Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) isn’t just a slight inconvenience. For some, it has a significant impact on overall health, happiness, and well-being. With April just around the corner, we wanted to do our part to raise awareness for IBS by letting you know that April is officially IBS Awareness Month.
Not only is April IBS Awareness Month, but April 2017 is actually the 20th anniversary of the IFFGD declaring April for IBS awareness, which occurred in 1997.
What is IBS?
If you have already been diagnosed with IBS, then you know all too well what it can entail and the significant impact it can have on your day to day life.
From a broad medical perspective, IBS is an intestinal disorder, the cause of which isn’t always known. In fact, IBS is usually diagnosed based on symptoms reported by patients to their gastroenterologist.
What are the most common symptoms associated with IBS?
IBS can present a wide range of symptoms depending on the individual. Most of the patients we have diagnosed with IBS have experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- mucus in the stool
- bloated feeling
- abdominal cramping
- abdominal pain
- changes in bowel movement patterns
And the list goes on and on. The bottom line– if you’re experiencing any pain or abnormalities regarding your abdominals or you see changes in your stool, schedule an appointment to be evaluated.
Are there any known causes?
While the exact cause of IBS is unknown, it’s believed that the muscles around the intestines contract too much. Muscles contract when foods move through, but people with IBS may experience stronger than normal contractions.
This is quite possibly due to the gastrointestinal nervous system; your brain and the muscles lining your intestine aren’t in sync with each other (in layman’s terms).
What about treating IBS?
While there is no definitive “cure” for IBS, there are ways to manage symptoms and triggers in order to lead a more normal life. Adopting an “IBS friendly” lifestyle plays a big part in the successful management of IBS.
This includes eating a healthy diet (typically high in fiber), taking probiotics, managing stress, and perhaps even counseling.
When you can identify the specific triggers that lead to IBS flare ups, you can more successfully manage your condition. To learn more about IBS treatment options, visit our webpage below dedicated to IBS:
Think you may have IBS? There’s no better time than IBS Awareness Month to get checked!
Maybe you’ve been putting off going to the doctor for a while because let’s face it, no one actually enjoys going to see a gastroenterologist. That being said, Dr. Rieders, Dr. Reddy and Dr. Brandon Rieders of GastroCare LI are here to help those who are suffering with symptoms of IBS.
If you live or work on Long Island near Valley Stream or Glendale, we encourage you to give our office a call today to schedule your appointment. We’ll discuss your symptoms, work towards making a diagnosis (if appropriate), and educate you on how to better manage and treat IBS.
Don’t let IBS symptoms ruin your life. Give our office a call today!