Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common and uncomfortable condition. At Marina del Rey Hospital, our gastroenterologists are well trained in diagnosing and treating a wide range of conditions such as IBS. After carefully evaluating your condition, our specialists will recommend a personalized treatment plan that will provide immediate- and long-term relief.
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a chronic condition that affects the digestive system, namely the colon. Patients with this condition commonly present symptoms such as constipation, bloating, abdominal cramps, gas, and diarrhea, among others. Despite the unpleasant symptoms, this condition is not as severe as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, nor is it associated with cancer. It is unclear what the exact cause of IBS is, but different theories indicate that there may be several causes that influence its development such as stress, diet, infections, bacteria, or genetic factors.
IBS affects roughly 11 percent of the population. Although it cannot be cured its symptoms can be treated. It is common for patients who suffer from this condition to try different treatment options in order to find the ones that most effectively relieve their symptoms. Some of the most effective treatment options for this condition are diet changes, medications, lifestyle improvements, stress relieving methods, and counseling.
Considering that the exact cause of IBS is unknown, the gastroenterologists' main focus is on relieving the patient’s symptoms. Doctors often recommend a combination of different treatment methods. In some cases, especially when the symptoms are mild, patients can successfully improve their condition by making lifestyle changes and learning how to manage their stress levels. However, for patients who have severe symptoms, doctors may also prescribe medications and different types of therapies.
Some of the most efficient treatments for IBS are:
There are three different types of IBS, and all three of them affect a relatively equal number of people. Additionally, it is thought that people who suffer from IBS can alternate between these types.
IBS is a condition that comes with a wide range of symptoms that can worsen after eating. Most patients who suffer from IBS have reported that these symptoms are recurrent, as they can be very pronounced for a few days at a time and completely disappear after that. Additionally, these symptoms affect the daily activity and the quality of life of those who suffer from IBS, causing depression and anxiety.
Some of the most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are:
There are no specific tests that can be performed in order to detect IBS, as this disease does not affect any organs in a visible way. Therefore, in most cases the gastroenterologist will diagnose the condition based on the patient’s symptoms alone. The patient is more likely to be diagnosed with IBS if they present symptoms like stomach pain, constant bloating, abnormal bowel movement, diarrhea, and constipation for prolonged periods of time. IBS is also diagnosed by ruling out other possible conditions. Your doctor may order blood tests to rule out infections or coeliac disease. Furthermore, in order to rule out inflammatory bowel disease, the doctor can recommend the analysis of a stool sample.
Some patients might present certain symptoms like anemia, extreme weight loss, rectal bleeding, or lumps that can indicate more serious underlying conditions, such as cancer. Your the doctor will recommend the appropriate tests in this case.
Some of the most important risk factors for IBS include:
The exact causes of IBS are not yet known, but specialists have made different connections between this condition and certain factors that might cause it. This disorder consists of a series of abnormalities in the gastrointestinal system, which can be triggered by a wide range of problems, such as:
Being a condition that manifests itself through a wide range of symptoms, there are many alternative treatments available that are thought to relieve them. However, it is strongly advised that you check with your doctor before trying any of these treatments, as some of them might have negative side effects.
In order to effectively prevent IBS, we must learn how to prevent its symptoms, namely the digestive problems and stress. Some of the best ways to avoid the irritable bowel syndrome are:
Are you suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? For any questions, information or guidance related to irritable bowel syndrome, get in touch with our specialty-trained, skilled gastroenterologists at Marina del Rey Hospital.
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