Tag Archives: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

April: IBS Awareness Month

April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month. The entire month is dedicated to raising awareness about this common but little-understood gastrointestinal problem by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder (IFFGD), a non-profit organization.

According to Healthline, this condition affects between 6-18% of people worldwide, and usually affects women more often than men. Some of the most common symptoms of IBS are:

  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating and gas
  • Difficulty eating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • A change in regular bowel movements
  • Increased stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Some combination of any of the above

People who struggle with IBS often find that it disrupts their daily routines because of constant discomfort. While it is not clear what exactly causes IBS, in most cases, a change in your gut bacteria, increased stress levels, or a change in diet could spur the disorder. Stress has not been confirmed as a sole cause of IBS, but it will worsen IBS symptoms.

The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder (IFFGD), which established April as IBS Awareness Month, wants to increase the dialogue between people who suffer from IBS and their gastroenterologists. There is a stigma surrounding IBS because there is shame associated with the symptoms, but IFFGD seeks to break down this stigma so people can get treatment. Since 1997, the motto for this event has been “Don’t Suffer in Silence.”

Luckily, there are ways to treat symptoms of IBS. If you suspect that you might be suffering from this disorder, making an appointment with your gastroenterologist is the first step to feeling better. Often, they will advise a change in diet, greater water intake, and over-the-counter laxatives. They may also ask that you identify the stressors in your life and make a plan to reduce them, as this may alleviate some of your IBS symptoms.

Speak With a GastroCare LI Specialist Today

GastroCare LI provides gastrointestinal screenings – such as colonoscopies, capsule endoscopies, and lactose intolerance screenings – to help identify what may be causing your IBS. Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced New York gastroenterologists by calling (516) 265-7049, or contact us online.

IBS Awareness Month – April 2019

April is IBS Awareness Month, which aims to educate the public about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and to encourage those who have symptoms to see a gastroenterologist. IBS is a disorder that causes bowel problems and abdominal pain. Symptoms include bloating, cramping, excess gas, constipation, and diarrhea.

IBS is a common disorder in the United States and abroad. It’s estimated that between 9-23% of the world’s population experience IBS. Thirty million people in the U.S. alone are said to suffer from IBS.

The pain and symptoms associated with IBS are treatable and can be managed long-term. Many afflicted with IBS lead happy, productive lives without it causing much disruption. A small percentage of those affected by IBS have severe symptoms.

Treatment

While there are a number of medications your doctor can prescribe to help keep your IBS in check, some find that behavioral changes give them adequate relief. If you are experiencing symptoms of IBS, consider:

  • Avoiding food and drink that triggers symptoms, such as dairy, chocolate, fructose, carbonated drinks, alcohol, chocolate
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Sleeping 7-8 hours per night
  • Exercising for at least 120 minutes each week

IBS Risk Factors

While many people will occasionally experience symptoms of IBS, the following factors put you at risk of having the disorder:

Age – IBS can affect all ages, but it’s most common in people under the age of 50.

Sex –  IBS is much more common in females than males. In fact, roughly twice as many women than men have the syndrome.

Mental Health –  Depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health conditions are associated with IBS.

Family History – Studies have shown genetics may play a role in the development of IBS. Cases of IBS running in families are well documented.

Preparing To See a Gastroenterologist

If you’re having symptoms of IBS, it’s important to see a gastroenterologist as soon as possible. Communicating effectively to your doctor what’s going on with you is critical. Before visiting a gastroenterologist, write down all your symptoms, including those that may seem unrelated to IBS. Make a list of any triggers to your symptoms, a list of all your medications, and write down any relevant personal information, such as recent stressors in your life.

Contact Us

At GastroCareLI, we provide specialized care for a wide range of gastrointestinal issues, including IBS. Whether you have a family history of IBS and want to be screened, or you are experiencing symptoms, we can help determine the best course of action for you. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today at (516) 265-7049.