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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Understand the signs, symptoms and treatment options for living with IBS.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder affecting the intestine. IBS involves problems with motility (movement of digested food through the intestines) and sensitivity (how the brain interprets signals from the intestinal nerves), leading to abdominal pain, changes in bowel patterns and other symptoms. Although often disruptive, debilitating and embarrassing, it may be some comfort to know that IBS is not life-threatening, nor does it lead to cancer or other more serious illnesses. 

Canada has one of the highest rates of IBS in the world, estimated 18% vs 11% globally  (Lovell et al. 2012). However, it is thought that IBS often remains under diagnosed. More than 70% indicate that their symptoms interfere with everyday life and 46% report missing work or school due to IBS. (Gastrointestinal Society 2016).

People with IBS frequently report feeling depressed, embarrassed and self-conscious. Their inability to predict symptoms places significant burden on daily living. IBS limits productivity and performance at work, has a negative effect on the quality of relationships, and limits participation in routine social activity (Gastrointestinal Society 2018).

IBS also has a personal financial burden with individuals sometimes trying multiple over-the-counter (OTC) treatments and alternative therapies in their quest to be symptom-free; costs can be significant due to the lack of information about the effectiveness of these purported remedies (Gastrointestinal Society 2018).

The underlying cause of IBS is still unclear and there is no diagnostic disease markers for IBS. Guidelines recommend doctors make a positive diagnosis using criteria that are based on person’s symptoms. 

Subtypes of IBS are recognised by the Rome IV criteria based on the person’s reported predominant bowel habit, when not on medications, as follows: 

  • IBS-C: with predominant constipation (Bristol types 1 and 2). 
  • IBS-D: with predominant diarrhea (Bristol types 6 and 7). 
  • IBS-M: with both constipation and diarrhea (Bristol types 1 and 6).

More questions? See our top 10 IBS questions: Answered here. 

What is IBS-C?

Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation, also referred to as IBS-C, is a distressing condition that can significantly affect the quality of life of those affected.

Constipation occurs when digested food moves slowly through the digestive tract. As a result, stool remain in the large intestines for prolonged periods of time where the intestines remove excess water causing stool to become hard, dry, lumpy and difficult to pass.

What is IBS-D?

Irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea is IBS with diarrhea as the primary symptom, also referred to as IBS-D.

People with IBS-D experience frequent abdominal pain and watery bowel movements, and, on occasion, loss of bowel control. In fact, approximately 1 out of every 3 people with IBS-D have loss of bowel control or soiling. This has a strong, negative impact on day-to-day life, however these and other symptoms of IBS-D can be managed.

Sound like you? 

You should see your physician. The American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) recommends to patients three steps to improve communication with their physician: 

  1. Speak up early: talk to a doctor as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms, not just with a family or friend
  2. Speak up completely: detail the symptoms to your HCP. A great way to do this is by downloading our new app to help you track symptoms daily .
  3. Speak up often: Inform the doctor on the evolution of your symptoms after any new treatment efforts so that alternative treatment approaches can begin.


Gastrointestinal Society. 2018. IBS Global Impact Report 2018. https://badgut-5q10xayth7t3zjokbv.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/IBS-Global-Impact-Report.pdf [accessed 3 September 2018]

Gastrointestinal Society. 2016. 2016 Survey Report: Irritable bowel syndrome. https://badgut-5q10xayth7t3zjokbv.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/IBS-Survey-Results-2016.pdf [accessed 3 September 2018]

Lovell RM and Ford AC. Global prevalence of and risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome: A meta-analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Jul;10(7):712-21.e4.

IBS is not a single entity. It’s a collection of abdominal and bowel-related symptoms. Symptoms common in IBS that support a diagnosis are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal stool frequency
  • Urgency
  • Cramps
  • Bloating
  • Abnormal stool from
  • Straining at defecation
  • Feeling like you haven’t completely emptied your bowels 
  • Mucus in stool 

While most people experience digestive troubles once in a while, what sets IBS apart is abdominal pain and diarrhea or constipation that comes back again and again. At times, the pain and discomfort of IBS symptoms may be severe and debilitating, and at other times, they may improve or even disappear completely.

