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IBS - Diarrhoea predominant

Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger HendersonReviewed on 29.04.2024 | 3 minutes read

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is incredibly common with numbers suggesting it is present in up to 2 in 10 people. Symptoms tend to present when people are in their twenties or thirties, and it is usually possible to make a diagnosis with your doctor based on symptoms rather than endless tests and investigations.

Doctor’s advice

Typical symptoms

IBS can constantly rumble on with mild symptoms or flare up and cause fairly debilitating symptoms. Fortunately, IBS does not cause any serious health implications, but it can have an impact on peoples day to day lives. The predominant symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome vary from person to person. Some struggle with constipation, others with diarrhoea, and for some, pain and bloating, with others varying between episodes of a combination of these.

If the main or most common symptom you suffer from is diarrhoea, then this is known as diarrhoea predominant IBS, where people suffer from episodes of loose stools, and along with that, urgency or increased frequency of passing stools can also occur. Around one-third of people with IBS suffer from diarrhoea predominant IBS.

Healthwords pharmacists' top tips

There are ways to help improve the symptoms of diarrhoea-predominant IBS. These include trying to avoid the additive sorbitol in your diet and also medication that helps prevent diarrhoea such as loperamide (which people usually know by it’s brand name Imodium).

Imodium, along with other anti-diarrhoea medication, can be brought over the counter, and your local pharmacist can give you advice on what is best for you. For diarrhoea along with bloating and trapped wind, a combination version called Imodium Dual Action Relief tablets is available. It contains an additional ingredient, Simethicone, along with Loperamide.

You should speak to your doctor if you need to take it for more than 2 days and you have not already discussed it with them, or speak to your doctor prior to taking it if you do not have a confirmed diagnosis of IBS.

Pharmacist recommended products

IBS - diarrhoea, cramp, and bloating symptoms Health Kit
Effective relief for
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Reduces motion frequency
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Relieves trapped wind and cramps
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Replenish electrolytes
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Restore fluid balance
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Prevents dehydration
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Adds bulk
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Boosts soluble fibre
More info
Recommended by pharmacist
Why this Health Kit

This health kit includes:

  • O.R.S Lemon soluble tablets (24)
  • Imodium Dual-Action Plus tablets (6)
  • Fybogel Hi-Fibre Orange Ispaghula Husk Fibre Drink (30 Sachets)

IBS symptoms can cause pain, spasms and bloating at almost any point between the groin, the navel and the sides. It is often accompanied by diarrhoea or constipation, bloating, and trapped wind.

Taking into account the spectrum of symptoms with IBS, treatment options for IBS are focused on relieving the specific combination of symptoms at the time.

This health kit is for treating IBS symptoms that are diarrhoea predominant.

This health kit aims to:

  • reduce the frequency of motions
  • relieve the symptoms of trapped wind and painful bloating
  • add bulk to stools
  • restore electrolyte and fluid balance

Imodium Dual-Action Plus tablets contain two active ingredients. Loperamide to control diarrhoea from overactive gut motility and Simeticone, an antiflatulent. Simeticone works by combining tiny gas bubbles in the gut to form bigger bubbles, releasing trapped air and relieving painful bloating.

Fybogel Hi-Fibre Orange Sachets contain Isphagula husk and are often used as a bulk-forming laxative to treat constipation. However, they can also be helpful to help thicken and add bulk and form to watery stools in the case of diarrhoea. It is a source of natural soluble fibre that helps regulate bowel function and is a versatile product for different forms of IBS.

O.R.S Hydration Lemon Soluble Tablets can help replenish fluid and electrolytes lost during bouts of diarrhoea and prevent dehydration.

Note: Always read the information leaflets and specific product information before purchasing, as some products may not be suitable for all patients. This is especially so if you are taking any other medicines or suffer from any other medical conditions. If you are unsure about anything, please speak to your local pharmacist or doctor or another qualified health practitioner.

When should I see my doctor?

You should book a routine doctor’s appointment if you are experiencing symptoms of IBS. This is so that the doctor can help rule out any other causes of your symptoms and confirm IBS as the likely cause. There is no specific test for IBS and so it is what is called a diagnosis of exclusion, where other conditions are ruled out so that IBS can then be confirmed as the diagnosis. If you have unexplained weight loss, a fever, feeling generally unwell, or any blood in your stools you should book an urgent visit with your doctor.

What will my doctor do?

The doctor will ask you about your symptoms, your medical history, any relevant family medical history, and what medications you are currently taking. They will likely have a feel of your abdomen, check your temperature, and potentially do other tests such as a blood test or a stool sample.

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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger Henderson
Reviewed on 29.04.2024
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