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Diarrhea and gas treatment: Diarrhea and IBS: How to Ease Symptoms

Diarrhea and IBS: How to Ease Symptoms

Diarrhea episodes caused by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) always seem to strike at the most inopportune times.

Invariably, the minute you’re far from a bathroom, in the middle of an important business meeting, or out on a date, that familiar rumble starts in your gut and you urgently need to find a bathroom. Perhaps the stress of those inconvenient times and the fear of an IBS episode are part of what makes diarrhea strike just at that moment — or maybe it’s related to something in your diet.

If you are living with diarrhea-predominant IBS, there are ways to manage your symptoms.

What Causes IBS Diarrhea?

IBS can cause a number of different symptoms, including diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, cramping, and gas, according to the Cleveland Clinic. These symptoms can occur individually, together, or alternate. People whose primary IBS symptom is diarrhea — a sudden, urgent need to have a bowel movement that results in loose and watery stools — have what’s called diarrhea-predominant IBS, or IBS-D.

Doctors don’t understand what causes diarrhea to occur in IBS patients, but some people notice that diarrhea strikes when they feel stressed or anxious. Others notice a pattern of diarrhea following certain foods, like dairy.

“Generally, IBS patients need to see if there are any food triggers that aggravate diarrhea. If dairy products tend to aggravate or trigger their symptoms, they may have associated lactose intolerance, and so dairy products may need to be avoided,” says Norman Gilinsky, MD, a gastroenterologist and a professor emeritus of medicine in the division of digestive diseases at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.

A growing body of evidence suggests FODMAPs, or fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, may also be culprits. These foods result in an increased volume of liquid and gas in both the small and large intestine, leading to GI distress like abdominal pain, bloating, and gas. Avoiding foods high in FODMAPs can help relieve IBS symptoms.

Foods high in FODMAPs that may trigger IBS include:

  • Fruits like apples, peaches, pears, and watermelon
  • Vegetables including onions, garlic, beets, and Brussels sprouts
  • Grains like barley, wheat, and rye
  • Dairy
  • Legumes
  • Some artificial sweeteners, specifically sorbitol and mannitol

If you notice that your diarrhea episodes seem to always occur around stressful situations, the stress that your body feels could be what’s triggering your gut to react.

“If they recognize certain stress situations will produce diarrhea — and we can’t avoid stress in what we do these days — it may be reasonable to take an Imodium ahead of time. If someone is going to take part in a meeting that may be stressful and knows that they are likely to have diarrhea and cramps, an antidiarrheal ahead of time could be very useful,” says Dr. Gilinsky.

It’s important to note that it’s unusual for those with IBS to have urgent diarrhea in the middle of the night, according to UpToDate. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing diarrhea in the middle of the night or any persistent changes in bowel habits or other symptoms of IBS — these may indicate a more serious health condition, notes the Mayo Clinic.

RELATED: 11 Foods to Avoid When You’re Having Digestive Problems

6 Ways to Manage IBS Diarrhea

No matter the cause of your IBS, there are ways to manage your symptoms to keep it from interrupting your life once, twice, or 10 times a day. Here are some suggestions to help you manage your diarrhea caused by IBS:

