What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Do you often suffer from abdominal discomfort and irregular bowel movements following meals? Does it seem like you always have constipation or diarrhea, or maybe both? Is bloating just a common side effect of eating for you? If you answered yes to any of these, you might have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

IBS is a long-term disease of the GI tract and affects many people across the world. The primary symptoms include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating
  • Mucus in stools
  • Irregular bowel habits
  • Alternating diarrhea

IBS affects about one in five Americans and is more prevalent among women. While these numbers may sound alarming, it also means you are not alone. Much medical attention has been given to this disorder, and Dr. Tabib is an expert on treating it.

The onset of symptoms usually begins around age 20. Though symptoms are incredibly uncomfortable, it is not life-threatening. Currently, there are many options for treating IBS. Treatment options that help restore a more normal function to your digestive tract.

Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Underlying causes of IBS are still a medical mystery. The human body is incredibly complex and gives up its secrets only after decades of research. Still, we do know what factors will often contribute to the condition. For most people with IBS, symptom triggers include:

  • Certain foods such as dairy, refined grains, and processed foods
  • Stress
  • Medications like antibiotics, antidepressants, and pain meds

Most of these triggers can be addressed with simple lifestyle changes. These changes are not always convenient but can improve your quality of life. After Dr. Tabib makes a diagnosis, he can help you decide what changes to make.

Research also finds IBS symptoms increase for women during menstruation. This indicates that hormones likely play a role. IBS happens when there’s abnormal functioning of the large intestine (colon). Smooth muscles in the colon can do one of two things.

They could constrict too strongly. This causes food to pass either too quickly, leading to diarrhea. Or they could stop during the passing of food. This results in food moving too slowly, causing constipation. Patients with IBS also tend to have colons sensitive to diet or stress. Even if you don’t notice it, stress can cause irregularities. In fact, stress plays a large role in many bodily disorders.

A small percentage of patients with IBS also have celiac disease. A condition that prevents the body from digesting gluten. This results in your immune systems attacking your own body in the presence of gluten. In turn, this makes gluten a toxic substance for these individuals. This used to be a significant problem for many patients, as many foods include gluten. Fortunately, many gluten-free options are now widely available.

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Since IBS elicits irregular muscle contractions of the colon, symptoms can vary. If stools move too slowly in the colon, it will absorb too much water. This causes hard and dry stool to form. The result is constipation.

But if stools move too fast, it causes diarrhea. Spasms in the colon can also cause stool and gas to become trapped in parts of the colon. This can cause bloating and abdominal pressure or pain. IBS patients can experience one or more of these symptoms. Such as alternating constipation and diarrhea.

Some people with IBS may also feel the urge to go and then be unable to produce a bowel movement. Abdominal cramps can accompany this urge. In some cases, they may pass mucus along with your bowel movements.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Treatment

Treating IBS is a custom treatment process for each individual. It depends on what causes your symptoms to flare up. These triggers will differ for each patient. For example, if foods trigger your symptoms, dietary changes may solve the issue.

Stress is also a significant contributing factor when it comes to IBS. There are several stress-controlling methods we recommend:

  • Counseling
  • Calming Exercise (Walking, Yoga, etc.)
  • Stress Reduction Therapy
  • Lifestyle Changes
  • Sleep

These changes may seem minimal. However, they can significantly improve your symptoms.

Medical Intervention

Prescription medications also make a considerable difference in IBS treatment. Medications can help with diarrhea or constipation symptoms. A physician should monitor IBS medicine use. And medication should be used only as prescribed.

Schedule a Consultation Today

Today, gastroenterology conditions can effectively be treated with the help of a specialist. The first step involves diagnosis via a colonoscopy. When caught early, these conditions can be cured with excellent outcomes.

We provide patients with a personalized gastroenterology treatment plan. Contact our gastroenterology and hepatology Center In Los Angeles. Schedule a consolation with a preferred gastroenterologist in Los Angeles. Dr. Tabib has years of experience helping patients with a variety of disorders. If IBS is interfering with your life, call us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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Siamak Tabib, M.D., Inc.
8631 W 3rd St Suite 1015E,
Los Angeles, CA 90048

(310) 683-4911

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