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A 22-year-old member asked:

is diarrhea a common symptom of irritable bowel syndrome?

12 doctor answers23 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Crespin
Gastroenterology 28 years experience
Yes: Diarrhea is a frequent symptom of ibs. There are 3 different types of ibs, 1) diarrhea predominant 2) constipation predominant and 3) alternating. However, diarrhea can also be seen in other conditions including celiac sprue, aids and crohns.
Dr. Jack Hinkle
Specializes in Family Medicine
Yes: Diarrhea is a common symptom, as is constipation, or alternating constipation and diarrhea. But, this is a diagnosis of exclusion, and other causes should be ruled out first.
Dr. Latisha Smith
Wound care 38 years experience
Yes: Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by both frequent stools and constipation, along with abdominal cramping. When diarrhea is the sole symptom of bowel dysfunction it is important to look for other problems such as malabsorption or colitis. The treatment of the diarrhea is irritable bowel is different from that used in colitis so it is important to differentiate the 2 conditions.
Dr. Scott Maron
Specializes in Internal Medicine
Yes: Diarrhea, constipation, bloating, abdominal pain can all be symptoms of irritable bowel. Of course this does not mean that all people who have any of these symptom occasionally have irritable bowel. It is also important to note that other diseases can cause these issues. Please consult with your doctor if you have any or all of these symptoms for more than a week.
Dr. Cynthia Point
Specializes in Internal Medicine
Yes: It can be, but so can constipation, or alternating between the two conditions. If this is something new for a patient, then other causes need to looked for, such as an infection, intolerance to a food or additive, like sorbitol in non sugared gum, or more serious conditions like inflammation in the colon.
Dr. Theodore Cole
Specializes in Family Medicine
Yes: Yes, it is. Constipation is also common, and can alternate with the diarrhea. Some people have more of one than the other. Regardless of the type, these are symptoms of an underlying issue that effects the ability of the bowel to regulate properly. Common causes are gut dysbiosis (infections), food allergies, and neurotransmitter disruption.
Dr. Andrew Carroll
Dr. Andrew Carrollanswered
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Yes: There are two types of ibs, ibs-c and ibs-d, the c stands for constipation and the d is for diarrhea. Each is related to what it causes for the patient.
Dr. Dean Giannone
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Yes: Diarrhea happens with ibs. There exists a diarrhea-predominant form of ibs. As well, there exists a "no holds barred" type of IBS with diarrhea, constipation and bloating.
Dr. Paige Gutheil
Family Medicine 19 years experience
Yes: Diarrhea, bloating, intestinal cramping and sudden urge to deficate are common symptoms of ibs. Constipation can also be a symptom though. It also important to realize that there are many other causes of diarrhea besides IBS that need to be ruled out.
Dr. Kathleen Cullen
Internal Medicine 9 years experience
Yes: Clinically IBS includes loose stools usually after meals and in am alternating with constipation. Weight loss, rectal bleeding, onset after age 50, fever, or nocturnal pain are not typical with IBS and other more serious conditions should be ruled out.
Dr. Kenneth Adler
Family Medicine 40 years experience
Yes: Other common symptoms are constipation, bloating, and abdominal cramping. Patients frequently only have some of these symptoms.
Dr. Michael Rothman
Internal Medicine 35 years experience
Absolutely: Irritable bowel syndrome is the multifactorial consequence of hormonal, immune system and nervous system dysfunction resulting from genetic predispositions and dietary and environmental insults. The predominant symptoms like diarrhea cramps constipation are the result of autonomic nervous system instability. Pts like you may benefit from a metabolically directed approach check out mdwellnessmd.Com.

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