  1. Take fiber. Fiber pill supplements or a powder mixture that contains psyllium (like Metamucil) can help some people with IBS control their diarrhea. “Some individuals may use a fiber preparation, which some people find useful to bind and increase the bulk of the stool for those who have diarrhea,” recommends Gilinsky. He also notes that fiber is more likely to be effective in those who experience stress-related diarrhea.  Not all people will benefit from fiber supplements, though, and too much fiber can also cause gastrointestinal issues, so it’s best to consult your doctor.
  2. Take an antidiarrheal. Try taking an over-the-counter antidiarrheal medication, such as loperamide (Imodium), as Gilinsky suggests. If you’ve got a situation coming up that you’re nervous about, try a dose of medication ahead of time to see if it settles your stomach.
  3. Avoid trigger foods. If you notice that dairy products have you running to the bathroom, cut them out of your diet — particularly before an event or activity where you can’t be interrupted. Some other common triggers of diarrhea include fried and fatty foods, chocolate, caffeine, artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol, and carbonated drinks. Sometimes different foods can take time to trigger diarrhea, making it harder to pinpoint the offending food, so it’s worth experimenting with your diet to see what works best.
  4. Manage stress.  Stress is impossible to avoid, but can be managed in a variety of ways. Exercise is a great stress reliever — particularly types that allow for focus and meditation, like yoga. Even just taking a walk or going for a bike ride or a run can help relax your mind and body. Deep-breathing techniques and meditation are also good methods of managing stress and promoting relaxation.
  5. Try therapy. Hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy have been shown to help some people manage diarrhea caused by IBS. These methods work on controlling fears and changing the way you think about your disease in order to prevent the body from responding with diarrhea.
  6. Ask your doctor about medications and supplements. Antispasmodic medications, antidepressants, antibiotics, and other medications can offer some IBS patients relief from their diarrhea. Peppermint oil can also sometimes work as an antispasmodic. It’s important to note that some doctors no longer recommend probiotics to manage IBS-related diarrhea. You should always check with your doctor before beginning a new course of medication or supplements.

There are many different ways to try to control your diarrhea caused by IBS. It may take some time and a combination of methods, but keep trying. You don’t have to spend your life near a bathroom — you just have to figure out what works for your body.

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The Drugstore Project

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The Drugstore Project

No run-of-the-mill Rite Aid, or even a high-end apothecary carries our favorite products — which is why we’ve pieced together the inventory of our dream drugstore here.

Photo: Apatow Productions

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a tricky condition. For starters, symptoms vary between each patient and can even shift over time. IBS — “a disorder of how your brain and gut interact with each other,” according to Dr. Johanna Iturrino-Moreda, a gastroenterologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center — typically presents with constipation or diarrhea or, in some cases, both, as well as bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. There’s also no clear cause for IBS, though Iturrinio-Moreda says it’s “sometimes triggered by a stressful life event, a gastrointestinal infection, frequent antibiotic use, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or even food intolerances and sensitivities.

All of this can make IBS difficult to diagnose, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. “IBS is a real disease, and patients should not be embarrassed to talk about it. It’s not in their head, they’re not imagining it, and there is real help out there to take care of it,” says Dr. Lawrence Brandt, a gastroenterologist at the Montefiore Medical Center. And once your doctor has diagnosed you with IBS, you can move forward with creating an appropriate treatment plan — which can include changing your diet and going on a low FODMAP diet to limit sugars that aren’t well-absorbed by the gut, or taking over-the-counter or prescription medication. But if you’re still looking for additional assistance, these over-the-counter remedies may ease some of the day-to-day symptoms (though it’s always good to check with your doctor if you have more serious concerns).

Gas-X Extra Strength Softgel for Fast Gas Relief

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Gas, bloating, and abdominal pain are common symptoms IBS patients experience, whether IBS presents as constipation (known as IBS-C) or diarrhea (IBS-D). Simethicone, the active ingredient in Gas-X, helps with bloating experienced by both groups of patients because it “breaks up big bubbles of gas into smaller bubbles of gas,” says Brandt. And when the bubbles are broken up, they’re “more evenly distributed and don’t distend the bowels as much.” The smaller bubbles of gas also may be easier to pass, which can, in turn, give you relief.


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IBgard for the Dietary Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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com/strategist/_components/clay-paragraph/instances/ck70mtsn900da3g66xbxsao5q@published” data-word-count=”113″>Four out of five gastroenterologists we spoke with recommend taking peppermint oil as a way to reduce abdominal pain, bloating, and gas. “Peppermint oil acts as an antispasmodic and may reduce cramps and urgency,” explains Iturrino-Moreda. IBGard slowly releases peppermint oil into the digestive tract, relaxing the bowel and relieving any discomfort you may be experiencing. And unlike Gas-X, it can be taken either as a source of relief or as an everyday preventative medication, before you experience any gassiness. That’s because the medication is designed to normalize the lining of the gut in an effort to regulate digestion and absorption of nutrients. But ask your doctor which might work best for you.


