IBS-D is a type of irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common intestinal disease associated with unpredictable bowel movements that can change the way people with IBS live their life.

In people with IBS, the lower digestive system doesn’t work quite right, even though there may not be an obvious medical problem. People with IBS have stomach (abdominal) pain at least 1 day a week, for at least 3 months.

Types of IBS

In addition to stomach pain, people with IBS experience changes in how often they pass stools and how the stool is formed (or its consistency). There are certain changes in bowel movements that are associated with the 4 different types of IBS:

IBS-D

An estimated 16 million people suffer from IBS with diarrhea

IBS-C

An estimated 13 million people suffer from IBS with constipation

IBS-M

Mixed symptoms of both diarrhea and constipation

IBS-U

Bowel changes that cannot be placed into 1 of the other 3 groups (unclassified)

What are the symptoms of IBS-D?

Symptoms are different in everyone with IBS-D, but the most common are:

stomach* pain, stomach* cramps, frequent diarrhea, gas, bloating, urgency

*Lower abdominal pain.

What is IBS-D: Intestine Graphic
What is IBS-D: Faces - Not Alone

If you are struggling with symptoms of IBS-D, you are not alone. Many people experience issues like:

  • Feeling frustrated, exhausted, and embarrassed
  • Missing out on activities because of pain
  • Avoiding situations where there is no bathroom nearby
  • Dealing with symptoms that are unpredictable, disappear and return unexpectedly, or change over time

Talk to your healthcare provider if your IBS-D symptoms are having an impact on your life. There may be a different treatment option that is right for you.

Learn more 

Signs that your symptoms may not be caused by IBS-D

If you have symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhea, gas, or bloating, plus any of the following, talk with your healthcare provider. Your symptoms may be caused by a different medical problem.

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nighttime symptoms that wake you
  • Blood in your stool
  • Anemia or other abnormal blood tests
  • Family history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or celiac disease

How is IBS-D diagnosed?

Healthcare providers can now diagnose IBS-D based on your symptom history, which means medical tests aren't needed. If signs pointing to other possible causes are ruled out, your healthcare provider may ask:

  • Has your stomach pain been bothering you for an average of at least 1 day every week for the last 3 months?
  • Are more than 25% of your stools/bowel movements loose or watery (diarrhea) and are less than 25% hard or lumpy (constipation)?
  • Did your symptoms start at least 6 months ago?
How is IBS-D Diagnosed?  Stethoscope
Did you
know?
What is IBS-D - Magnifying Glass
  • About 1 in every 10 Americans has IBS
  • Approximately 40% of people with IBS have IBS-D
  • IBS-D affects both men and women almost equally
  • Currently, there is no cure for IBS, but there are treatments that address the symptoms or target the potential underlying cause