Signs & symptoms of IBS with constipation (IBS-C)

When living with IBS-C, symptoms may suddenly worsen (flare) and then improve for no apparent reason. When symptoms flare, they may be severe, debilitating and last for days or months. Possible signs and symptoms of IBS-C are:

  • abdominal pain or discomfort
  • gas, bloating and abdominal distention
  • straining when having a bowel movement
  • a sense that something is blocking your rectum
  • infrequent bowel movements (less than three per week)
  • feeling like you have not completed your bowel movement other illnesses so that those can be ruled out.
  • diarrhea or loose, watery stools, especially in the morning or after meals
  • passing stools three or more times per day
  • sudden urgency before bowel movements
  • feeling of incomplete emptying after bowel movements
  • abdominal pain or cramping
  • loss of bowel control or soiling yourself

What causes irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

The exact cause of IBS is unknown, however, it is believed that IBS may be caused by one of several factors. In some patients, it may be linked to a prior infection or event which disrupts the normal functioning of the intestines. It is common for people to develop IBS following a gastrointestinal infection, food poisoning, traveller’s diarrhea, surgery, a change in diet or the use of antibiotics or new medications. In others, an imbalance of intestinal bacteria or a change in the body’s level of hormones, immune signaling in the bowel wall or neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) may also lead to the development of IBS. Currently, there is a great deal of interest in possible alterations in the number or type of bacteria within the intestine, but the exact role this may play in IBS is not yet known. In people with IBS, bowel function can be altered in several ways:

  • Motility (movement of contents through the intestines): Normally, waves of coordinated intestinal muscle contractions (peristalsis) transport digested food through the intestines. In people with IBS, the rhythm and coordination of these contractions may be altered. This altered motor function can result in the bowel moving too quickly (causing diarrhea) or too slowly (causing constipation) and can lead to spasm and pain.
  • Sensitivity (how the brain interprets signals from the intestinal nerves): The network of nerves surrounding the digestive organs may become unusually sensitive. For some people with IBS, even a small change in intestinal activity can trigger the nerves to send messages to the brain causing abdominal pain.
  • Brain-gut dysfunction:In IBS, there may be problems in how the brain receives and processes sensations coming from the intestines. A malfunction may occur along the many different pathways that connect the brain and gut, interfering with the normal function of the intestines. Many aspects of everyday living can trigger or aggravate IBS symptoms. Triggers vary from person to person, but the most common ones include certain foods, medications, emotional stress and hormone fluctuations. In particular, foods such as caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks, fatty foods, certain fruits and vegetables, as well as lactose, fructose and gluten (wheat protein) can cause problems for people with IBS.

Risk factors of IBS

  • Age: IBS can affect people of all ages, but it often begins in the teen years or early adulthood.
  • Gender: IBS affects more women than men.
  • Family history of IBS: People with a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) with IBS are at greater risk of developing the condition.

What causes IBS with constipation (IBS-C)?

The cause of IBS-C is not yet known; however, there are a variety of factors that may contribute to the disorder. These include:

  • Intestinal motility: The walls of the intestines are lined with layers of muscles that contract and relax in a coordinated rhythm as they move food from your stomach to your intestines through a process called peristalsis. For those with IBS-C, contractions within the intestine may be reduced or delayed causing gas, bloating and stool to move slower than normal.
  • Nerve Hyper-Sensitivity: Poorly coordinated signals between the brain and the gut can make your body overreact to the activities taking place during digestion causing increased sensitivity. This may explain why those with IBS-C experience abdominal pain and discomfort. Excess fluid absorption: Constipation results when the intestine absorbs too much fluid from the stool, which can occur because of reduced or delayed contractions. Brain-bowel connection: There is a strong connection between our brain and bowel. This is sometimes called the brain-gut connection. In individuals with IBS-C, a possible disconnect or miscommunication between the mind and gut, may impact motility, pain sensitivity and fluid absorption. This disconnect may result in abdominal pain, discomfort and constipation.

