Managing Your IBS During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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If you suffer from IBS, keep on reading. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you might notice that your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms may be more bothersome than normal. Understanding the link between food triggers, stress and your symptoms may be the key to managing symptoms from home. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about IBS, and what you can do until you can see your doctor.

What Exactly Is IBS, Anyway?

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is a condition that causes you to have cramping and pain in your abdomen with diarrhea or constipation. Doctors still aren’t aware of what causes IBS, but research suggests it has something to do with the connection between your gut and your brain. While IBS might cause discomfort and even be painful at times, there is no evidence that it causes long-term damage to your digestive tract.

You Might Also Have These Symptoms

You heard right: you could possibly have symptoms you didn’t associate with IBS. Everyone experiences IBS differently, and there are different types of IBS. Although most people complain of abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or constipation, you may have some of the more unusual symptoms too. These include:

  • Bloating in lower stomach
  • Feeling that you haven’t finished a bowel movement
  • White-colored mucus in your stool
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Fatigue
  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Anxiety or depression

What Pulls the Trigger on Symptoms

Symptoms of IBS can fluctuate, but there are a few triggers that are known.

  • Bacterial infections in your tract
  • Change in the balance of bacteria in your small intestine
  • Sensitivity to certain foods
  • Experiencing stressful events
  • Irritable bowel syndrome can also be more common in people who have post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or depression.

Social Distancing and Keeping Track 

By decreasing possible food triggers, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome may be managed at home until you can get in to see your doctor. This may take some time to figure out, as you make small changes in your diet. It may be helpful to keep a log of both your food and your activities to see if certain behaviors seem to trigger symptoms. If so, make note and have this information available when you can get in to see your doctor.

Get the Help You Need

Treatment of IBS involves a number of different approaches under the guidance of your gastroenterologist. If you feel as though you may have IBS and have not received a diagnosis, don’t wait to contact Triborough GI to make an appointment or schedule a Televisit. If you currently have irritable bowel syndrome and are looking for a team of professionals to help you, look no further.

Call Triborough GI today at (718) 332-0600!


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