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Iberogast Dietary Supplement to Support the Digestive System

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com/strategist/_components/clay-paragraph/instances/ck70mxbm200dw3g66ocnwugkp@published” data-word-count=”93″>Brandt also recommends Iberogast, which has a mixture of different plants — including peppermint and chamomile — that help relieve abdominal discomfort. “It changes the motility of your GI tract and relaxes the smooth muscle in your intestine,” he explains. If you have a spasm, it will relax it, similar to how plain peppermint oil works within the digestive tract. The choice to take this instead of IBGard just depends on personal preference. “Certain people respond to one rather than the other. So try one and if it doesn’t work, try another one,” he says.


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Metamucil Fiber Supplement


Each gastroenterologist we interviewed recommends upping your fiber intake if your IBS presents with diarrhea, because fiber can help thicken and form the stool, according to Iturrino-Moreda. Somewhat counterintuitively though, fiber can also help those with IBS with constipation. That’s because stool that’s been bulked up with fiber is also softer than normal, which is helpful for constipated patients and easier to pass. That’s why Dr. Felice Schnoll-Sussman, a gastroenterologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian calls it a “miracle supplement.”

But Schnoll-Sussman warns that timing your intake is very important because “sometimes when you give extra fiber to patients, they can bloat.” So she also recommends that patients see a nutritionist to dial in exactly how much fiber to take and when. If you want to give it a try, Metamucil is a popular fiber supplement, and it specifically contains psyllium fiber, which Brandt says “will bring water into the stool and make the stool less hard to pass.”


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Imodium Multi-Symptom Relief Anti-Diarrheal Medicine Caplets


com/strategist/_components/clay-paragraph/instances/ck70n3c3k00il3g66lbcpz81s@published” data-word-count=”157″>When stool enters the large intestine, it’s liquid, and as it’s moving through the intestinal tract, water is absorbed and the stool solidifies. If you experience diarrhea, the stool is moving too quickly, and it doesn’t have time to properly solidify, which is the case for IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D) patients. Unlike those with IBS-C, who want to loosen and soften the stool so that it’s easier to pass a bowel movement, IBS-D patients want to bulk up the stool and slow down the process. “Taking an anti-diarrheal product, such as loperamide, decreases transit in the gut; therefore, you’re increasing water absorption and improving stool form,” says Iturrino-Moreda. Imodium is a common over-the-counter anti-diarrheal used to slow down the stool, and it’s recommended by gastroenterologists because it’s a multi-symptom relief pill. Not only does it tackle diarrhea with the loperamide, but it also relieves any gas and bloating with the simethicone, which is also found in Gas-X.


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Miralax Laxative Powder


Though laxatives have a bad reputation, they can be very helpful for IBS-C patients. And though Scholl-Sussman recommends a different laxative for each patient, depending on their specific case and symptoms, she considers Miralax as a reliable over-the-counter option. Miralax is a non-stimulant laxative, which means that instead of stimulating the nerves in the walls of the large intestines and causing intestinal contractions to eliminate stool, it increases the amount of water in the stool, preventing it from solidifying too much. Your bowel movement becomes “softer, more fluid, and overall much easier to pass,” according to Brandt. One word of warning: While this may be an over-the-counter treatment, Schnoll-Sussman still recommends consulting with your doctor about taking a laxative if you have IBS-C because, “there’s a hierarchy of how you try to give individuals treatments, even laxatives. You are constantly balancing your treatments,” and your doctor may have other recommendations in mind to start.


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Dulcolax Stool Softener


Because constipation can actually mean different things to different people, Schnoll-Sussman advises patients to be very direct and accurate with what they mean when they say they feel “constipated.” She asks, “Does constipation mean they’re moving their bowels once a day, but they still feel constipated and not fully evacuated? Or are they someone who is moving their bowels once every seven days and really not evacuating at all?” That’s an important distinction for patients to make for their doctors because it could impact how your doctor approaches your treatments. So while a laxative can cause a bowel movement, which may be ideal for those who aren’t passing stool regularly, a stool softener makes it more comfortable for you to pass stool if it’s too hard and painful. The doctors we spoke with specifically recommended a stimulant-free stool softener (which will specifically be noted on the box) for the same reasons a stimulant-free laxative is preferred — to prevent spasms — and Dulcolax is a popular option for that reason.


