IBSD | Talking To Your Doctor

Making the Most of Your Doctor’s Visit

If you are experiencing chronic or recurring symptoms of abdominal pain and/or discomfort as well as diarrhea, you may have IBS-D. It’s important to talk to your doctor to receive an official diagnosis, and learn how best to control your symptoms.

The Conversation Starts Here.

Check out and print these IBS-D On Tract resources:

Preparing For Your Visit

In advance of your appointment, take the time to jot down some key things to discuss with your doctor.

These notes should include:

  1. Specific symptoms
  2. How often you experience symptoms
  3. Severity of symptoms
  4. Any symptom triggers that you’ve noticed (eg, stress, certain foods, etc.)
  1. Any big changes in your life since your last visit
  2. A list of all of the medications/vitamins that you take
  3. Anything you’ve taken or tried to attempt symptom relief (eg, OTC medicine, less/more fiber in your diet, etc.)
  4. Any questions for your doctor

Diagnosing IBS-D


Helping to Control Symptoms of IBS-D


Treating IBS-D

Diagnosing IBS-D

A doctor will typically take your medical history and conduct a physical examination to rule out other possible causes of GI symptoms, such as illnesses, medications, or GI tract conditions. Diagnostic testing is not routinely performed unless there are “red flags,” signs or symptoms, such as blood in the stool, weight loss, fever, nausea or recurrent vomiting, suggesting the possibility of potentially more serious conditions other than IBS-D.

Helping to Control Symptoms of IBS-D

Dietary and lifestyle changes are a good first step in attempting to control symptoms, and these changes may include reducing stress, eliminating trigger foods and exercising.

Treating IBS-D

Current IBS-D treatment generally focuses on the relief of symptoms, and includes dietary modifications, prescription medications, and over-the-counter anti-diarrheal agents. Ask your doctor about the benefits and risks of each treatment option.

It's important to remember that the symptoms of IBS-D may be managed with your doctor's help. Treatment strategies are based on the nature and severity of symptoms, so it is important to tell your doctor what treatments have or have not worked for you in the past. A symptom tracker may help you to identify triggers that exacerbate symptoms.

Prescription Medication

Management Options

There are management options available for the treatment of IBS-D. Ask your doctor about treatment options that might work best for you


Need a Doctor?

Try this Care Locator from the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

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