IBS-U (unsubtyped IBS) is a type of IBS in which the stool consistency does not fulfill the IBS-C, D, oUnsubtyped IBS (IBS-U) is a specific type of IBS in which the stool consistency does not meet the criteria for IBS-C, D, or M.
There is a loose watery stool and hard stool occurring each less than 25% of the time. Problems with GI motility, increased sensitivity to GI symptoms, changed bacteria in the bowel, and poor control of the brain-gut connection can all contribute to IBS-U.
What is IBS-U?
IBS-U (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Unclassified) is a type of IBS that has not been classified as any other specific subtype.
It is characterized by four or more of the following:
- abdominal pain or discomfort
- altered bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation)
- mucus in stool and/or rectal bleeding
- excessive bloating and gas
The cause of this type of IBS remains unknown and there is no cure for it. Treatment options are limited to different types of medications that can help with symptoms such as diarrhea and constipation.
These medications may also be used to treat additional conditions such as heartburn or acid reflux disease. There is some evidence that dietary changes may reduce symptoms but there isn’t enough research yet to confirm these results.
Probiotics for IBS-U may help with symptoms like:
- stomach pain
How common is IBS-U?
IBS-U is common among family members and in couples, a pattern consistent with a genetic origin. Individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis have a higher risk of inflammatory bowel disease-unclassified (IBDU) than the general population
Common symptoms felt by individuals with IBS-U include:
- Abdominal pain
What causes IBS-U?
IBS-U can be triggered by certain foods. These trigger foods are specific types of food that trigger IBS-U symptoms. An important thing to remember is that triggers can vary from person to person, so it’s important to pay attention to what you eat and how it makes you feel.
It may also be helpful to keep a food journal to track your symptoms. Some of the most common trigger foods include:
- Dairy products
- Fried foods
- Sugary foods
- Processed meats
- Beans and legumes
- Cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower)
It’s important to note that these are not the only trigger foods and that you may need to experiment to figure out which foods affect you the most.
For example, some people find that even small amounts of dairy can cause problems, while others can tolerate moderate amounts.
The best way to determine your triggers is to pay attention to how you feel after eating certain foods. For instance, you may find that symptoms tend to occur within a couple of hours of eating the food or even up to two days later.
If this is the case, note whether symptoms are happening more often, less often, or not at all.
What are the symptoms of IBS-U?
There are two main theories about what could cause these symptoms:
- Psychosomatic theory
- Visceral hypersensitivity theory
Psychosomatic theory suggests that stress may lead to overactivity in the bowel, causing cramping and diarrhea.
Visceral hypersensitivity theory suggests that patients with IBS-U may have increased sensitivity in the bowel area leading to pain or discomfort when eating certain foods.
Other symptoms include:
Intermittent abdominal pain or discomfort: Some people experience cramps and spasms in the abdomen with no clear pattern, while others may experience pain after eating certain foods.
Frequent diarrhea or constipation: Some people alternate between diarrhea and constipation throughout the day. Others only have one of these patterns over a period of time. When episodes last for more than three weeks they are referred to as chronic IBS (IBS-C).
Bloating and gas: Many people with IBS-U feel bloated and have excess gas. This can be uncomfortable and embarrassing.
How Is IBS-U Diagnosed?
There is no definitive test for diagnosing IBS-U. A doctor will likely ask about your medical history, symptoms, and dietary habits. They may also perform a physical exam and order certain tests, such as blood tests or stool samples, to rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms.
Another important part of the diagnosis is to do several tests and procedures:
- Blood and stool samples will be taken to check for food allergies, infection, and other health problems.
- Fiberoptic scopes may be used while you are under sedation to look at your digestive tract while it is working, so doctors can see how well food is moving through your system and look for any abnormalities.
- X-rays may be taken of your abdomen to check for blockages or other problems.
- A sigmoidoscopy may be done to look inside the rectum and lower part of the colon with a thin, flexible tube with a light on the end.
- A colonoscopy is a more thorough exam of the entire large intestine and is done with a longer, thicker tube.
How is IBS-U treated?
There are many different ways to treat IBS-U. Treatment will vary depending on the individual and their specific symptoms. Some common treatments include changes in diet, medications, and stress management techniques.
If you are diagnosed with IBS-U, your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan that will help relieve your symptoms. This may include changes to your diet, medications, and lifestyle.
Some people with IBS-U may need surgery to remove a portion of their colon that is diseased or not working properly.
Living with IBS-U can be difficult, but by understanding your triggers and following your doctor’s advice you can manage the condition and improve your quality of life. Stay positive, be patient and never give up!
It’s important to work with your healthcare provider to create a treatment plan that works best for you. There are many different options available, so there is likely something that will help lessen your symptoms.
Are there any treatments available?
There are many things you can do to help reduce your symptoms of IBS-U. Some simple tips include eating a healthy diet, avoiding trigger foods, and managing your stress levels. You may also want to consider probiotics to help support your digestive system.
The most important treatment for people with IBS-U is to keep track of their symptoms so they know what triggers their episodes and can avoid those triggers when possible. This will help prevent future episodes from happening in the first place!
Probiotics for IBS-U?
It is important to remember that not all probiotics are the same. They can come in different strains, like lactobacillus or bifidobacterium, and your gut bacterial community will be unique to you.
You may have to try a few different ones before finding the one that works for you. A lot of probiotics come in pill or powder form, but you can also find them in some foods, like yogurt.
When you’re looking for a probiotic to help with IBS-U, make sure it has the following:
- at least 10 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) per dose
- a variety of strains, including lactobacillus and bifidobacterium
- shelf life of 3 years or more
You can take probiotics every day, but it is best to space them out so that you’re not constantly bombarding your gut with bacteria. Try taking them twice a week for a few weeks, then taking a break for a week or two.
Which probiotic is best for IBS-U?
The effectiveness of each strain varies from person to person, and it’s not really possible to say which one will be the most effective for you.
Furthermore, there are so many different types of bacteria that can cause this ailment! There is no way we could possibly recommend just one type as being the best.
What are the benefits of probiotics for IBS-U?
The benefits of probiotics for IBS-U are continuously being explored in the medical field.
Some studies have found that taking a specific type of probiotic (Lactobacillus) was related to improvement in symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating, whereas other studies did not find any significant difference between those who took them and those who didn’t.
The evidence suggests that it is worth trying Lactobacillus if you suffer from IBS-U, but more research is needed before we can say for sure whether they provide an actual benefit or not.
The use of probiotics may also help to prevent the recurrence of IBS-U after a course of antibiotics.
This is because antibiotics can kill the “good” bacteria in the gut, leading to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and yeast.
Replacing these beneficial bacteria with probiotics may help to restore balance and prevent the return of the IBS-U symptoms.
Probiotics for IBS-U may help to reduce your chances of getting certain types of infections, like yeast infections, and can also help with diarrhea. They may also improve your digestion and nutrient absorption, which will make you feel better all around.
If you’re experiencing some gut symptoms and think they may be related to IBS-U, probiotics may be a good option for you to try.
Talk to your doctor first to make sure they are safe for you to take and to find out which probiotic they recommend.
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