Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder that affects the large intestine (colon), causes pain and discomfort in the abdomen and leads to changes in bowel movements.

There are four types of IBS:

  • IBS with constipation (IBS-C)
  • IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D)
  • Mixed IBS (IBS-M)
  • Unsubtyped IBS (IBS-U)

Symptoms include:

IBS symptoms can vary widely from person to person and fluctuate in intensity. They may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • White mucus in the stool

Treatment includes:

At present there is no cure for IBS, thus the goal of treatment is symptom relief. Treatment typically includes:

Lifestyle changes:

  • Eliminate or limit caffeine, alcohol, fatty foods, and artificial sweeteners
  • Exercise
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Get enough sleep
  • Consider elimination of FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols)


  • Fiber and/or laxatives to help alleviate constipation
  • Anti-diarrheal medications
  • Anticholinergic and antispasmodic medications to address bowel spasms
  • Antidepressant medications to help relieve depression as well as inhibit the activity of neurons that control the intestines
  • Antibiotics to reduce bloating
  • Other medications may be indicated

Note: This information shouldn’t take the place of a physician’s care. Please see your physician or Dr. Suman Kaur of Digestive Disease Associates with any questions or concerns: (630) 325-4255.