Irritable Bowel Syndrome and its Causes
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastrointestinal (GI) disorders with some estimates suggesting it affects 15-20% of individuals.
Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS can cause symptoms of abdominal cramping, bloating, pain, constipation, or diarrhea. These symptoms are similar to what is experienced with other, more dangerous conditions, such as inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease and/or ulcerative colitis), Celiac sprue, and colon cancer. Although IBS may not be as serious a health threat as these other problems, it can certainly impair ones quality of life due to troubling symptoms.
Evaluating and Managing IBS
Seeing a gastrointestinal specialist is often the most important step in evaluating and managing IBS. After a careful review of the history and thorough examination, occasionally testing with blood work, stool exams, or endoscopy/colonoscopy may be appropriate to completely exclude more dangerous conditions. IBS is unfortunately a chronic disorder that can’t be cured, but can be effectively managed. Treatment approaches can include diet alterations, stress reduction, or use of medications and/or nutritional supplements.
The physicians and staff at Putnam Gastroenterology have treated some of the most challenging cases of IBS with patients over the years and are available to help. We provide the skill and decades of experience to differentiate symptoms and determine if your problem is IBS, or something else. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our board certified specialists.
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