What is irritable bowel syndrome (ibs)?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder affecting the large intestine, which leads to abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and other changes in bowel movements. IBS is a chronic condition, meaning it doesn't go away, and requires long-term health management. At Atlanta Medical Institute, Dr. Elbridge Bills and Dr. Jeff Semel provide diagnosis and treatment of IBS for our patients in Atlanta, GA. Call our office to learn more and schedule an appointment to address your IBS issues.
what are Symptoms of IBS?
Symptoms of IBS vary and may be different for each person who is experiencing it, but the symptoms will present themselves consistently over a long period. These symptoms include:
- Stomach pain and discomfort lasting 9-12 weeks
- A change in stool color
- Changes in bowel movement frequency
- Mucus in stool
Persistent, lasting changes in bowel habits are often an indication of IBS but may also be symptoms of more serious conditions, such as colon cancer. You should always see a doctor if you are experiencing: rectal bleeding, anemia (iron deficiency), persistent pain, unexplained weight loss, difficulty swallowing, or unexplained vomiting.
what Causes IBS?
There is no known cause of IBS. However, a common factor of IBS is a colon that is particularly sensitive and reactive to different types of food and stress. The epithelium (the lining of the colon) can affect the nervous and immune systems while it regulates the flow of fluids through the colon, thereby inducing IBS. Other possible causes include:
- Abnormal intestinal muscle contractions
- Nervous system abnormalities
- Severe infection
- Changes in gut biome
- Stress in childhood or as an adult
- Viral or bacterial infections in the intestines or stomach
- Anxiety, stress, and depression
- Hormonal imbalances
- Above-average sensitivity to intestinal pain
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can IBS be cured?
There is no cure for IBS, but there are ways to manage it. Dr. Bills or Dr. Semel will talk to you about your medical history, give you a physical exam, and do testing if necessary to rule out any other medical causes of your intestinal discomfort. They can then recommend ways you can manage your IBS to lessen the symptoms and severity, including:
- Dietary changes
- Stress management
- Lifestyle changes
- Regular exercise
- Sleep improvement
- Vitamin supplements
While there is no cure for IBS, through treatment at Atlanta Medical Institute, you can regain control of your IBS symptoms to live healthier with less discomfort.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) FAQ
Can you suddenly develop IBS?
IBS, like any medical condition, can develop suddenly without any previous symptoms. Gastric discomfort, pain, or irregular bowel movements are normal, but when the symptoms persist and don’t go away, you should always seek medical help. The Atlanta Medical Institute is always ready to schedule an appointment to diagnose any gastric or bowel issues you may be experiencing, so please feel free to call us today.
Does IBS ever go away?
Unfortunately, there currently is no known cure for IBS. Even the causes of IBS are still under study. That doesn’t mean all hope is lost. It simply means that with a doctor’s diagnosis, lifestyle changes, and certain treatments, you can greatly reduce any pain or discomfort you may experience from IBS to lead a normal life. That’s why at The Atlanta Medical Institute, Dr. Elbridge Bills and Dr. Jeff Semel provide diagnosis and treatment of IBS for our patients in Atlanta, GA.
Are there foods that help prevent or provide relief from IBS?
Although the causes of IBS are still under study, some foods may help provide relief from IBS, these include:
- Low-fat foods
- Dietary fiber supplements
- Daily recommended allowance of water
- High-fiber diet