Life can change when you have IBS-D

Not everyone may understand how challenging life can be when you are living with IBS-D. People with IBS or IBS-D cope with their disease in a variety of ways, but the goal remains the same: reduce the effect their symptoms can have on everyday life and commitments.

People living with IBS-D may...

Living with IBS-D: Social Engagement icon

Limit or cancel social engagements

Living with IBS-D: Home/House icon

Stay home from work or school

Travelling with IBS-D: Airplane icon

Avoid long car rides, plane rides, or going on vacation

Food to Avoid with IBS-D - Pizza icon

Avoid favorite foods or have limited options when eating in restaurants

Unpredictable bowel movements with IBS-D - Bathroom icon

Constantly worry about access to a bathroom

Tips for everyday life with IBS-D

Depending on what triggers your symptoms or what the underlying causes might be, there are some lifestyle changes that could help.

IBS Treatment: Exercise icon

Try getting regular exercise or practicing meditation or other stress-reducing techniques

IBS Symptom Journal: Notebook icon

Keep a detailed journal of all of your symptoms

Foods that trigger IBS: Dinner Plate icon

Eliminate trigger foods from your diet, such as foods that cause gas or contain gluten

IBS Information: Checklist icon

Stay educated about IBS-D and talk openly with your family, friends, and healthcare providers. It takes guts, but you can do it!

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Join local or online support groups. There’s strength in numbers, after all.

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Choosing the Right Treatment Option

If your lifestyle changes or your medication hasn’t helped, ask your healthcare provider what else you could try. There are different types of prescription treatments for IBS-D, so if one isn’t working, be sure to ask about trying something else.

Talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms to help decide which treatment option is right for you.

Talk with your healthcare provider

Your healthcare provider can be an important part of living with IBS-D. There are many possible causes of IBS-D, and the symptoms you experience can be different from other people with IBS-D. Your symptoms may even change over time, so keep your healthcare provider informed about everything you experience.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your healthcare provider about all of your symptoms, such as pain or bloating, when your symptoms started, their frequency and severity, anything that triggers them, and how they may have changed.

Be sure to talk about any lifestyle changes you have made and all of the treatments you have tried, even if they did not work. This will help your healthcare provider determine what other options might be right for you.

IBS Treatment: Speaking with Doctor icon
Did you
IBS Info Banner: Magnifying Glass

When doctors were asked what was most lacking in the
treatment of IBS, one of the top answers was:
patient/healthcare professional communication.

The IBS in America survey, conducted by the American Gastroenterological Association