Are you wondering what IBS stands for? Or maybe you’ve been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but are unsure exactly what this means?

In this first episode of Relief TV, we get back to the basics of understanding what IBS is and what the symptoms are. Read on to learn how to find out if you have IBS.

And if anyone you care about is struggling with this, please share this video with them to help them along their journey.

IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It affects millions of people around the world. If you are wondering what IBS is and if you or someone you love might have it, read on.

What is the Difference Between IBS and IBD?

You may have heard of several different acronyms like IBS and IBD. These are very different conditions. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) includes both Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and involves inflammation in the digestive tract along with other symptoms different from IBS. Let’s dig in a little more to understand IBS.

What is IBS?

According to the Merck Manual, which is used by health professionals, IBS is characterized by recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort that is accompanied by at least two of the following:

  • Relief by defecation
  • Change in frequency of stool or
  • Change in consistency of stool

What does this mean? You may have IBS if you find your abdominal pain or discomfort gets better after having a bowel movement and have a change in your bowel movements (aka poo). Perhaps your stool is more loose and watery or harder and dryer.

Diagnosis of IBS is not done by excluding other conditions. Your medical doctor should be using this criteria to help you figure out what’s going on in your body.

What are the Symptoms of IBS?

You may also experience other symptoms like gas, distension or bloating. You probably DON’T have IBS if you have gas or bloating but regular bowel movements and no abdominal pain.

Everyone experiences IBS symptoms a little differently. You may experience symptoms all day, every day or more mildly at some times and more severe at other times. You may experience symptoms just a couple times each month. Also, what symptoms you experience can be different, and could range from bloating and distension, to mild gas and flatulence. Some people will have diarrhea or loose stool one day a week and others will have diarrhea 5 times each day. Others will experience constipation. There are two types of IBS; IBS-C and IBS-D where the C and D stand for constipation and diarrhea based on which problem you might be having more frequently.

How is IBS Diagnosed?

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned, talk to your doctor right away. There are some tests your doctor may use to help you figure out exactly what you are suffering from so that you can get a plan in place to find relief and get better. It’s best to work with a dietitian who can be your advocated and help you through the process of identifying triggers and helping you better manage your symptoms.

The symptoms of IBS can be quite embarrassing and uncomfortable, especially when you are at work, running errands, or around friends. It can feel awkward to talk about these issues, causing many people to suffer in silence. I hope that by raising awareness about IBS, you can feel more comfortable talking about this issue and seek help to heal and get back to feeling like your normal self.

For more information about IBS, check out this post: All About Irritable Bowel Syndrome.


Wishing you good gut health and wellness,

Stephanie and The Team


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