Everyone gets frustrating digestive symptoms from time to time. But if abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, or constipation are disrupting your life, you could have an underlying condition, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
At our eight locations in New York, our gastroenterology providers at Digestive Disease Care know it’s not always easy to tell if you have a condition like IBS, another health issue, or simply a “sensitive stomach.”
Our care team specializes in identifying, diagnosing, and managing digestive disorders, like IBS. We’ve curated this guide to help you better understand IBS and the signs and symptoms that could indicate you have this common condition.
As part of your digestive system, your colon, or large intestine, turns undigested food into stools and absorbs water and electrolytes. For between 25-45 million Americans with IBS, however, the colon doesn’t work exactly how it should.
While the exact cause of IBS isn’t known, researchers have found the condition changes how food and waste move through your large intestine. These changes result in frustrating symptoms, like abdominal pain and irregular bowel movements.
Here’s a look at some of the most common signs and symptoms of IBS:
For an IBS diagnosis, symptoms must take place for at least 6 months with weekly pain for at least 3 months. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, and if you’re a woman, they may get worse when you have your period or are pregnant.
Since many different conditions share symptoms with IBS, it’s important to begin treatment with an accurate diagnosis. At Digestive Disease Care, your provider discusses your symptoms with you at length to get a clear picture of what’s causing your discomfort.
Your physician also reviews your medical history and conducts a comprehensive physical exam. Depending on your symptoms and history, your provider may also order different diagnostic tests to rule in or out different underlying causes of your symptoms, including:
Once your IBS diagnosis is confirmed, your Digestive Disease Care provider works with you to create a personalized IBS treatment plan based on your symptoms and their severity. While no cure exists for IBS, you can take steps to keep your symptoms under better control, including:
Concerned you could have IBS? Get a comprehensive diagnosis and personalized treatment by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at Digestive Disease Care in New York.