Irritable bowel syndrome can cause chronic abdominal discomfort, constipation, diarrhea, and other symptoms. Also referred to as IBS, this condition affects the large intestine, which is commonly known as the colon. If you frequently experience abdominal discomfort or related symptoms, see one of the experienced gastroenterologists at Digestive Medicine Associates in Miami to find out if you have irritable bowel syndrome.
Symptoms of IBS
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is associated with a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms, such as a recurring urgent need to have a bowel movement. Other common symptoms of IBS include:
- Blood or mucus in stools
- Abdominal pain or cramping
The exact cause of IBS is not known, but it is believed to affect as many as 60 million adult Americans. Additionally, women tend to develop the condition more than men. At our gastroenterology practice in Miami, irritable bowel syndrome can be formally diagnosed by conducting various tests, such as blood work, stool sample testing, x-rays, a colonoscopy, or a sigmoidoscopy.
Treatments for IBS
Several effective methods are available for treating the symptoms of IBS. Common treatment options include medications and probiotics. Both help provides relief from IBS symptoms by improving digestion. Stress management techniques can also help as stress has a tendency to aggravate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Keeping stress levels low can help minimize the symptoms of IBS.
Dietary changes can also have a positive impact on reducing the symptoms of IBS. For instance, eliminating dairy, beans, alcohol, and other types of foods or beverages from the diet that are known to aggravate the condition can help reduce symptoms. Adding more fiber to the diet can help by preventing constipation. Another dietary change that is beneficial is eating smaller meals, which can lessen symptoms and make digestion easier. Our knowledgeable gastroenterologists can make special dietary recommendations that can help ease or reduce your specific symptoms.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition that can periodically cause gastrointestinal pain and discomfort. For help achieving relief from the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, call Digestive Medicine Associates in Miami at (305) 822-4107 to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled gastroenterologists.