Today, as many as 45 million Americans have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). At Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, outstanding gastrointestinal specialists offer customized IBS care in 13 locations throughout Charlotte, Belmont, Concord, Davidson, Matthews, Monroe, Huntersville, University, and Pineville, North Carolina. If you have persistent issues with constipation, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, or other distressing symptoms, call the office nearest you, or book your appointment online today.
IBS is a syndrome that produces uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms. While irritable bowel syndrome doesn’t cause damage to your intestines, it does disrupt the way they function, and it can affect your day-to-day activities as well.
There are two main categories of irritable bowel syndrome, each causing its own issues. These include:
IBS-C occurs when your main issue is constipation. This means passing fewer than three stools in a one-week period, with significant straining to do so. Stools are usually hard and dry.
IBS-D occurs when your main symptom is diarrhea. Typically, IBS-D means that you have very loose stool three or more times daily, with significant bowel urgency.
You may have recurrent abdominal cramping and pain, particularly before or during bowel movements. Women are more likely to develop IBS than men, and they may experience a spike in symptoms during menstrual periods.
If you’ve experienced IBS symptoms at least three times a month over the last three months, and your symptoms extend three months further back than that, it’s time to call Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, for help.
The cause of irritable bowel syndrome remains a mystery, but experts are researching a few different origins.
Some of the possible causes include infection, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), brain-gut signaling issues, muscle dysfunction in the colon, and mental health conditions like depression or anxiety.
Your doctor at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, takes a detailed medical history, reviews all of your symptoms, discusses your diet, and reviews your medication use.
Depending on your symptoms, their severity, and how often they occur, your doctor may perform blood tests, breath tests, or a diagnostic procedure like flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to diagnose IBS.
Recent studies show that most people self-diagnose IBS and try to treat it themselves. However, simply taking over-the-counter medications to control symptoms isn’t the best long-term way to manage IBS.
Your doctor can prescribe diet changes, probiotics, and new medications that can combine to ease your symptoms and restore your quality of life. You may need to try a few different options to find the ideal approach for you, but your doctor at Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, is with you every step of the way.
Book your appointment online, or call Carolina Digestive Health Associates, PA, for help with IBS now.