Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that many people suffer from, unfortunately. IBS impacts the large intestine (the colon).
It is a chronic condition that you will need to learn how to effectively treat and manage for the long run. GastroCare LI can give you this education and provide treatment for IBS.
IBS is one of the most common gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, affecting between 10 and 15 percent of the population and accounting for almost 12 percent of all patient visits to primary care providers in the United States alone. IBS can range in severity from mild to severe. In fact, a number of people aren’t even aware they suffer from IBS until visiting a doctor.
Symptoms typically include cramping, abdominal pain, gas, constipation and/or diarrhea. And while many people can control symptoms with a healthy diet and lifestyle, some people need extra help or care from a medical professional. If you or someone you love is currently suffering from IBS, we want you to know you have options. Call and speak with a member of our team today and take the first step toward a healthier life.
What are the most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?
Symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. The most common symptoms include:
- mucus in the stool
- bloated feeling
- abdominal cramping
- abdominal pain
- changes in bowel movement patterns
In many cases, those suffering from IBS can control their symptoms, especially when they are mild. However, there are many instances where the discomfort and pain can be so severe that individuals need to seek care from a medical professional. This is especially important in cases where a much more serious condition like colon cancer could be the cause.
Seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Noticeable change in bowel habits
- Significant and unexplained weight loss
- Rectal bleeding
- Diarrhea at night
- Trouble swallowing
- Pain that doesn’t subside after a bowel movement or passing of gas
The most common treatment options for irritable bowel syndrome
For the most part, treating IBS focuses on relieving symptoms to help victims participate in daily activities with as little pain and discomfort as much as possible. In cases of mild IBS, medical professional treat the condition with a series of changes to help victims manage stress and improve their diets or lifestyles. In many instances, these changes are enough to relieve the most painful symptoms.
Some common ways of treating IBS include:
- lifestyle changes
- stress management
- talk therapy
- mindfulness training
- diet and nutrition counseling
Even though IBS doesn’t necessarily have a cure, all of these treatment options can help you manage the symptoms on a daily basis. When it comes to specifically targeting your diet and lifestyle, doctors recommend a number of changes and may prescribe or ask you to implement the following (especially if your symptoms are mild or only flare up occasionally). These include:
- Cutting foods out the of diet that cause symptoms
- Staying hydrated throughout the day by drinking more fluids
- Incorporating a high-fiber diet
- Regularly exercising
- Ensuring enough sleep
While every person is different, there are certain types of foods that are known to cause IBS, and your doctor may suggest you avoid these entirely. For example, food and drinks like carbonated or alcoholic beverages, caffeine, and some raw fruits and vegetables are known to cause bloating or gas.
For some people, gluten has been linked to IBS, and removing it from your diet can have a positive impact on relieving IBS symptoms. Talk to your doctor or a dietician if you have any questions on what foods you should try cutting back on or eliminating from your diet altogether.
What to Know Before My Appointment
If this is your first time seeing a gastroenterologist about your IBS and are feeling unsure, having a sense of what to expect and how you can prepare may ease any anxiety of feelings of nervousness.
Before the appointment, write down your symptoms, including ones you may not believe are related to IBS. Because symptoms can come and go and vary in severity, making a list will help you not forget any when it comes time for your appointment. You should also make a note of any triggers for your symptoms such as stressful situations or specific foods.
Your doctor will likely ask a few questions to get a better understanding of your medical history and circumstances surrounding your condition and symptoms. Some common questions you may get include:
- When did your symptoms begin and how severe are they?
- What is your daily diet like?
- Do you have any food allergies?
- Have you had unexplained vomiting, weight loss, or blood in your stool?
- Do you have any family history of IBS or other stomach problems?
Additionally, don’t be hesitant or afraid to ask the gastroenterologist or nurses questions about your condition, treatment options, etc. By thinking beforehand and coming prepared, you can maximize your doctor visit and take the first step toward finding a solution for managing and controlling your IBS symptoms.
Whatis the next step?
If you are concerned that you may be suffering from IBS and IBS symptoms, call GastroCare LI today. The first step to receiving treatment is to schedule an appointment with our professionals.
We are educated and trained to effectively diagnose and treat irritable bowel syndrome. We look forward to meeting you.