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What Would You Rather Deal With: IBS-D or IBS-C?

First off, let me start by saying that I would rather not deal with either IBS-D or IBS-C at all. I am simply just sharing my opinion, and the opinion of others with IBS, on this certain topic. The opinions of mine and others are not to make any individual feel like their condition/illness is less or more serious than the other, so please don’t take this article personal to you.

Types of IBS affect everybody differently

I am part of many IBS communities on different social media platforms, so I get to hear and read what it is like living with irritable bowel syndrome from many people coming from different walks of life. There are three subtypes of IBS, and I mainly encounter people who either have predominant diarrhea, predominant constipation, or the alternating type. However, out of the approximate thousands I’ve come across on social media, I have only met one that has the IBS without a subtype. In other words, this person suffers from every IBS symptom, except the extreme abnormal bowel habits. Nonetheless, I constantly hear different stories regarding how IBS affects a person’s quality of life, and many give their opinion about which aspect/subtype of IBS they would rather deal with or think is worse in comparison to their own. In this article, I want to share some of the opinions I’ve found the most common.

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What if you could choose IBS-D or IBS-C?

Obviously, when it comes to dealing with IBS altogether, no one in their right mind would choose to live with it. However, if people with IBS had a choice between IBS-D or IBS-C, then, of course, people would be selecting what they assume would be the lesser of two evils.


Some people with IBS-D mentioned that they would rather have IBS-C because they are tired of using the toilet as frequently as they do. Others with IBS-D say they hate how their condition is easily triggered by anxiety, which gives them an urgent sensation to use the toilet at the worst possible moments. Since I also have IBS-D, I can easily relate and agree. I personally feel that IBS-D is miserable to have because I deal with a lot of pain down you-know-where, which makes it uncomfortable and sore for me to sit down. However, agreeing with all those facts doesn’t mean that I think IBS-D is worse than IBS-C. In my opinion, both cases seem to have an equal degree of difficulty to live with.


Regarding folks that have IBS-C; some think that their condition can be more extreme. For instance, one popular opinion is that even though they don’t use the bathroom as frequently, those with constipation tend to sit on the toilet for a long time while straining. At least one thing both people with IBS-D or C have in common is the amount of time they spend in the bathroom. Nonetheless, those with IBS-C feel that they much rather have IBS-D because at least they won’t feel the intense pain that comes along with having chronic constipation. For this reason, I have to agree with them. I may not suffer from predominant constipation, however, I know what it feels like to be constipated for a few days, and man, it sure is excruciating. I mean, it can get so bad that I’ve literally stopped in my tracks and had to hold on to something for balance when I would get hit with a sharp pain in my intestines.

All IBS types stink!

With all that being said, I still think both IBS-D and IBS-C have disadvantages that make them both very difficult to deal with on a regular basis. Whether one is worse than the other overall is hard for me to judge because I believe pain is relative and individuals can experience IBS differently and to different degrees.

Therefore, I think neither of them is worse to have, they both stink in their own way (no pun intended). But some of us like to compare the severity of our illnesses as if knowing something is better or worse than what you are experiencing is going to change what you are experiencing. Let me tell you, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and you never know what another person is going through just by looking at them or reading one comment.

We are all struggling with our illnesses in this community which is why I chose to shed some light on some of the opinions on the matter. So, I hope no one took offense to this article, and please know that no matter what subtype of IBS you have, you are always going to have my support.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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