The 3 Common Types Of IBS Most People Will Experience

November 29, 2023
The 3 Common Types Of IBS Most People Will Experience

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastrointestinal issues many will experience in their life. And its effects differ between individuals. One person may experience chronic bloating, stomach pain, and constipation, while another may experience a one-off diarrhoea or constipation.


Nevertheless, there are three common types of IBS that many suffer from. The fortunate news is that they are treatable and manageable.


1. IBS-C (Constipation-predominant)

IBS-C is a chronic gastrointestinal condition that results in infrequent stools that are hard to clear, abdominal pain, and frequent bloating. While it will not threaten your life, IBS-C can be uncomfortable, interfering with your daily life.


IBS-C happens as a result of changes in the colon, leading to slower peristalsis, which is the rhythmic contraction of the colon muscles. Certain foods can also trigger the change, such as those containing high levels of fibre, wheat, and dairy products.


While there is no cure for IBS-C, you can manage the condition by making certain dietary and lifestyle changes, on top of taking certain medications to alleviate the symptoms.


2. IBS-D (Diarrhoea-predominant)

IBS-D is an IBS subtype that involves diarrhoea as the main symptom. Individuals suffering from IBS-D typically experience frequent, watery, loose bowel movements. While the exact cause is not known, the abnormally faster contractions of the intestinal muscles often result in less water being absorbed from digested foods, leading to the development of more watery stools.


Additionally, individuals with gut infections can also result in the development of IBS-D. Food allergies and sensitivities, such as lactose or gluten intolerance, can also trigger IBS-D.


3. IBS-M (Mixed diarrhoea and constipation-predominant)

When you suffer from IBS-M, you essentially experience every common symptom of IBS, but without a consistent bowel habit, meaning one moment you might have constipation, another moment you might have diarrhoea. The constant change in bowel habits makes it harder to relieve your discomfort.


How does suffering from IBS affect your daily life?

IBS is known to result in both physical and psychological discomfort. Studies have shown that those suffering from IBS have a higher risk of developing psychiatric conditions, such as depression and anxiety.


The fundamental reason is most likely linked to how they assume society perceives their condition. The lack of understanding can lead individuals suffering from IBS to feel depressed and frustrated at their situation.


How to treat IBS?

Treatment varies depending on the subtype of the condition. For some, over-the-counter medications might suffice; for others, prescribed medications are vital to help manage the associated symptoms.


Because gut and mental health are closely related, some studies have shown that managing their psychiatric conditions can, in turn, improve IBS and vice versa. It is also crucial to pursue an elimination diet to determine the food source that may trigger IBS symptoms.


If it still does not help to ease the condition, consuming smaller meals several times a day rather than the three standard mealtimes can help to maintain the consistency of your bowel movements.



IBS is often confused with an upset tummy. Knowing their key differences is key to solving your condition as soon as possible. While IBS is a common and treatable issue, it can still be a problematic condition that can affect your daily life severely.


GUTCARE is here to help if you think that you are suffering from IBS. In fact, because IBS shares several symptoms with other gastrointestinal issues, it is always best to conduct a gastroenterology checkup to give you peace of mind.


Click here to make an appointment with us today!



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