Raising Awareness of IBS: Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Numerous people are impacted by persistent abdominal discomfort and bowel issues. What they might not be aware of is that this could be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This disorder impacts 10 – 15% of adults and does not have a cure. At GastroArkansas in Little Rock, AR, we aim to elevate awareness of this ailment during the month of April – IBS Awareness Month. Just because there is no permanent solution, it doesn’t mean you have to live with chronic GI discomfort.
What is IBS?
IBS is a long-term digestive issue that impacts digestive function and affects the large and small intestines. In short, the brain and gut have difficulty performing jointly, and it causes the colon muscle to contract more than normal and the gastrointestinal system to become easily irritated.
These problems can induce symptoms, like gas, gut trouble, cramping, constipation, loose stools, and other symptoms. If you are afflicted with this disorder, you probably will not experience IBS symptoms every day. In reality, some days are entirely normal and at other times, the symptoms are more intense — it honestly depends on the type of IBS you have. The types of IBS are:
- IBS with constipation
- IBS with mixed bowel habits
- IBS with diarrhea
Our IBS doctors at GastroArkansas offer IBS treatment to Little Rock, AR clients. We can determine what kind of irritable bowel syndrome you have and help you attain relief.
How is IBS diagnosed?
If you have experienced signs of IBS, it may be wise to seek the aid of a gastroenterologist near you. Our doctors can help you understand whether your symptoms are irritable bowel syndrome or a different problem. Prior to a physical examination, our team will ask a few questions to assess your symptoms and review your wellness history. In some cases, we might suggest a blood test or stool sample as a method to eliminate any conditions that might be mistaken for irritable bowel syndrome. Symptoms of IBS commonly include:
- Bowel urgency
- Decrease in appetite
- Stomach trouble
- Loose stool or obstruction
Once we have enough evidence that you suffer from IBS, our gastroenterologists in Little Rock, AR can select the ideal irritable bowel syndrome treatment to suit your health needs.
How is irritable bowel syndrome treated?
There is no tried-and-true treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, so it may take some trial and error to discover an IBS treatment that benefits you. Be that as it may, most patients discover that they can make some diet and physical activity adjustments and obtain amazing outcomes. Regular changes that can reduce IBS symptoms are:
- Consuming less dairy products
- Maintaining a regular exercise regimen
- Consuming smaller meals more frequently instead of three bigger meals
- Increasing fiber intake (more grains, fruits, veggies, and additional fiber, like Metamucil®)
- Increasing liquid consumption
- Avoiding all kinds of caffeine
- Giving up smoking
It’s also smart to maintain a food log. This can help you identify which foods provoke irritable bowel syndrome issues so you can be proactive about not eating those items in the future. Furthermore, if you take any prescriptions, we might review those to see if any modifications can be made to the amount or type.
A respite from irritable bowel syndrome is possible
If you suffer issues from irritable bowel syndrome, like stomach pain, diarrhea, and flatulence, it can be difficult to plan trips and daily outings, as this disease can disrupt even the most special events. We recommend visiting our gastrointestinal physicians in Little Rock, AR promptly so we can help you diagnose and alleviate your irritable bowel syndrome issues. While there is no cure, it is possible to minimize your symptoms so you can do what you love. For additional information about irritable bowel syndrome or IBS treatments, call GastroArkansas today.