Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects 12% of adults, with women having double the risk compared to men. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division have extensive experience helping people of all ages overcome the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Using a holistic approach to care, they create a customized treatment that encompasses specialized diets, lifestyle changes, medications, and probiotics. If you need help with IBS, call the office in Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, or Highland, New York, or book an appointment online today.
IBS is a chronic health condition that develops in the large intestine, and a specific group of symptoms defines it. The primary symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain and bloating, and changes in the frequency and type of your bowel movements.
There are three types of IBS, based on different bowel movement habits. Defining the type of IBS helps your provider determine the best treatment.
If you have IBS-C, more than one-quarter of your stools are hard or lumpy, and less than one-quarter are loose. You may have infrequent bowel movements, strain to have a bowel movement, or feel that your bowel doesn’t empty. In most cases, abdominal pain improves after having a bowel movement.
If you have IBS-D, more than one-quarter of your stools are loose, less than one-quarter are hard, and you have frequent bowel movements. You also have abdominal bloating and pain that typically feel better after a bowel movement. With IBS-D, you may experience urinary urgency or frequency and pain in other parts of your body.
This type of IBS causes the symptoms of IBS-C and IBS-D.
IBS treatment focuses on easing your symptoms. To accomplish that, your provider at Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division creates a holistic and highly personalized treatment plan that includes:
It’s not always easy to determine which foods might trigger your IBS, but avoiding them can go a long way toward improving your symptoms.
Your provider may recommend specific diets such as the low FODMAP diet, which eliminates fermentable sugars, or the gluten-free diet to keep proteins in wheat, rye, and barley out of your diet. Avoiding foods known to increase gas, such as onions, carrots, beans, prunes, wheat, and alcohol, can also help.
Several medications can help IBS-C and IBS-D, including medicines that relax the muscles lining your intestine, fiber supplements, anti-diarrheal medications, laxatives, stool softeners, and pro-secretory agents that soften stool. Some antidepressants can effectively alleviate pain.
Probiotics include foods and supplements that improve the health of your gut by boosting the number of good bacteria. Changing the population of bacteria can help reduce abdominal pain, bloating, and gas.
If you need expert care for irritable bowel syndrome, call Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division, or book an appointment online today.