Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder characterized most commonly by cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. IBS can cause a great deal of discomfort and distress, but it does not permanently harm the intestines and does not lead to a serious disease. Most people can control their symptoms with diet, stress management, and prescribed medications. For some people, however, IBS can be disabling. They may be unable to work, attend social events, or even travel short distances.

What are the Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Abdominal pain, bloating, and discomfort are the main symptoms of IBS. However, symptoms can vary from person to person. Some symptoms include:

  • Constipation
  • Straining and cramping when trying to have a bowel movement but cannot eliminate any stool
  • Only being able to eliminate only a small amount.
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Constant urge to pass bowel movements

How is Irritable Bowel Syndrome diagnosed?
IBS is generally diagnosed on the basis of a complete medical history that includes a careful description of symptoms and a physical examination.

There is no specific test for IBS, although we may perform diagnostic tests to rule out other problems. These tests may include sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy, stool sample testing, blood tests, and x rays.

How is Irritable Bowel Syndrome treated?
Currently, there is no cure for IBS, but there are many options available to treat the symptoms. Our physicians will work together with you to give you the best treatments for your particular symptoms and encourage you to manage stress and make changes to your diet. We may also prescribe various medications to treat IBS, depending on the severity.
 

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