Numerous adults are impacted by chronic intestinal discomfort and bowel problems. What many might not realize is that this could be a signal of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This digestive disease impacts 10 – 15% of people and does not have a cure.
At Adult Gastroenterology Associates in Tulsa, Oklahoma, it’s our objective to spread awareness of this condition during April – IBS Awareness Month. Just because there is no cure for IBS, it doesn’t mean you have to live with chronic distress and discomfort.
What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic digestive disorder that affects the functions of the intestines and impacts the large and small bowels. In simple terms, the brain and intestines have trouble working together, and it causes the digestive organs to become sensitive and leads the colon muscle to contract more than usual.
These issues can provoke symptoms, such as gas, stomach discomfort, cramping, obstruction, diarrhea, and more. If you have this ailment, you likely will not notice IBS symptoms each and every day. Some days will be absolutely normal while others might be more difficult — it depends on the variety of IBS that you have.
The 3 Types of IBS
- IBS with diarrhea
- IBS with mixed bowel habits
- IBS with constipation
The GI doctors at Adult Gastroenterology Associates regularly provide IBS treatment to Tulsa individuals. We can establish what kind of irritable bowel syndrome you have and help you get the care needed for relief.
How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosed?
If you’ve been experiencing symptoms of IBS, it may be smart to pursue the help of a gastroenterologist near you. Our team can determine if your symptoms are related to irritable bowel syndrome or another problem. Before a physical exam, we’ll ask a few questions to help us learn about your symptoms and review your health history.
In some instances, we might request a blood exam or stool sample to rule out any diseases that may be misidentified as irritable bowel syndrome. Common indicators of IBS include:
- Bowel urgency
- Loose stools
- Gut discomfort
- Loss of appetite
If we find that you suffer from IBS, our GI doctors can determine the best irritable bowel syndrome treatment to meet your needs.
How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treated?
There is no universal treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, so it might take some time to identify an IBS treatment that works for you. Be that as it may, many people discover that they can make some diet and physical activity modifications and have great outcomes. Common adjustments that often make an impact on IBS symptoms include:
- Increasing fiber intake (more veggies, fruits, grains, and additional fiber, like Metamucil®)
- Quitting smoking
- Consuming smaller meals more frequently instead of three larger meals
- Increasing liquid intake
- Maintaining a daily exercise routine
- Consuming fewer dairy products
- Avoiding all kinds of caffeine
It’s also smart to keep a food log. This can allow you to pinpoint which foods activate irritable bowel syndrome issues so you can be proactive about not eating those items in the future. Additionally, if you take any medications, we may examine those to see if any modifications can be made to the type or amount you take.
Relief from Irritable Bowel Syndrome is Possible, Schedule an Appointment with a Gastroenterologist Today
If you have symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, like gut pain, diarrhea, and gas, it can be difficult to plan trips, outings, and even the most special events. Visit our gastrointestinal physicians in Tulsa so we can help you identify and treat your irritable bowel syndrome issues. While there is no cure, we can help you manage your symptoms so you can live life more comfortably.
For additional details on irritable bowel syndrome or IBS treatments, contact us today.