What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a group of symptoms that affect your digestive system. It’s a common but unpleasant gastrointestinal disorder. Individuals with IBS have excessive gas, abdominal pain and cramps.

Who is at risk of getting IBS?

The condition most often occurs in people in their late teens to early 40s. Women can be twice as likely as men to get IBS. IBS can happen to multiple family members.

You might be at higher risk if you have:

What triggers IBS?

If you have IBS, you may have noticed that certain things produce symptoms. Typical triggers include some foods and medication. Psychological stress can also be a trigger. Some researchers suggest that IBS is the gut’s reaction to life’s stressors.

What are the causes of IBS?

Researchers don’t precisely know what leads to IBS. They believe a combination of factors can lead to IBS, including:

What are IBS symptoms?

Symptoms of IBS consist of:

Women with IBS might find that symptoms flare up during their periods. These symptoms commonly occur again and again, which can make you feel stressed or upset. As you discover management methods and gain control over flare-ups, you’ll start to feel better, physically and mentally.

How is IBS diagnosed?

If you’ve been having unpleasant GI symptoms, see your healthcare provider. The first step in diagnosing IBS is a medical history and a physical exam. Your provider will ask you about your symptoms:

Depending on your symptoms, you may require other tests to confirm a diagnosis. Blood tests, stool samples as well as X-rays can help eliminate other disorders that mimic IBS.

What is IBS treatment?

No particular treatment works for everyone, but most individuals with IBS can find a treatment that works for them. Your healthcare provider will personalize your IBS treatment plan for your needs. Regular treatment options consist of dietary and lifestyle adjustments. A dietitian can help you develop a diet that fits your life.

Many individuals find that with these adjustments, symptoms improve:

Dietary changes:

Activity changes:

Medical changes:

For further information about Dr. Stengler’s practice and his clinic in Encinitas, California, please visit our website at MarkStengler.com or give us a call at (760) 274-2377.