Risks associated with IBS-C

If left untreated, IBS-C can potentially lead to additional health complications. These include:

  • Hemorrhoids: enlarged veins (blood vessels) in the rectum that may bleed or descend through the anus
  • Anal fissure: a crack in the lining of the anus caused when large or hard stools stretch the anal sphincter
  • Fecal impaction: a mass of hard stool that cannot be excreted by a normal bowel movement and may need to be removed manually
  • Rectal prolapse: rectal tissue pushes out through the anus
  • Lazy bowel syndrome: caused from frequent use of laxatives to have bowel function properly

What causes irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D)

Although the exact cause of IBS-D is unknown, it is believed that IBS-D may be caused by one of several factors:

  • Brain-gut dysfunction: There is a dynamic bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain. A malfunction may occur along the many different pathways that connect the brain and gut and changes in one pathway ultimately cannot affect others.
  • Bacterial Infection: Food poisoning, traveler’s diarrhea. These infectious agents are cleared from the body typically within days but lead to chronic alterations in motility (gut too fast or too slow) and abnormal sensory signalling to the brain.
  • Bile acids: These are normally absorbed in the small bowel but some patients spill too many into the large bowel (colon) and this can trigger diarrhea and cramps.
  • Food Sensitivity: Many patients have meal-induced symptoms. Some patients have a hypersensitive gut and meals induce gut motility (e.g. distention) that can cause symptoms. There is also growing evidence that some food may also have specific actions on gut motility and this could involve alterations in the microbiome or that an individual’s microbiome might also make them more susceptible to specific foods. However much more research is needed in this area.
  • Use of antibiotics or new medications: Antibiotics can cause an imbalance of intestinal bacteria and other medications a change in the motility in the gut.
  • Stress and anxiety: These are not the cause of lBS-D but are recognized as a common trigger of symptoms in some individuals.
  • Heredity: IBS-D can run in families but it is unclear how much of this association is related to some common environment or genetics. Recent research has identified one or more genetic defects that could be involved in a sub-set of IBS but further studies are needed to determine whether these defects are important. Consequently, genetic testing is not indicated.

Risks associated with IBS-D

If left untreated, IBS-D can potentially lead to additional health complications. These include:

  • Diarrhea may aggravate hemorrhoids in people who already have them.
  • Eliminating many foods from the diet may result in a diet that is too limited in nutrients that could cause health problems.
  • Stress and anxiety can result from the pain, and can impact a person’s quality of life.

Testing for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Often, symptoms alone can provide doctors with the information they need to diagnose IBS. Your doctor will perform a physical examination and take a complete medical history that includes a careful review of your symptoms. For this reason, it is important to be candid and specific with your doctor about the problems you are having. A set of specific symptom criteria (referred to by physicians as the Rome IV Criteria) has been developed to help physicians diagnose IBS.

Rome IV Criteria

In May 2016, the Rome Foundation released the new Rome IV criteria for diagnosing IBS. All around the world, physicians follow this organization’s lead when diagnosing IBS.

According to the Rome IV diagnostic criteria, IBS is characterised by recurrent abdominal pain for, on average, at least one day per week in the last three months, associated with two or more of the following:

  • Symptoms related to defecation
  • Symptoms associated with a change in stool frequency
  • Symptoms associated with a change in form (appearance) of stool

Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Take comfort in knowing that IBS is an extremely common problem, and in many cases, simple changes in your lifestyle and diet can provide symptom relief. However, no one treatment works for everyone and treatment will depend on the types of symptoms you have, their severity and how they affect your daily life.

Your doctor may recommend prescription or over the counter products if your IBS symptoms are severe and if lifestyle and dietary strategies have not helped. Typically, medications are targeted at the dominant symptom – diarrhea, constipation or pain.

  • Antispasmodic medications may help reduce muscle spasms, abdominal pain and cramping.
  • Antidepressant medications, in low doses, act on the chemical messengers in the digestive tract and can help relieve diarrhea, pain and cramping. In higher doses, these medications help to relieve depression and anxiety that may accompany IBS.
  • Antidiarrheal medications, such as Loperamide, can help control diarrhea by reducing stool frequency and slowing the movement of the intestines.
  • Laxatives speed up the motion of stool through the intestines and may be prescribed for people who have IBS with constipation. Laxatives are available in prescription or over-the-counter formulations. Speak to your doctor about which one is best for you.
  • Prosecretory and analgesic agents, which increase the amount of fluid in the digestive tract as well as reduce the sensitivity of pain nerves in the intestines. They have been shown to soften bowel movements and make them occur more often, reduce the amount of bloating and to decrease abdominal pain in patients with IBS.

Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C)

It is important to find a solution that works best for you so you can find relief and enjoy the best quality of life possible despite IBS-C. Your healthcare provider will try to help you manage your symptoms. Recommendations generally begin with changes to lifestyle and diet. If those changes do not bring relief, over-the-counter (OTC) products or prescription medications may be prescribed.


While lifestyle and dietary changes can play a role in helping manage mild IBS-C symptoms, if your symptoms do not improve or even worsen, you may require further intervention. Over the Counter (OTC) and prescription therapies are available for treating IBS-C. OTC medications are recommended for short term/occasional use. If you symptoms are still unresolved, you should consult with your health care provider. With the right medication, you should find relief and prevent IBS-C from inhibiting your everyday activities and quality of life.

OTC therapies for IBS-C:

  • Osmotic laxatives: are non-stimulant laxatives that draw water into the colon, increase bowel movements and allow stool to pass through the colon more easily.
  • Bulk-forming laxatives are non-stimulants containing fibre. Fibre brings water into the colon, softens and increases the bulk of stool, and softens stool. Psyllium or methylcellulose are the most common bulking laxatives used.
  • Stool softeners are non-stimulants, which soften the stool by reducing surface tension and allowing intestinal fluids to penetrate the stool to make it softer and easier to pass. Stimulant laxatives stimulate the nerves and muscles of the intestine to trigger a bowel movement by increasing contractions of muscles in the intestine. This helps stool pass through the colon more quickly.

Prescription Medications for IBS-C

Some IBS-C patients do not find relief with lifestyle and diet changes nor over the counter medications. These individuals need safe and effective long-term therapies. There are currently two classes of prescription medications that may help. These are:

  • Prokinetic agents which stimulate movement and contractions of the bowel. This increases the speed with which stool travel through the digestive system, increases frequency of bowel movements, and reduces IBS-C symptoms.
  • Prosecretory and analgesic agents increase the amount of fluid in the digestive tract as well as reduce the sensitivity of pain nerves in the intestines. They have been shown to soften bowel movements and make them occur more often, reduce the amount of bloating and to decrease abdominal pain in patients with IBS-C.
  • Identify food triggers – Tracking foods you eat and logging the times you experienced symptoms/distress may help reveal connections between food and IBS-D. You should take detailed notes that should include the types and amounts of foods eaten and the time of consumption. It’s important to also record the time and description of distressing bowel events or related pain and discomfort. Below are some dietary considerations which you may want to discuss with your doctor and/or registered dietitian.
  • High-fat foods may worsen symptoms of IBS-D
  • Dairy products – lactose free products may be better tolerated
  • Avoid alcohol
  • A reduction of caffeine may be beneficial. This includes caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, tea, colas and energy drinks
  • Sorbitol sweeteners (found in some chewing gum) may be problematic
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Probiotic supplements such as lactobacillus acidophilus may help alleviate IBS symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, and bowel movement irregularity. Ask your health care professional for more information.
  • A diet low in FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-saccharides, di-saccharides, mono-saccharides, and polyols), a group of short-chain carbohydrates, may help relieve symptoms. The diet is used in the short-term followed by re-introduction to assess tolerance to individual foods. Consult your health-care professional for more information.
  • Eating large meals also may trigger abdominal cramping and diarrhea. It’s best to eat smaller meals.
  • Fibre may be helpful in reducing symptoms of IBS-D. If a trial of a fiber supplement such as psyllium is used, fiber should be added gradually, because it initially may worsen bloating and gassiness. If you have IBS-D, look for foods with more soluble fiber, the type that takes longer to digest (such as that found in oats).
  • Stress is considered one of the triggers of IBS symptoms. Here are some healthy habits that may also help reduce IBS symptoms.
  • Exercise may improve and could reduce stress.
  • Get enough rest. This allows your body to maintain basic function, repair and manage stress.
  • Use relaxation techniques: deep breathing, visualization, Yoga.
  • Consult a professional trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Gut Directed Hypnotherapy.

Medications for IBS-D

While lifestyle and dietary changes can play a role in helping manage mild IBS-D symptoms, if your symptoms do not improve, you may require further intervention. Over the Counter (OTC) and prescription therapies are available for treating IBS-D.

