April is IBS Awareness Month: Learn About Its Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

4/15/2022

Many members of the public are impacted by continual intestinal pain and bowel problems. What you might not understand is this could be a signal of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This disorder impacts 10 – 15% of citizens and does not have a cure. At GI Alliance, it’s our intention to raise awareness of this condition during the month of April, which is dedicated as IBS Awareness Month. Just because there is no cure, you do not have to live with lifelong distress.

What should I know about irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a long-term gastrointestinal (GI) condition that influences gastrointestinal function and affects the large and small intestines. Simply put, the brain and gastrointestinal tract have difficulty functioning jointly, and it causes the intestinal system to become sensitive and the colon muscle to contract more than normal.

These problems can induce symptoms, such as gas, abdominal discomfort, cramping, constipation, diarrhea, and other symptoms. If you have this disease, you likely won't encounter IBS symptoms every day. In reality, some days are completely normal, and other days symptoms are worse — it honestly depends on the variety of IBS you have. The various kinds of IBS are:

  • IBS with diarrhea
  • IBS with mixed bowel habits
  • IBS with constipation

Our IBS specialists at GI Alliance regularly provide IBS treatments to patients throughout the nation. We can ascertain what type of irritable bowel syndrome you suffer from and help you attain relief.

How is IBS diagnosed?

If you have experienced symptoms of IBS, it may be smart to get the help of a GI physician near you. Our staff can help you recognize if your troubles are irritable bowel syndrome or something else. Prior to a physical test, we’ll ask some questions to help us understand your symptoms and health history. In some circumstances, we might ask you to provide a blood evaluation or stool sample as a method to rule out any diseases that might be mistaken for irritable bowel syndrome. Typical signs of IBS are:

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Flatulence
  • Loss of appetite
  • Urgent bowel urges
  • Swelling

Once we have sufficient evidence that you suffer from IBS, our gastroenterologists can determine the best irritable bowel syndrome treatment to suit your needs.

How is irritable bowel syndrome treated?

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, so it could take some time to discover an IBS treatment that works for you. Be that as it may, many patients discover that they can make a few diet and lifestyle modifications and get great results. General modifications that normally create an impact on IBS symptoms include:

  • Stopping smoking
  • Consuming fewer dairy products
  • Maintaining a daily exercise regimen
  • Increasing water intake
  • Increasing fiber intake (more fruits, veggies, grains, and additional fiber, like Metamucil®)
  • Eating small meals more often instead of three larger meals
  • Avoiding all forms of caffeine

It’s also sensible to write a food journal. This can help you pinpoint which foods provoke irritable bowel syndrome symptoms so you can work on avoiding those foods in the future. Additionally, if you take any medications, we may look at those to understand if any adjustments can be made to the type or dosage.

Relief from irritable bowel syndrome is possible

If you experience issues from irritable bowel syndrome, like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and flatulence, it can be hard to plan outings, as this condition can interrupt even the most special events. We suggest coming to see our GI specialists as soon as possible so we can help you identify and treat your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. While there is no permanent solution, it is possible to manage your symptoms so you can enjoy life. For additional information on irritable bowel syndrome or IBS treatments, get in touch with a GI Alliance office near you today.

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