Irritable Bowel Syndrome Medications

If you are suffering from inconsistent bowel movements, you may have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome}, which is a common gastrointestinal disorder. IBS involves the large intestine and is not uncommon. This condition is chronic and has a long list of symptoms that may be all too familiar to you. Some people are constipated, or they have diarrhea. Sometimes, they have both. These unpleasant conditions are often accompanied by symptoms including mucous in the stool, gas, cramps, and abdominal bloating, and pain. IBS is chronic, meaning you will have to deal with it over time. But there is hope.

If your IBS is relatively mild, you may be able to control it with a combination of a healthy diet and stress management. A medically trained professional can help you with this. However, if your symptoms are more debilitating, your gastroenterologist may prescribe medication. Rest assured, there are physician-prescribed treatments that can help you lead a more symptom-free lifestyle.

The irritable bowel syndrome experts of [firm-name], with locations in Valley Stream and Glendale, are here for you. Our staff is always happy to answer your questions and to make an appointment for you with one of our doctors. Just call [phone-number], or fill out our contact form.

Why Choose [firm-name]?

You will be in very capable hands with [firm-name]. Our staff helps hundreds of people just like you every day by listening to your concerns, making diagnoses, and prescribing the appropriate treatment. Dr. Bradley Rieders, one of New York’s Top Docs, started his practice in 1987 and is currently the Chief of Gastroenterology at Long Island Jewish. Dr. Reddy, a team member since 1997, is a Medical Board member at Long Island Jewish-Valley Stream. Dr. Bradley Rieders completed a fellowship in internal medicine and gastroenterology at George Washington University and has authored many medical journal articles and abstracts.

Types of IBS

There are effective ways to treat IBS, but you have to be specific when describing your symptoms. That way, one of our doctors can decide on the right testing and treatment plan for you. IBS has many faces, and your symptoms may vary from day to day. For example, one day your bowels may move normally, and on another, they may not. Or, your experiences may be more consistent. Either way, there are three types of IBS you should be aware of. One of the following may be associated with the problems you are having.

  • IBS-C: You have constipation characterized by hard, unevenly formed stools.
  • IBS-D: You have diarrhea with watery stools.
  • IBS -M: Your symptoms are mixed: you experience the symptoms of IBS-C and IBS-D simultaneously.

What Testing Will They Use?

If you believe you have one of the types of IBS described above, don’t despair. While no single lab test can definitively diagnose IBS, your doctor may recommend testing to check for things such as food intolerance or excess bacterial growth prior to diagnosing and prescribing a course of treatment.

If the doctor thinks your symptoms may be related to something more severe than IBS, they may recommend one or more of the following diagnostic tests:

  • Colonoscopy: The doctor uses a flexible tube to examine your entire colon.
  • X-rays or CT scans: To eliminate other causes of your symptoms, your doctor may order these tests that produce images of your stomach and colon, especially if you experience stomach pain.
  • Upper endoscopy: Your doctor places a long tube with a camera down into your throat. The doctor can inspect your upper digestive tract and take a tissue sample and fluid from your small intestine. This test determines if there is an excess of bacteria. They may take a tissue sample for testing.

If your physician recommends laboratory testing, the following may be administered:

  • Lactose intolerance testing: Lack of the enzyme lactase may result in IBS-like symptoms. You may take a breath test and/or monitor your diet for a period of time.
  • Excessive bacteria testing: This extra bacteria occurs in the small intestine, and is detected with a breath test.
  • Stool testing: The stool is examined for the presence of bacteria, parasites, and bile acid.

Medications Prescribed for IBS

After pinpointing your IBS situation, your doctor may prescribe one of the following medications.

  • Eluxadoline (Viberzi). Doctors sometimes use this medication to treat IBS-D.  It lessens muscle tightening and intestinal fluid emission while strengthening rectal muscles. It has been associated with side effects and with pancreatitis in some individuals.
  • Alosetron (Lotronex): Doctors sometimes use this medication to treat IBS-D in women, but not in men. This medication is a colon relaxant that slows down waste movement when other meds are ineffective. There may be rare side effects in some people.
  • Rifaximin (Xifaxan). Doctors sometimes use this medication to treat IBS-D. Classified as an antibiotic formulated to prevent excess bacteria in the large colon, it can cause diarrhea.
  • Lubiprostone (Amitiza). Doctors sometimes use this medication to treat IBS-C. It helps with stool passage by increasing the amount of fluid in the small intestine. It is approved for use in women who have not had success with other treatments.
  • Linaclotide (Linzess). Doctors sometimes use this medication to treat IBS-C. It stimulates the secretion of fluids in the small intestine to help pass stools. Diarrhea can be a side effect, but eating half an hour to an hour before taking the drug sometimes helps to avoid this.

Outlook

You are not alone in your suffering from IBS. Up to 15 percent of people across the globe have some form of this chronic condition. Researchers have found that there is no magic bullet or a one-treatment-fits-all. You may already know this if you have tried to self-treat your symptoms with laxatives, probiotics, herbal teas, or exercise. Fortunately, IBS’s prevalence has driven the medical community to devise individualized treatments. The goals for treating IBS patients are:

  • To improve symptoms such as stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation
  • To help eliminate unnecessary surgeries
  • To avoid the after-effects of taking multiple medications
  • To avoid using unsafe diagnostic procedures
  • To boost patients’ quality of life
  • To minimize the costs of IBS-related health care worldwide

Contact [firm-name] Today

Don’t put up with feeling uncomfortable due to your IBS issues any longer. Get the help you need by contacting the premier New York gastroenterology practice, [firm-name], at [phone-number], or fill out our contact form. A member of our team will get back to you promptly. Make an appointment today. Our doctors are ready to help you to live a more symptom-free life.

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