery, mushy, or soft and crumbly and fall apart. Surprisingly, some IBS patients alternate between diarrhea and constipation, sometimes referred to as mixed IBS, or IBS-M. Whether or not you think of your diarrhea as problematic, it’s a serious sign that you aren’t digesting properly and therefore not absorbing nutrients properly. This affects the health of your entire body. There is always a solution for diarrhea, and we’re here to help you find it! Contact us online. Read some of our patient success stories here.

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IBS with Constipation (IBS-C)

Optimally, you should have at least one unremarkable bowel movement (BM) each day. That’s normal. But if your BMs are less frequent than once a day then you have constipation, which is also called IBS-C. You also have constipation if your BMs are very dry and hard, or made of small pellets, or difficult to pass, or incomplete (meaning it takes several tries before you feel done), even if you have a BM every day. And if you must take extra dietary fiber or consistently use some other product to avoid any of these outcomes, you still technically have constipation. The IBS Treatment Center takes solving constipation seriously because it’s so important to your overall health! Get in touch with us for help with your constipation.

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All About IBS Pain

Many, but certainly not all IBS patients experience abdominal pain or abdominal discomfort (stomach aches), and some experience only abdominal pain, without diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating. Abdominal pain or discomfort in IBS can range from completely debilitating stabbing pains, to cramping, to relatively minor tummy aches. Sometimes the pain is so bad that people end up in the emergency room. Unfortunately, that rarely helps solve the problem. The ER is a great place to go for other problems, but not IBS. Sadly, most IBS sufferers with severe pain leave the ER with nothing more than pain meds (3). We’ve helped many patients who’ve been down this road. Call us now at 888.546.6283 to help solve this problem!

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IBS Bloating

Bloating is a common symptom in IBS patients (4), though not all IBS patients have bloating. Bloating is usually fairly obvious to the sufferer, and it can range from mild to looking like you’re pregnant or feeling like you have a basketball under your shirt. It can fluctuate throughout the day, and often your clothes won’t fit well. Bloating may or may not be accompanied with gas or abdominal discomfort. Regardless, it’s a sign that you aren’t digesting well, and we can help you.

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Excessive or particularly odorous gas is not normal. Gas can be the sole symptom of someone suffering with IBS, and it may or may not be accompanied with bloating. Gas is possibly the most embarrassing IBS symptom because it so difficult to disguise. Having problems with gas or flatulence is a clear sign that you have IBS and that you aren’t digestive your food well.

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Treating these five symptoms is part of the core of our success at the IBS Treatment Center. Don’t let these symptoms alter your life another day. We have helped 1000’s of patients solve their IBS. You can read some of their stories here.‍

Other Symptoms

IBS Sufferers also commonly suffer from several other digestive symptoms. These include nausea, heartburn, and GERD. And many other symptoms are often associated with IBS. If you have questions about your symptoms, just ask us.

IBS and Nausea



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