What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
It’s usually a lifelong problem that can be very frustrating to live with and can have a big impact on your everyday life.
Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS signs and symptoms vary from person to person. They also may lessen or worsen over time.
The most common symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Excess gas
- Food intolerance
- Mucus in stool
- Fatigue and difficulty sleeping
- Persistent changes in bowel movement patterns
Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The precise cause of IBS isn’t known. Factors that appear to play a role include:
- Muscle contractions in the intestine. Contractions that are stronger and last longer than normal can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Weak intestinal contractions can slow food passage and lead to hard, dry stools.
- Nervous system. Poorly coordinated signals between the brain and the intestines can cause your body to overreact to changes that normally occur in the digestive process, resulting in pain, diarrhea, or constipation.
- Severe infection. IBS can develop after a severe bout of diarrhea (gastroenteritis) caused by bacteria or a virus. IBS might also be associated with a surplus of bacteria in the intestines (bacterial overgrowth).
- Changes in gut microbes. Examples include changes in bacteria, fungi, and viruses, which normally reside in the intestines and play a key role in health.
Symptoms of IBS Can be Triggered by:
- Food: Many people have worse IBS symptoms when they eat or drink certain foods or beverages, including wheat, dairy products, citrus fruits, beans, cabbage, milk, and carbonated drinks.
- Stress: Most people with IBS experience worse or more frequent signs and symptoms during periods of increased stress. But while stress may aggravate symptoms, it doesn’t cause them.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosis
Your doctor may be able to diagnose IBS based on your symptoms.
They may also take one or more of the following steps to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms:
- have you adopt a certain diet or cut out specific food groups for a period to rule out any food allergies
- have a stool sample examined to rule out infection
- have blood tests done to check for anemia and rule out celiac disease
- perform a colonoscopy if your doctor suspects that your symptoms are being caused by colitis, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease), or cancer.
Irritable Bowel Treatment
The goal of IBS treatment is to provide relief from your symptoms. Your exact course of treatment will depend on the type and severity of your symptoms.
Mild signs and symptoms can often be controlled by managing stress and by making changes in your diet and lifestyle.
- Avoid foods that trigger your symptoms including caffeine, fatty foods, dairy, alcohol, and chocolate
- Eat high-fiber foods
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Exercise regularly
- Get enough sleep
- Eat smaller, frequent meals
Gastroenterology physicians (GI doctors) at KLASS offer advanced management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with the latest diagnostic and therapeutic modalities.
Many conditions can mimic irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and a complete evaluation and early diagnosis by your gastroenterologist is very important.
Our skilled gastroenterologists are highly trained in the evaluation and treatment of digestive diseases and are experts in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) diagnosis and management.
We strive to provide an accurate diagnosis and effective therapies in a comfortable environment.
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