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Age of onset of IBS-D


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I have recently been experiencing IBS-D.  Is there any relationship between age and the onset of IBS-D?

  I have been taking imodium and/or pepto bismol to control the diarrhea symptoms.  I have not been successful controlling abdominal pain and bloating.  I already take sertraline (200 mg daily) so am wondering what else I should consider.

Thank you,


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Jeffrey Roberts

Dear Karen,

There is no age of onset that I am aware of, though if IBS-D has appeared after the age of 50 then that is a red flag for the doctor to perhaps look more carefully for other causes.

There are medications and other treatments specifically to manage IBS-D. On the medication side, Viberzi helps with pain and abdominal pain. Xifaxin is an antibiotic that helps to stop IBS-D though the antibiotic can only be released 2 times. Lotronex is a medication use to manage severe IBS-D. Lately, doctors have been prescribing Ondansetron (Zofran) and it works similar to Lotronex.

In terms of antidepressants, typically the tricyclic antidepressants namely amitriptyline or desipramine are used for IBS-D. Some atypical antidepressants are also being used like Cymbalta, Remeron and lately Lyrica.

Lots of choices. Imodium and pepto help sometimes, but haven't really been clinically looked at to manage IBS-D.

Additional things are working with a Dietitian with a low FODMAP diet, a psychologist with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Hypnotherapy. Both of those are now FDA approved in a digital app.

I hope that this is helpful and gives you some hope!

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