Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (cont.)
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) definition and facts
- What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- Are IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and IBD (inflammatory bowel syndrome) the same disease?
- What are the causes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- What are the signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- What are IBS-D (IBS with diarrhea) and IBS-C (IBS with constipation)?
- Is there a test to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- What is the treatment for irritable bowel syndrome?
- What medications treat diarrhea (IBS-D) and constipation (IBS-D) in irritable bowel syndrome?
- What medications treat pain and cramping in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- What other medication may help signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- Is there an irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) diet (foods to avoid, foods to eat)?
- What is a low FODMAP diet?
- What natural and home remedies or other lifestyle changes may help IBS symptoms and signs?
- Is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) related to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)?
- What are potential complications of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- Which specialties of doctors treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- Is it possible to prevent irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- What is the prognosis for a person with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
What natural and home remedies or other lifestyle changes may help IBS symptoms and signs?
Some lifestyle changes that can also help relieve symptoms are:
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals
- Quit smoking
- Exercise regularly
- Take probiotics
- Avoid caffeine
- Use stress management and relaxation techniques
- Mindfulness training
- Gut-directed hypnosis
- Pain-management techniques
- Cognitive behavioral therapy or psychotherapy
- Regular exercise such as walking or yoga
- Get an adequate amount of sleep
- Try ginger or peppermint, which may help digestion
- Avoid laxatives unless prescribed by your health-care professional
Is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) related to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)?
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is considered one of the factors that may produce signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The medical data from studies done on SIBO are conflicting.
Some studies show an increase in gas production by intestinal bacteria as a cause of the pain and bloating associated with IBS. However, other studies done to determine if SIBO is the cause of IBS and if antibiotic treatment of SIBO is helpful in reducing or eliminating IBS symptoms have not been conclusive.
What are potential complications of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
In general, there are few complications associated with this functional disease other than the symptoms of the disease itself. If someone has hemorrhoids, the diarrhea and constipation associated with IBS may irritate them. Also, too strict a diet that limits nutrients could cause problems related to lack of proper nutrition.
The biggest complication of IBS may be on the quality of life. The stress and anxiety as well as the impact on daily activities the condition can cause may be troublesome for patients.
Which specialties of doctors treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
A primary-care provider or family-medicine specialist or a child's pediatrician may first diagnose irritable bowel syndrome. You will likely be referred to a gastroenterologist (a specialist in disorders of the digestive system) for further treatment.
Is it possible to prevent irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
It may not be possible to prevent developing IBS, but you can take steps to prevent symptoms for occurring or worsening. As discussed earlier, dietary and lifestyle changes can help you manage symptoms. To identify food triggers, your doctor may suggest that you keep a food diary and avoid foods that cause symptoms. Manage stress and anxiety, and try cognitive therapy or psychotherapy if needed.
What is the prognosis for a person with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disease with symptoms that tend to come and go. The overall prognosis for patients with IBS depends on the severity and frequency of symptoms, and the patient's ability to control these symptoms, whether by diet, lifestyle changes, or medications.
There is no known cure for IBS, but there are many treatment options to reduce or eliminate symptoms. Good communication with a doctor is important to help manage this condition.
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