It’s normal to struggle with diarrhea or constipation from time to time. However, if you deal with both on a regular basis, you might have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Even more specifically, you could be struggling with the mixed type known as IBS-M.
While many people are living with IBS, there are multiple kinds you can deal with, and they’re classified based on your symptoms. There’s IBS-C (constipation), IBS-D (diarrhea), and IBS-M (mixed). When you have IBS-M, you go back and forth between diarrhea and constipation, sometimes rather quickly.
IBS-M doesn’t pose any serious health risks, but it can make day-to-day life difficult. That’s why Ven Kottapalli, MD, CNSP, and our team at GI Physicians, Inc. in Lima, Ohio, want to give you a better understanding of what might be triggering your IBS-M to help you reduce your risk of digestive issues.
Common symptoms of IBS-M
When you have IBS-M, not only can you struggle with alternating between diarrhea and constipation, but you may also have the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Feeling like your bowels aren’t empty after a bowel movement
- Gas and bloating
- Mucus in your stool
It’s also possible to have symptoms that don’t have anything to do with your gastrointestinal tract such as fatigue, muscle pain, sexual dysfunction, and sleep disturbances.
Possible triggers for IBS-M
IBS-M can be caused by a lot of different things such as genetics, inflammation, or an imbalance of bacteria in your gut. While many causes of IBS-M can’t be changed, there are triggers that can worsen your symptoms. By avoiding these triggers, you should be able to decrease your chances of an IBS-M flare-up.
One of the main things that worsens IBS-M is diet. These foods and beverages have often been reported to trigger symptoms:
- Sweeteners such as fructose
- Fruits such as cherries and watermelon
- Vegetables such as cabbage and beans
To determine if anything in your diet is causing your flare-ups, try to consistently keep a food journal. This should help to narrow down the culprit so you can avoid that food or drink in the future.
Stress is also a known trigger for IBS-M. Try different relaxation exercises — yoga, meditation, and hypnosis have all been known to help reduce stress.
If practicing lifestyle changes hasn’t helped to reduce your symptoms or you just can’t quite narrow down what’s causing them in the first place, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We can help come up with a treatment plan that’s best for you. Set up an appointment by giving us a call or scheduling online today.