OTC medications are recommended for short term/occasional use. If your symptoms are still unresolved, you should consult with your health care provider. With the right medication, you may find relief and prevent IBS-D from inhibiting your everyday activities and quality of life.

OTC therapies for IBS-D

  • Peppermint oil (For this therapy to work, the l-Menthol needs to reach the small intestine. CDHF Recommends you ask you doctor about IBgard with its SST® (Site Specific Targeting) technology which delivers microspheres of peppermint oil quickly and reliably in the small intestine. 
  • Probiotic
  • Fibre
  • Alpha galactosidase enzymes (e.g. Beano), simethicone, although efficacy with many products is not proven.

Prescription Drugs for IBS-D

IBS-D patients suffer from a multitude of symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea. The commonly used prescription drugs only address a single symptom rather than the constellation of symptoms observed in IBS-D patients. Recent advancements in the treatment of IBS have produced newer medications that not only treat the multiple symptoms but have been specifically studied and approved for use by Health Canada in IBS-D patients.

Physicians may now prescribe one or a combination of drugs that:

  • reduce abdominal pain by blocking the pain signals to the brain
  • relax the muscles in the gut to reduce diarrhea and the urgent, uncontrollable need to use the washroom (urgency)
  • reduce both abdominal and bowel symptoms including pain, bloating, urgency and diarrhea Your doctor can determine if a combination or a single treatment is right for you.
  • Canada has one of the highest prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in the world – estimated 18% vs. 11% globally. (Lovell et al. 2012)
  • More than 70% indicate that their symptoms interfere with everyday life and 46% report missing work or school due to IBS. (Gastrointestinal Society 2016)
  • 54% of those with IBS experience symptoms of fatigue. (Gastrointestinal Society 2018; Han et al. 2016)
  • 40 to 60% of those with IBS experience psychological symptoms, including anxiety disorders and depression. (Gastrointestinal Society 2018)
  • On average, IBS patients reported they would give up 25% of their remaining life (15 years) to live a symptom-free life. (Gastrointestinal Society 2018)
  • Data from the US suggest that on average, costs are US$2,026 more per year per patient among those with IBS as compared to those without IBS. (Buono et al. 2017)
  • On average, it takes 4 years for an individual to receive a definitive diagnosis of IBS. (Gastrointestinal Society 2018)
  • In Canada, 45% of the direct costs for IBS treatment are attributed to diagnostic tests. (Fedorak et al. 2012)


Buono JL et al. Economic burden of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea: Retrospective analysis of a U.S. commercially insured population. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2017 Apr;23(4):453-60.

Fedorak RN et al. Canadian Digestive Health Foundation Public Impact Series 3: Irritable bowel syndrome in Canada. Incidence, prevalence, and direct and indirect economic impact. Can J Gastroenterol. 2012 May;26(5):252-6.

Gastrointestinal Society. 2018. IBS Global Impact Report 2018. https://badgut-5q10xayth7t3zjokbv.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/IBS-Global-Impact-Report.pdf [accessed 3 September 2018]

Gastrointestinal Society. 2016. 2016 Survey Report: Irritable bowel syndrome. https://badgut-5q10xayth7t3zjokbv.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/IBS-Survey-Results-2016.pdf [accessed 3 September 2018]

Han CJ and Yang GS. Fatigue in irritable bowel syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis of pooled frequency and severity of fatigue. Asian Nurs Res (Korean Soc Nurs Sci). 2016 Mar;10(1):1-10.

Lovell RM and Ford AC. Global prevalence of and risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome: A meta-analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Jul;10(7):712-21.e4.

What is the cause of excessive flatulence and burping?

This is a common problem! We all pass gas and or experience burping but for some people, these symptoms can be really bothersome. It is important to recognize that everyone has gas in the digestive tract. When there is some gas and fluid in the intestines, movements (contractions) of the intestines to propel the contents onwards may cause rumblings.

There two major causes of excessive gas:

First, subconscious swallowing of air can result in excessive burping. Eating slowly, avoiding gum chewing and smoking, rectifying problems that lead to phlegm accumulation in the back of the throat (such as postnasal drip), and correcting a habit of clearing the throat and swallowing can help minimize air swallowing. Belching often induces instinctive reflex swallowing with further gas accumulation so you need to make a conscious effort not to swallow after each belch.