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The Best IBS Treatments, According to Gastroenterologists

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Irritable bowel syndrome: causes, symptoms and treatment

How often have you been bothered by a feeling of fullness, bloating? What about discomfort or even pain in the abdomen that gets worse after eating? Probably, many did not even attach importance to this, but such symptoms may be the result of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This is what is called a malfunction of the digestive tract. Frequent gases, heaviness in the abdomen and discomfort as if it is bursting, “gurgling”, stool disorders (constipation or diarrhea) are signs of the syndrome.

The symptoms of IBS can vary from person to person, but there are commonalities.

  • The most common complaint of people with IBS is abdominal pain that occurs at least 1 day a week in the past three months, associated with defecation, changes in stool frequency and/or shape. Stool disorders: diarrhea, constipation, or alternating diarrhea and constipation. With a tendency to constipation, stool less than 3 times a week, hard feces, tension during defecation. With a tendency to diarrhea, stools more often 3 times a day, liquid or mushy feces, frequent urge to go to the toilet, which usually make you put off all things in the morning, after eating, or when a person is nervous.
  • Flatulence, bloating, and feeling as if a bubble were inflating in the abdomen are frequent companions of IBS.
  • Sometimes with IBS, mucus is secreted during bowel movements or there are traces of blood in the stool.
  • Many patients with irritable bowel syndrome complain of extraintestinal manifestations of IBS: fatigue, weakness, migraine-type headaches, sensation of a lump in the throat, dissatisfaction with inspiration, inability to sleep on the left side due to an unpleasant sensation in the heart area, numbness, chilliness of the fingers hands

What are the causes of IBS? Usually the start for the disease is given by a combination of several factors.

  • Past intestinal infections. A meta-analysis of 9 studies showed that past intestinal infections increase the risk of developing IBS by 7 times.
  • Psycho-emotional stress. The largest number of researchers agree on the important role of psycho-emotional stress in the development of IBS. So, in patients in 30-45% of cases it is possible to establish the facts of physical, psychological or sexual violence, the presence of stressful situations that accompany the modern rhythm of life, experiences caused by the loss of loved ones.
  • Risk factors for IBS are female gender, baseline depression, smoking, and taking antibiotics.

The disease can manifest itself in periods, gradually appearing and suddenly disappearing. Because of this, it seems to many that troubles in the stomach can be experienced without treatment, because “it goes away on its own.”

IBS requires specialist attention. He will prescribe tests and, based on the results, select a treatment option. In any case, you will need to adjust your eating habits, chew your food better, be less nervous and be more careful about taking medications that affect the intestinal microflora. Additionally, you can help your body by taking Laktofiltrum®, which comprehensively adjusts the intestines to the correct mode of operation. This is a drug with two active ingredients in one tablet. Lactulose is a prebiotic that contributes to the normalization of intestinal microflora. In addition, lactulose helps restore intestinal motility and lipid metabolism, promotes normal absorption of magnesium and calcium. The second component is the lignin sorbent, which removes harmful bacteria and toxins from the intestines, while not irritating the mucous membrane. Lactofiltrum® can be taken by pregnant women, during the feeding period and children from 12 months.

how to treat and how to stop diarrhea with and without fever

Diarrhea is a fairly common problem in children. Its causes may be different: malnutrition, intestinal infections, taking certain medications, an allergic reaction to certain foods.

Types of diarrhea in a child

According to their varieties and origin, the following types of diarrhea are distinguished: infectious, alimentary, dyspeptic, toxic, drug-induced and neurogenic.


Non-infectious types of diarrhea include alimentary, dyspeptic, toxic, drug-induced and neurogenic.


Diarrhea can be caused by a viral or bacterial intestinal infection.

