Treat your IBS with an online doctor visit lifestyle recommendations, and prescription medication.

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Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic disorder that affects the large intestine (colon). It can cause a range of digestive symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

IBS is typically managed through lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, and medication to help control symptoms and avoid flare-ups.

How It Works

1. Schedule

Book a telehealth appointment from wherever you are. No insurance necessary.

2. Chat

Meet with a board-certified doctor or nurse practitioner from your mobile device.

3. Pick It Up

Get a prescription if needed (save up to 90%), and pick it up at your pharmacy.

Medications Prescribed for IBS

Cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran, others)

A bile acid-binding resin that absorbs cholesterol-containing bile acids, which leave the body through stool. It may also be used to help stop IBS-associated diarrhea.

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Dicyclomine (Bentyl)

An anticholinergic that helps reduce the symptoms of stomach and intestinal cramping by slowing the natural movements of the gut and relaxing the muscles in the stomach and intestines.

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Prescribed online

Amitriptyline (Elavil, Vanatrip)

A tricyclic antidepressant that helps with the symptoms of IBS, particularly when abdominal pain and diarrhea are the predominant symptoms. It can also be effective for bloating and nausea.

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Prescribed online

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Common Questions About IBS

What causes IBS?

While the exact cause of IBS is not fully understood, it is thought to be related to a combination of factors, including abnormalities in the nervous system, muscle contractions in the intestine, and changes in the gut microbiome.

How long do IBS flare-ups last?

The length and severity of IBS flare-ups can vary greatly depending on the person and the specific triggers involved. Some people experience mild symptoms that last only a few hours, while others may deal with more severe symptoms that can last for days or even weeks. IBS flare-ups can be triggered by stress, certain foods, hormonal changes, and other factors. Therefore, it’s important to know your triggers so you can take steps to avoid them.

Is IBS curable?

No, IBS cannot be cured but it can be managed through lifestyle changes, medications, and stress management techniques. The treatment of IBS aims to alleviate symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea — and improve overall quality of life.

What are the worst foods for IBS?

While the exact cause of IBS is unknown, certain foods can trigger symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Some of the worst foods and/or drinks for IBS include high-fat foods such as fried foods, processed foods, and fatty meats; dairy products such as milk, cheese, and ice cream; caffeine and alcohol; spicy foods; and artificial sweeteners. They can irritate the digestive system and exacerbate symptoms.

If you’ve been diagnosed with IBS, you can work with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to develop a personalized diet plan that works for your individual needs.

Can IBS cause back pain?

While abdominal pain is a common symptom of IBS, it's also possible for the pain to radiate to other areas of the body, including the back. This is because the nerves that control the intestines also supply sensation to other areas of the body, including the back.

In addition, the muscle contractions that occur in the intestines during an IBS flare-up can also cause tension in the muscles of the back, leading to pain and discomfort. If you’re experiencing back pain, be sure to reach out to a healthcare provider so you can rule out any serious conditions.

Is IBS an autoimmune disease?

No, IBS is not considered an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which the body's immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues. IBS is a functional disorder of the digestive system that is characterized by a group of symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.

While the exact cause of IBS is not fully understood, it’s thought to be related to a combination of factors, including abnormal muscle contractions in the intestines, changes in the gut microbiome, and abnormal communication between the brain and the gut.

Is IBS dangerous?

While IBS can be uncomfortable and inconvenient at times, it’s not considered a dangerous or life-threatening condition — and it doesn’t cause physical damage to the digestive tract. However, IBS can impact a person's quality of life and can lead to anxiety, depression, and social isolation in extreme cases.

If you're living with IBS, a healthcare provider or registered dietician can help you take the right steps to avoid flare-ups.

Does IBS run in families?

Studies have shown that people with a family history of IBS are more likely to develop the condition themselves, suggesting that there may be a genetic predisposition to the condition. However, environmental and lifestyle factors also play a significant role.

If you have a family history of IBS, it’s a good idea to speak with a healthcare provider about strategies for reducing your risk of developing the condition, as well as ways to manage your symptoms if you’ve already been diagnosed.

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