Ilyas Memon, MD

Does IBS Go Away on Its Own?

Jun 01, 2023

Does IBS Go Away on Its Own?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has no cure. But individualized treatment can help relieve frustrating symptoms, such as abdominal pain, bloating, and bowel movement changes, making IBS symptom flares more manageable.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a frustrating condition that can cause many annoying gastrointestinal symptoms, ranging from abdominal pain and cramping to gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation (or both).

If you are experiencing IBS symptoms, you probably have many questions about the condition, such as what you can do to relieve symptoms. You may even wonder if you will have to deal with IBS long term or if it might go away on its own.

You have questions, and Dr. Ilyas Memon, a board-certified gastroenterologist, has answers. He and his care team at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants in The Woodlands, Texas, have extensive experience treating IBS.

Here, Dr. Memon shares some helpful information about the condition, including perspectives on how long your symptoms may last.

Facts about IBS

Although IBS can lead to frustrating symptoms, it actually causes no damage to your gastrointestinal system. This separates it from conditions such as Crohn’s disease and colitis, which may cause similar symptoms but typically create physical changes in your intestines, such as inflammation.

IBS is a common gastrointestinal condition affecting about 12% of Americans, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Because IBS affects your gastrointestinal system, it is sometimes called a functional gastrointestinal disorder.

There are three types of IBS. The name of each is based on the condition’s impact on your bowel movements. They are:

  • IBS with constipation (IBS-C)
  • IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D)
  • IBS with mixed bowel movements (IBS-M)

Treating IBS

Unfortunately, IBS does not have a simple, one-size-fits-all treatment solution. Rather, your care provider works with you to create a personalized treatment plan that considers your lifestyle, health history, symptoms, and other factors.

Your treatment plan may include one or more of the following:

  • Eating more dietary fiber
  • Making changes in your diet, such as avoiding certain foods or nutrients
  • Lifestyle changes, such as increasing exercise or sleep
  • Medications that target specific symptoms, such as abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Mental health therapy
  • Probiotic supplements
  • Stress management techniques

Some patients find that alternative treatments, such as acupuncture and stress-reduction approaches, such as mindfulness meditation, help manage their symptoms.

How long does IBS last?

The experience of IBS is different for everyone. Many people with IBS have symptom flares that may last anywhere from a couple of days to several months.

Between flares, symptoms may disappear for periods of time, especially if you are working with your care provider to identify and implement a personalized care plan.

Typically, IBS is considered a lifelong condition that has no cure. However, by following your care provider’s treatment recommendations, you may have success shortening your symptom flares, managing symptoms when they occur, and increasing the time between symptom flares. 

Let us help you manage your IBS symptoms

Having IBS can be an isolating experience. But our care team is here to help you with your symptoms. We invite you to schedule an office visit by calling 281-764-9500 or booking an appointment online.