Diagnosis and Management of IBS

Monday, June 24th, 2013, 8:07 pm

Those living with IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, know firsthand the effect it can have on one’s quality of life.  An intestinal disorder, IBS can cause patients to experience bloating, cramps, and abdominal pains, along with diarrhea and constipation.  Affecting roughly 7-10% of the world’s population, IBS is a widespread condition that many still don’t know much about.  So how do we diagnose this condition, and what are the options for patients living with it?

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The most common symptoms of irritable bowel disease are stomach pain, accompanied with diarrhea or constipation.  Many also experience mucus in their stools, bloating, and a feeling as if their bowels haven’t been completely emptied.  While many experience symptoms so light that it doesn’t warrant a visit to the doctor, others are affected more greatly.

The exact causes of IBS are currently unclear, as the triggers may differ from person to person.  However, doctors have a number of ways in which they can diagnose this condition.  Patients will likely be asked about their symptoms and medical history, and a physical exam will be completed.  If a physical exam proves ineffective in identifying IBS, there are a number of tests that can help.  These tests, like blood tests and stool analysis, work to rule out other conditions, allowing the doctor to accurately diagnose irritable bowel syndrome.

Management and Treatment

While there is no cure for IBS, there are ways to manage this condition and prevent it from affecting your quality of life.  Certain lifestyle choices, like diet and exercise, can help to manage symptoms, as well as avoiding known triggers.  As certain foods can work to bring about unwanted symptoms, realizing and avoiding these triggers can greatly help in IBS management.  Avoiding or dealing with stress has also proven to have a role in the management of this condition.

If a patient’s symptoms are more severe, there are medications that can help reduce the symptoms of IBS.  It’s important to speak to your doctor, as they will be able to personalize a treatment plan based on your unique, individual needs.

Board Certified Physician in Astoria

If you think you may be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or you just want to learn more, contact us today and schedule a consultation.  Our offices are located in Astoria, and you can reach us directly at (718) 204-7550.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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Category: Conditions Treated

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