Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects between 25 to 45 million people in the United States, making it the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder. At AZZ Medical Associates, the team of gastreniologists regularly works with patients to diagnose and treat IBS. The practice has an office in Old Bridge, Brick Township, Hamilton Township, and Ewing, New Jersey. Call AZZ Medical Associates or book an appointment online today.
IBS is a gastrointestinal disease characterized by two primary symptoms: abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits. IBS may cause constipation, diarrhea, or both.
Though abdominal pain may vary among those with IBS, patients often describe it as a dull, constant ache punctuated by episodes of sharp pain. Pain related to IBS usually affects your lower abdomen and improves after a bowel movement.
In addition to diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain, you may also experience symptoms such as:
Many patients with IBS experience periods of remission between flareups. IBS flare-ups may be triggered by certain foods, alcohol, stress, allergies, and hormonal changes.
IBS is primarily identified by its symptoms because no diagnostic tests can specifically test for the condition. At AZZ Medical Associates, your gastreonologist evaluates your symptoms, performs an exam, and orders diagnostic testing to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms.
When you come into AZZ Medical Associates, you may be tested for celiac disease, lactose intolerance, or other food-related or environmental allergies that can cause or worsen your symptoms.
The doctors at AZZ Medical Associates understand that IBS can significantly impact your quality of life. They work together with you to develop a treatment plan that includes:
Most patients affected by IBS find that their symptoms typically improve when they make changes like increasing fiber consumption or following a special diet. Your provider also helps you identify underlying food or environmental allergies that may trigger your flare-ups and develop a plan to help you avoid them.
Your physician may prescribe medication that addresses your symptoms. If all other treatment options fail, some patients may be good candidates for medications that treat severe diarrhea, decrease bacterial overgrowth, and relieve constipation. However, these medications can also produce side effects, so they’re not recommended for everyone with IBS.
If you are living with symptoms of IBS, call AZZ Medical Associates, or book an appointment online.