Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic digestive condition affecting the large intestine or bowel. It is often caused by various factors, which can be hard to pinpoint. Report says women are more prone to IBS than men.
If you or a loved one has irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, a gastroenterologist may help you quell these debilitating GI symptoms.
Let’s talk about IBS, how gastroenterology doctors treat it, and where you can go in to find the best gastroenterologist in Westlake and Brooklyn, OH.
My Doctor Thinks I Have IBS; Just What Is It?
Most researchers believe that irritable bowel stems from consuming certain gas-forming and irritating foods, smoking, alcohol, and even emotions, such as anxiety. In fact, people with IBS often experience long periods of job-related stress or emotional/physical trauma.
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are:
- Gas (flatulence) and abdominal bloating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loose and frequent stools (diarrhea)
- Abdominal pain (many times relieved by a bowel movement)
- Mucous or even blood in the stool
- Malnutrition and weight loss
Also, IBS patients may complain of feeling anxious in social situations because of their urgent bathroom needs. They also may become depressed and socially isolated.
IBS Treatments In Westlake, OH
Proper and effective IBS treatment starts with a careful assessment with your GI doctor in Westlake, OH. He will ask about the location, frequency, and intensity of your symptoms, go over your medical history and discuss lifestyle factors that may be impacting your bowel health.
In addition, the doctor will order blood work and imaging tests–usually a visual inspection of the colon with sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. You may be assessed with lactose (milk sugar) intolerance test or a breath test to detect bacteria in the gut or other tests. With findings in hand, your physician can recommend a treatment plan. Sadly, IBS is not truly curable but can be managed successfully.
While irritable bowel syndrome is highly individualized, you can expect the diagnosis if you exhibit symptoms at least once weekly for three months or more.
IBS Treatments may include the following.
Medications can calm smooth muscle spasms in the large intestine, treat underlying stress or manage constipation/diarrhea cycling that often accompanies IBS. Some people respond well to fiber supplements and laxatives. Still, others need antidepressants to relieve both the bowel symptoms and depressed mood.
Many people feel better by eliminating certain foods from their diets. These include gas-forming foods, such as cruciform vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower). Also, dietary choices containing gluten (wheat, barley, and rye) should be reduced or even completely eliminated. Finally, your GI specialist may advise the FODMAP diet, which eliminates fructans, fructose, and lactose, the complex carbohydrates found in some foods. Artificial sweeteners can cause IBS symptoms, too.
Changing Lifestyle Habits
This is not as daunting as some people think. Adding fiber and drinking plenty of water daily can improve IBS symptoms. So can regular exercise, such as walking, cycling or swimming.
Also, regularize your sleep habits, and employ stress-reducing strategies, such as deep breathing, prayer, and meditation. Finally, watch your alcohol intake, and stop smoking.
Smoking cessation may be the most daunting change. However, your PCP can help you with a monitored smoking cessation program to help you quit for good.
Top-notch IBS Treatments in Westlake and Brooklyn, OH
If you are looking for IBS treatment, look no further than North Shore Gastroenterology & Endoscopy Centers. Our board-certified specialists will unravel the complexities of this GI disorder and help you live well each and every day. Learn more about customized treatments for irritable bowel syndrome by booking a consultation through online or phone our office team at (440) 808-1212.