MLD Blog Image



Managing IBS can be difficult if you have a busy schedule. Online doctors can help you monitor your condition on the go. Find doctors online through online health services and make treatment simple! Irritable bowel syndrome, or irritable bowel disease, is a chronic condition of the gastrointestinal system. It is a common GI disease that affects up to 15% of the population worldwide! Most people with IBS do not experience symptoms or are able to manage them with an appropriate diet, lifestyle changes and stress management. Other more severe cases may be managed by medication and counseling.

IBS is characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, mucous in stools, irregular bowel habits, and alternating diarrhea and constipation. If you think you have IBS or aren’t quite sure about it explain these symptoms to your doctor. You can find doctors online as well that can provide professional medical advice.

Other names of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or irritable bowel disease (IBD) are spastic colitis, mucus colitis, and nervous colon. IBS can make the patient uncomfortable but most people will not experience severe complications.

Fun facts about IBS

  • IBS can cause discomfort, but serious complications seldom occur
  • Currently, IBS can be managed but there is no cure for IBS.
  • Dietary and emotional factors can play a key role in IBS.
  • Reducing alcohol intake may relieve symptoms.
  • Excluding foods that cause gas can also improve symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of IBS

The most common symptoms experienced by people with IBS are:

  • changes in bowel habits
  • abdominal pain and cramping, which get better after using the bathroom
  • a feeling of incomplete bowel evacuation after using the bathroom
  • excess gas (flatus)
  • passing of mucus from the back passage, or rectum
  • a sudden urgent need to use the bathroom
  • swelling or bloating of the abdomen

Symptoms often worsen after eating. A flare-up may last from 2 to 4 days, and then symptoms may either improve or go away completely. Signs and symptoms vary from individual to individual. Most symptoms are non-specific and often resemble those of other diseases and conditions. They can also affect different parts of the body.

Such signs and symptoms include:

  • frequent urination
  • halitosis, or bad breath
  • headache
  • joint or muscle pain
  • persistent fatigue
  • pain with sex (for females) or sexual dysfunction
  • irregular menses
  • Anxiety and depression may also occur

If you experience any of the above signs and symptoms go see your doctor. If you are pressed for time and want to avoid ling waiting lines then find doctors online and book a tele-appointment with doctor at My live doctors. It’s a quick and convenient way to receive expert medical advice from the comfort of your own home. It’s cheaper too! All you need to do is download the app on your smartphone for FREE and sign up!  

Risk factors

Certain factors may increase the likelihood of developing IBS. For instance, many people have occasional signs and symptoms of IBS. But you're more likely to have the syndrome if you:

  • Are young. IBS occurs more frequently in people under age 50.
  • Are female. In the United States, IBS is more common among women. Estrogen therapy before or after menopause also is a risk factor for IBS.
  • Have a family history of IBS. Genes may play a role or it may be a combination of genes and environment.
  • Have a mental health problem. Anxiety, depression, stress and other mental health issues are associated with IBS.
  • Dietary factors can play a role. Symptoms are often worse after consuming certain products, such as chocolate, milk, or alcohol. There may be either constipation or diarrhea. Some fruits, vegetables, and sodas can trigger bloating and discomfort. It is unclear whether a food allergy or intolerance plays a role.

Does diet matter?

There are several dietary triggers of cramping or bloating. They include:

  • foods that cause bloating and gas, such as beans, celery, onions, carrots, raisins, bananas, apricots, prunes, brussel sprouts, pretzels, and bagels
  • dairy products
  • sugar-free gum
  • certain candies
  • caffeine-containing products, maybe due to lactose (sugar), sorbitol, or caffeine intolerance, rather than IBS

What causes IBS anyway?

The exact cause of IBS isn't known. Factors that may to play a role include:

  • Muscle contractions in the intestine. The walls of the intestines are lined with muscle layers. When they contract they move food through the digestive tract. Sometimes the muscle contractions are stronger and last longer than normal and hence lead to gas, bloating and diarrhea. Weak intestinal contractions can slow food passage and lead to hard, dry stools.
  • Nervous system. Abnormalities in the nerves that supply the digestive system may cause greater than normal discomfort when your abdomen stretches from gas or stool. Poorly coordinated signals between the brain and the intestines can cause abnormal changes that alter the normal digestive process, resulting in pain, diarrhea or constipation.
  • Inflammation in the intestines. Some people with IBS may experience an immune reaction in their intestines. This immune-system response is associated with pain and diarrhea.
  • Severe infection. IBS can develop after a severe bout of diarrhea (gastroenteritis) caused by bacteria or a virus. IBS might also be associated with an excess of bacteria in the intestines (bacterial overgrowth).
  • Changes in the gut (microflora). Microflora are the "good" bacteria that normally reside in the intestines and play a key role in health. Research indicates that microflora in people with IBS might differ from microflora in healthy people.

When should you see a doctor?

IBS rarely leads to any complications except for perhaps poor quality of life, mood swings, anxiety and depression because of the embarrassment one may face in severe cases.

You should however see your doctor if there are more persistent changes in bowel habits or other symptoms that may indicate a more serious underlying condition such as colon cancer. These symptoms include:

  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea at night
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Unexplained vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent pain that isn't relieved by passing gas or a bowel movement

If you need to connect instantly to a healthcare professional and are unable to visit a medical facility then find doctors online at My live doctors, a telemedicine portal that has doctors working around the clock to serve you. For more info on the diagnosis and treatment of IBS please visit