April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month. An estimated 10-20% of the population experience some symptoms related to IBS.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, also commonly called IBS, is a condition made up of a combination of multiple symptoms and can include all or some of the following:
Abdominal pain and/or cramping
Diarrhea or frequent stools
Stools that alternate between constipation and diarrhea
How do I know if I have IBS?
There is no specific test for IBS, but sometimes tests need to be done to rule out other conditions that are similar before diagnosing a person with IBS.
If you have symptoms that you are concerned about being IBS, you should see a health care provider.
How is IBS treated?
Eat a healthy diet and avoid foods that seem to trigger symptoms.
Eat more fiber or take a fiber supplement such as Metamucil or Citrucel.
Stress and anxiety can increase symptoms in some people, so managing these can be helpful.
Multiple medications are available and can be prescribed by your health care provider based on your symptoms.
If you have gastrointestinal concerns, we encourage you to discuss these with your primary care provider or schedule an appointment with the Iowa Specialty Gastroenterology clinic by calling 515-532-9310.