Irritable Bowel Syndrome –What Is It?

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common but serious condition that inflicts up to 45 million people in the United States. To put that into perspective… that’s more people than the entire population of California. In fact, up to 10 percent of the world’s population may suffer from IBS, making it one of the most common digestive issues.

In many cases, IBS is a persistent inconvenience, causing abdominal pain and frequent, unpleasant trips to the toilet. So far, no one is certain what causes IBS, which makes it hard to diagnose and treat. Still, a skilled gastroenterologist will be able to help determine if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and can prescribe treatment that will alleviate symptoms.

Unfortunately, many of those suffering from IBS don’t seek treatment. They simply suffer through the condition as it persists and even worsens. This can lower your quality of life, affect your career and personal relationships, and cause other problems.

Illustration of the digestive system

IBS and Its Impact on Your Health

IBS is frequently tied to other digestive issues, such as diarrhea, heartburn, and constipation. Outside of digestive issues, IBS has also been tied to migraines, depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, and chronic fatigue syndrome. In other words – IBS is a serious condition that can have a major impact on your physical and mental health.

IBS and Potential Causes

It’s believed that your microbiome is closely linked to irritable bowel syndrome. Your microbiome is the entire system of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, that live in your body. Many of these organisms play a vital and helpful role during digestion.

If your microbiome is out of sync, it may create problems and could possibly result in or worsen IBS. Some IBS treatments focus on restoring and increasing the health of your microbiome.
IBS is frequently linked to diet. Unfortunately, there has not been a link made between foods that specifically and consistently cause IBS. In fact, there may not be a list of “IBS causing” foods. Instead, people and their microbiomes may individually react to different foods.

Not sure if you have IBS? We’ll briefly outline some common symptoms.

Signs That You May Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome

There are many symptoms of IBS. The condition is often accompanied by constant cramping and stomach discomfort. Some patients may exhibit certain symptoms while not experiencing others. In fact, there are three types of IBS:

  • IBS with diarrhea
  • IBS With constipation
  • IBS with mixed bowel movements (both diarrhea and constipation)

If you believe you have IBS, it’s best to talk to a doctor. Meanwhile, there are some other symptoms you can watch out for.

  • Food Intolerance– Many people find that certain foods trigger IBS.
  • Cramping and Pain– Another common sign is regular cramping and pain.
  • Difficulty Sleeping– Having trouble getting to sleep? Your IBS could be the root cause.
  • Fatigue– Even if you fall asleep, IBS could leave you feeling tired in the morning.

If you are suffering from constipation, diarrhea, or a mix of both, and any of the above symptoms or regular cramping, it may be due to IBS. If that’s the case, you need to seek treatment and restore your quality of life.

What to Do If You Think You Have IBS

If you believe you’re suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, you should schedule an appointment with the experts at Triborough GI. You don’t have to accept IBS as an inevitable chronic condition. There may be treatments and lifestyle choices that could provide relief. Get in touch with our gastroenterologists today and we’ll diagnose and prescribe treatment for your IBS.

Call (718) 332-0600 to book an appointment or a Televisit!


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