Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) doesn’t damage your gastrointestinal system but does cause painful and distressing symptoms. If you’re affected by IBS symptoms, visit one of Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc’s offices in Plymouth, La Porte, or South Bend, Indiana, with two South Bend locations, on Generations Drive and in The South Bend Clinic on North Eddy Street. The board-certified gastroenterologists rule out other causes of your symptoms and provide effective therapies to control IBS. To benefit from their expertise, call your nearest Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc office today to book an appointment.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition affecting the large intestine (colon). It can cause ongoing symptoms such as:
IBS is uncomfortable and distressing. However, you don’t suffer any tissue damage as you would with the similarly named inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
IBS is a common problem, but the cause is unclear. Women get it more often than men, and you’re more likely to have IBS if a close family member also has it. Most people who have IBS typically develop it before the age of 35.
There are currently no lab tests that can diagnose IBS, so your provider at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc has to rule out other causes of your symptoms. You might have to undergo one or more tests, such as:
A blood test will exclude conditions like celiac disease (an allergic reaction to gluten) that can cause similar symptoms to IBS.
Lactose intolerance (where your body can’t break down milk sugars) can also cause some of the same symptoms as IBS. A lactose intolerance test can confirm whether you have this problem.
A CT scan creates a cross-sectional picture of your internal organs to help diagnose other gastrointestinal disorders.
The sigmoid colon is the last section of bowel, above the rectum. Sigmoidoscopy involves using a flexible tube fitted with a camera to examine the lower part of your colon.
Colonoscopy is similar to sigmoidoscopy, but the camera goes all the way along your colon to your small intestine.
There’s no cure for IBS, but the experienced team at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc can help you manage the symptoms. Treatments that can ease IBS include:
Avoid anything that triggers a flare-up. Common triggers include alcohol, fizzy drinks, chocolate, and some fruits or vegetables.
Stress can make your IBS worse. Learning relaxation techniques and taking steps to reduce stress in your life helps keep your symptoms under control.
You might benefit from taking fiber supplements if you get constipation.
Anti-diarrheal medications can help control your symptoms. Certain drugs relax your colon and slow down the speed of your bowel function. Other medicines help to control painful spasms in the intestines. If constipation is the main problem, medications are available that increase fluid levels in your small intestine.
If you’re struggling with IBS symptoms, get an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc. Call to bok an appointment today.