Our Gastroenterology Blog

Posts for tag: IBS

By Digestive Medicine Associates
January 18, 2021
Category: Digestive Health

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:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • 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.

By Digestive Medicine Associates
December 16, 2019
Category: Gastroenterology

Persistent pain in your stomach or abdomen could be a signal of irritable bowel syndrome, which should be treated by a gastroenterologist.

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, affects your large intestine and can be caused by poor functioning of your gastrointestinal nervous system as it relates to your GI function. The condition causes the walls of your intestines to not move as they should, which impairs the passage of food from your stomach through your intestines.

Irritable bowel syndrome has several signs and symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, you may experience:

  • Moderate to severe abdominal pain and cramping
  • Frequent or chronic gas and bloating
  • Frequent or chronic diarrhea or constipation
  • Mucus occurring frequently in your stools

When you have irritable bowel syndrome, you can lessen your symptoms by practicing a few simple tips like these:

  • Limiting or avoiding spicy foods, fats, nightshade vegetables, beans, fruits, milk, carbonated drinks, alcohol, and chocolate
  • Limiting or avoiding high-gluten content foods and foods with a high sugar content
  • Managing your stress with exercise, meditation, and yoga

Irritable bowel syndrome is best treated by your gastroenterologist. Professional treatments for IBS include:

  • Prescription-strength anti-diarrheal medications
  • Prescription-strength medications to reduce intestinal spasms
  • Antibiotics to treat any underlying infection or bacterial imbalance
  • Medications to relax the colon, including Alosetron
  • Medications to increase fluid secretion like Lubiprostone
  • Dietary and lifestyle counseling

Irritable bowel syndrome can be effectively treated by your gastroenterologist. Professional treatment for IBS can help you live a life free of annoying and painful symptoms. To find out more about the causes and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, talk with your gastroenterologist today!

By Digestive Medicine Associates
November 02, 2018
Category: GI Care

Is it constipation? Is it diarrhea? Frankly, when a patient complains to his or her physician about GI problems, the doctor has to wonder, "Is it Irritable Bowel Syndrome?" If you alternate between infrequent and too frequent bowel movements, you may need evaluation by a gastroenterologist. An expert in all things from your esophagus through your stomach and intestines, a GI doctor can uncover the reasons behind bowel issues, including IBS.

About IBS and its symptoms

Unfortunately, no one knows the real origin of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However, it definitely is a cluster of symptoms which millions of people in the US--more women than men--suffer, before the age of 50. The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders reports that stress appears to increase symptoms; however, anxiety and a high-pressure job or life circumstance do not actually cause the condition.

Besides constipation and/or diarrhea, individuals with IBS have:

  • Bouts of gas
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Cramps
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Fatigue
  • Intolerance to a variety of foods, including those containing gluten and lactose (dairy)
What you can do
 
Your primary care physician may refer you to a GI doctor for additional evaluation. This specialist will listen to your symptoms; so be sure to tell him or her what they are, when and how often they occur, how long they last and what, if anything, helps.
 
The doctor may order blood work, including a complete blood count to check for anemia, an indicator of bleeding in the GI tract. Also, he or she may wish to look into your intestine via colonoscopy. This common examination introduces a lighted, flexible tube through the entire length of the large intestine. It allows the doctor to visualize and take photos of the lining of the bowel and to biopsy areas as needed.
 
Treatments for IBS
 
If you are diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, you can manage your symptoms. No, IBS cannot be cured, but rest assured that many patients live well with this GI condition. Many gastroenterologists ask individuals to eliminate suspect foods such as:
  • Alcohol
  • Dairy products
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • High fat or fried foods
On the positive side, you may gradually increase your intake of fibrous dietary choices such as:
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Oats
  • Bran
  • Yams
  • Whole grains
  • Barley
The doctor may recommend easy-to-take fiber supplements such as Fibercon or Metamucil which regulate the water in the bowel and normalize stools. Probiotics--natural supplements containing beneficial bacteria and yeast--are a common part of an IBS regimen.
 
Feeling better
 
If you suspect you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or are just not sure what's going on with your digestive health, consult a board-certified gastroenterologist. This highly-skilled doctor will get to the source of your issues, answer your questions and help you function at your best.