Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a group of symptoms that affect your digestive system. It's a common but uncomfortable gastrointestinal disorder. People with IBS have excessive gas, abdominal pain and cramps.
Who is at risk for developing IBS?
The condition usually occurs in people in their late teens to early 40s. Women can be twice as likely than men to get IBS. IBS might happen to multiple family members.
You might be at greater risk if you have:
What triggers IBS?
If you have IBS, you might have noticed that certain things produce symptoms. Common 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 sources of IBS?
Researchers do not specifically 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 often occur repeatedly, which can make you feel stressed or upset. As you discover management techniques 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 doctor will ask you about your symptoms:
Depending on your symptoms, you may require other tests to confirm a diagnosis. Blood tests, stool samples and X-rays can help eliminate other disorders that mimic IBS.
What is IBS treatment?
No particular therapy works for everyone, but most people with IBS can find a treatment that works for them. Your healthcare provider will tailor your IBS treatment plan for your needs. Regular treatment options consist of dietary and lifestyle adjustments. A dietitian can help you create a diet that fits your life.
Lots of people find that with these changes, symptoms improve:
Talk to your doctor if your symptoms don't improve. You may require more tests to see if an underlying condition is causing the symptoms.
For further information about Dr. Stengler’s practice and his clinic in La Mesa, California, please visit our website at MarkStengler.com or give us a call at (760) 274-2377.