And second, gas can form as a result of the breakdown of certain dietary items, especially carbohydrates, by bacteria normally present in the large intestine. Foods that cause gas include beans, broccoli, cabbage, fruit drinks, carbonated drinks, and dairy products. Beano (obtainable over-the-counter) may help to reduce gas formation when you have a lot of vegetables and fruits at any meal.

There is no one answer or diagnosis that applies to all people. I suggest that you contact your family doctor and discuss your symptoms and the tests he or she might want to do.

How common is IBS?

IBS is very common. In fact, Canada has one of the highest rates of IBS in the world, estimated 18% vs. 11% globally (Lovell et al. 2012).

What are the most common symptoms?

Abdominal Pain, irregular bowl patterns that result in constipation, diarrhea, or alternating periods of both. 

How do you know if you have IBS?

A set of specific symptom criteria (referred to by physicians as the Rome Criteria) has been developed to help physicians diagnose IBS.

Can IBS kill you?

No. IBS is a chronic (long term), but manageable condition.  Over time, the symptoms of IBS typically do not get worse, and with an effective treatment plan, as many as one-third of IBS patients may eventually become symptom-free.

Are there any complications of IBS?

While IBS can cause pain and stress, it does not cause any permanent damage to the bowel or lead to cancer or any other major illness.

Is there an IBS Diet?

One of the most common diets recommended by healthcare professionals to alleviate IBS symptoms is the FODMAP diet. Fermentable carbohydrates (also known as FODMAPs), are small carbohydrate (sugar) molecules found in everyday foods that may be poorly absorbed in the small intestine of some people. FODMAPs are fermented (digested) by intestinal bacteria, which can lead to symptoms of abdominal pain, excess gas, constipation and/or diarrhea. Following a low-FODMAP diet may help to reduce gastrointestinal symptoms in 75% of IBS patients.

Learn more about the FODMAP diet here.  Check out the other diets here.  

Will probiotics help my IBS?

If other dietary strategies have not been successful in relieving your symptoms, a trial of a probiotic (in the dose recommended) may be helpful. However, Probiotics are not medicine! They are available to purchase as capsules, tablets or powders, and can also be found in some fortified yogurts and fermented milk products. However, not all probiotics are the same. It is important to choose a product that is proven to be safe and offers benefits for the specific symptoms you want to relieve.  Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about which probiotic may be right for YOU.

Are there other ways to manage IBS?

There are medications approved in Canada for IBS (over the counter or prescription) that can help your symptoms as well.  Peppermint Oilis a relatively new treatment option out there has recently been confirmed in a clinical trial. Peppermint can relax muscle, eases hypersensitivity in the bowels, and modulates pain in IBS. 

IBgard is a new clinically tested capsule filled with tiny beads of peppermint oil, using a technology called SST (Site Specific Targeting). It is the only product of its kind on the market that has gone through a clinical trial. It has been proven to be effective and safe in relieving symptoms in patients with moderate to severe IBS-M and IBS-D.

This product is easily attainable and available over the counter. Patients tested saw relief in symptoms over the course of 24 hours and continued relief over a 3-4 week period. You can read the full clinical study  here, or, if you’re interested in giving IBgard a try, you can also fill out a survey to get a free trial sample here.

How is IBS different than IBD?

Although both illnesses can be seriously debilitating, there are several primary differences between Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBD is an autoimmune disorder that causes swelling and ulcerations (sores) in the bowel. IBS involves problems with motility (how the bowel moves contents through our intestines) and sensitivity (how the brain interprets sensations in the bowel). Symptoms of IBS may wax and wane and possibly disappear altogether whereas IBD is a chronic condition.

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Women drinking wine with pink microbe background

Alcohol and IBS


Patient Experiences using IBgard to Combat Symptoms of IBS

stack of toilet paper

TRULANCE® (plecanatide tablets) for Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation in Adults Is now Available to Canadians

Bio-K+ IBS Pro

Bio-K+ IBS Pro – CDHF Certified Product

IB Gard box on kitchen counter

IBgard® – CDHF Certified Product