Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a cluster of varying symptoms including either diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloating. It should not be confused with the more serious inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBS is a functional condition, meaning it changes how your digestive tract functions.

Doctors are not certain what causes IBS. Diagnosis is often made based on symptoms or by eliminating other conditions with overlapping symptoms. It is helpful to keep a food and symptom diary, noting bouts of symptoms related to different foods, times of day, and situations that occurred prior to episode (for example, stress).

Treatment can range from medication to lifestyle changes. Because the symptoms of IBS can be debilitating and affect a patient’s quality of life, counseling is often recommended. Recent studies indicate most people with IBS symptoms never seek medical help, but resort to self-diagnosis and over the counter medications to address individual symptoms. This leads to depression and frustration and, to make matters worse, many IBS patients worry that a doctor won’t believe them. If this describes you it’s time to take a step toward help and hope, make an appointment with Dr. Islam today.