What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

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

Who is at risk of getting IBS?

The condition usually 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 greater risk if you have:

What triggers IBS?

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

What are the sources of IBS?

Researchers don’t exactly know what causes IBS. They think a combination of factors can cause IBS, including:

What are IBS symptoms?

Symptoms of IBS include:

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

How is IBS diagnosed?

If you’ve been having uncomfortable GI symptoms, see your doctor. 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 might require other tests to confirm a diagnosis. Blood tests, stool samples and X-rays can help rule out other illnesses that resemble IBS.

What is IBS treatment?

No particular therapy works for everyone, but most individuals with IBS can find a treatment that works for them. Your doctor will customize your IBS treatment plan for your needs. Typical treatment options include dietary and lifestyle changes. 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:

Speak with your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve. You may need more tests to see if an underlying condition is causing the symptoms.

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