Digestive health should be something that everyone thinks about, but unless you have issues, it falls to the back of your mind. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) sufferers know all too well how their gut effects their lives. Stress, food, and hormones can make the gut act up, causing us to break dates or alter our “normal” lives. While IBS is placed under one big umbrella, there are many types of IBS, and even with those suffering from the same type, no two people are the same. Below are the types of IBS, as well as their known triggers.

IBS-D

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IBS-D refers to diarrhea. Unlike a normal upset stomach that can happen to most of us, IBS-D in a disorder that never truly goes away. This is a chronic condition that has frequent bouts of abdominal pain and diarrhea, along with other symptoms. Chills can be common, as can joint pain and gas. While studies have shown why IBS-D occurs, there are not total cures available. The common consensus is that muscles in the gastrointestinal tract react too often, creating loose bowels. Nerves in the bowel tract do not respond as they should to digestive signals, and these signals misfire when communicating with the brain. Stress is a common enemy of all types of IBS, but especially for IBS-D. Foods can also play a big part, as well. Greasy foods, fatty foods, and sugar foods are all big players, but many find that fresh fruits and veggies can cause issues.

IBS-C

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IBS-C refers to chronic constipation. Stomach aches, bloating, gas, and pain are all symptoms of IBS-C. While we are all constipated from time to time, IBS-C sufferers can go not only days, but sometimes over a week without a bowel movement. Like IBS-D, signals in the gastrointestinal tract are misfiring, and miscommunication with the brain doesn’t let your body digest properly. These miscommunications send the wrong signals back to your gut, relaying a message to slow down the bowel movements. This causes constipation. While laxatives and laxative-type foods such as coffee can be a quick fix, they are not efficient in solving the problem. They can also be addictive, causing even more issues. Fiber supplements, such as Metamucil can help regulate your system.

IBS-A

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IBS-A, or “alternating” features alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea. This can be tough to diagnose, and it can be tough to treat. But moderation and steadiness in your diet and lifestyle is key to regulating your bowels. Fiber supplements are great for IBS-A, as it can regulate your constipation bouts and bulk up your diarrhea bouts. Another thing to try not only for IBS-A but for IBS-D are peppermint capsules or peppermint tea. Peppermint can help calm the digestive tract, and has been found to be beneficial to those with stomach issues. Just make sure that if you choose capsules that they are made to dissolve in the digestive tract and not the stomach (the label should state it).