Viral infections include:

  • Adenovirus infection . In this disease, the virus infects the intestinal mucosa, upper respiratory tract, and eyes. Against the background of elevated temperature, abdominal pain and diarrhea are added to the symptoms of a cold (sore throat, cough, runny nose).
  • Rotavirus infection or “intestinal flu” manifests itself in the form of fever up to 38-39 ° C, diarrhea, vomiting.
  • Enterovirus infection also manifests itself in the form of flu-like symptoms, that is, sore throat, runny nose, cough, to which are added vomiting, diarrhea, and bloating.

Among the most common bacterial infections are:

  • Samlmonellosis is an intestinal infection caused by Salmonella.
  • Dysentery infection caused by bacteria of the genus Shigella, which affects the mucous membrane of the large intestine.

Universal help

It is not always possible to quickly determine the exact cause of diarrhea – how to help a child in such a situation? It is necessary to choose a mild agent that will prevent the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms in the intestine, help reduce the severity of symptoms and help restore the intestinal microflora, regardless of the cause of the disorder.

“Enterostim” contains Saccharomyces boulardii, which helps to gently cope with the problem and contribute to the restoration of microflora. Saccharomycetes Boulardii are designed to solve problems with the gastrointestinal tract in diarrhea of ​​any etiology. It is also used during the period of taking antibiotics, when traveling abroad, when changing the diet. “Enterostim” is convenient to take, and the favorable price allows you to purchase a tool “just in case.”

dietary supplement. NOT A DRUG

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Causes of diarrhea in a child

Diarrhea in a child is a serious problem that should not be underestimated. However, do not confuse diarrhea with a single liquid stool, which can occur when the child has taken unfamiliar food. Loose stools usually do not cause significant discomfort to children.

Consider the most common causes of diarrhea in children.

Infectious diarrhea is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection and is most often accompanied by fever.

Alimentary diarrhea may occur in case of prolonged violation of the diet, a monotonous diet poor in vitamins, as well as in case of allergy to certain foods (strawberries, strawberries, eggs, nuts, etc.) or drugs (for example, iodine, sulfonamides, antibiotics, etc.).

Dyspeptic diarrhea occurs with secretory insufficiency of the gastrointestinal tract. This condition develops when the stomach, pancreas, liver or intestines do not produce enough enzymes to break down and digest food.

Toxic diarrhea may be caused by poisoning with heavy metals (eg mercury, arsenic) and other toxic substances – nicotine, ethyl alcohol. The cause of toxic diarrhea can also be the accumulation of endotoxins in the body, for example, in chronic uremia (increased blood urea due to kidney damage).

Drug-induced diarrhea develops with prolonged use of antibiotics that disrupt the normal intestinal microflora and contribute to the development of dysbacteriosis.

Neurogenic diarrhea is caused by an imbalance in the nervous regulation of bowel function. This type of diarrhea can develop under the influence of negative emotions (anxiety, fear, excitement).

Treatment of diarrhea in a child

If diarrhea develops in children under 1 year of age, hospitalization is necessary, since the loss of a large amount of fluid can be life-threatening for the child.

Remedy for the whole family

Diarrhea is often taken by surprise, so it is worth having a proven remedy in your medicine cabinet that can come to the rescue at the right time.

Probiotic “Enterostim” is based on Saccharomyces Boulardii. These probiotic microorganisms have been studied and widely used around the world to reduce the symptoms of diarrhea, regardless of the cause of the disease. Suitable for the whole family: can be used by both adults and babies from 1 year old. Reinforced composition “Enterostim Forte” is designed to solve the problems of intestinal disorders in adults and children from 3 years of age. Capsules are convenient to take, and one package is enough for a whole course of treatment.

dietary supplement. NOT A DRUG

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How to treat with drugs

Treatment of diarrhea in older children is primarily aimed at eliminating the cause that caused it. For example, taking enzymes with insufficient production of them by the stomach, pancreas.

Adsorbents are indicated for alimentary diarrhea and allergic reactions to foods or drugs.

If you have bacterial diarrhea, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

In case of dysbacteriosis, it is recommended to prescribe preparations containing intestinal bacteria. General strengthening therapy in the form of a complex of vitamins can also be prescribed. In case of indigestion, enzyme preparations can be used.

A doctor may prescribe antidiarrheal probiotics for the treatment of diarrhea, which are suitable for diarrhea of ​​any etiology.