IBS: How To Identify and Manage Symptoms

| Patient Education

What is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that typically presents itself as abdominal pain. The disorder impacts the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the intestines and stomach. There are a few types of IBS differentiated by bowel movements so various symptoms are considered during diagnosis.

What are the symptoms of IBS?

The symptoms of IBS can correlate with many other conditions, which can make diagnosis challenging. Often, individuals experience symptoms and have no clue they have IBS.

Common symptoms of IBS include:

  • Constipation

  • Abdominal pain

  • Diarrhea

  • Cramps

  • Bloat

If you experience any or a combination of the common symptoms, we’d encourage you to speak with your primary care doctor to understand if IBS may be the reason.

Who does IBS affect?

While any gender can have IBS, females are more likely, especially in those under 50. Those with family histories of IBS are also susceptible. Additionally, individuals who experienced mental health challenges such as anxiety or depression can display symptoms, though a specific reason for the correlation has not been determined.

A woman suffering from IBS seeks help from a doctor

What causes IBS?

A direct cause of IBS is still unknown, however there are a variety of factors that may contribute. These include:

  • Altered microbe

  • Nerve complications

  • Childhood stress

  • Muscle contractions

  • Extreme infection

Since an exact cause for IBS has not been found, there are no known preventative measures. Thankfully, treatment options are available.

A woman experiencing IBS issues holds her stomach

Treatment for IBS

Pursuing treatment options for long-term disorders like IBS are important for maintaining a good quality of life. Gastroenterologists can diagnose and help treat IBS in patients with moderate to severe symptoms.

Your physician will discuss what you’re experiencing and determine what form of treatment may be right for you. Recommendations for treatment may include dietary restrictions, adjusted activities, and/or prescription medications.

Common symptoms may be alleviated by avoiding foods such as:

  • Citrus

  • Dairy

  • Cabbage

  • Wheat

  • Beans

If your symptoms persist it is important to consult with your physician to determine an alternative treatment plan. Finding the right treatment for you can make all the difference.

When to see a doctor for IBS

While some with IBS lead fairly normal lives unbothered by the symptoms, some experience more extreme symptoms. Please see a your primary care if your symptoms are affecting your daily life, or if you notice more serious symptoms like:

  • Consistent pain

  • Nightly diarrhea

  • Unexplained vomiting

  • Weight loss

  • Rectal bleeding

IBS Help At Schneck

Gastroenterology is one of many specialties provided at Schneck Medical Center. We offer endoscopy services that can aid our physicians in the diagnosis process. An endoscopic procedure is an examination that shows physicians internal areas of the body up close. To help patients feel at ease, we discuss what to expect beforehand.

At Schneck, patients are the top priority so our physicians will work to help you confidently decide what’s right for your health.

Your Providers

We're fortunate to have these skilled Gastroenterologists leading endoscopy procedures at Schneck.

Doctor Maurer

Susan Maurer, MD

General Surgeon, da Vinci Surgery View Info »

Prioritize Your Health

Schneck’s dedicated professionals are prepared to support you on your journey to better health. When you’re ready, we’ll be here to guide you every step of the way. Contact the Schneck Endoscopy Center to learn more.

Call: (812)-522-0464