Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

ibsWhat is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel (IBS) is a “syndrome”, meaning a group of symptoms. The common symptoms of IBS are belly pain or discomfort, cramping, bloating, gas, the feeling that you have not finished a bowel movement, diarrhea and/or constipation. IBS is not a disease. It is a functional disorder, meaning that the bowel doesn’t work, or function, the right way. IBS affects the colon, or large intestine, where stool is stored.

What causes IBS?

The exact cause of IBS is not clear. The nerves and muscles in the bowel appear to be extra sensitive in people with IBS and work more slowly or quickly than it should. Muscles may contract too much when you eat causing cramping, spasms, and/or diarrhea shortly after a meal. Nerves may react when the bowel stretches, causing cramping or pain.

How is IBS diagnosed?

Your health care provider may suspect you have IBS based on your cluster of symptoms. Learning your symptoms (belly pain, diarrhea, constipation or both), helps choose your treatment. Physical exams, blood tests and other medical tests might be done to make sure there are no other health problems causing symptoms.

How common is IBS?

If you suffer from the symptoms of IBS you are not alone. IBS is one of the most common digestive problems in the U. S. with more than 85 million people affected; both men and women of any age or race.

Diet

Stress

Stress does not cause IBS but it can make your symptoms worse.

Medications

Medications sometimes can help with symptoms. We can talk to you about which medicine is right for your type and symptoms of IBS, and the potential side effects.

Please feel free to call us at (315) 452-3235 with any questions or concerns.

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