Between 10 and 15% of Americans suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). When left untreated, IBS can trigger abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and constipation. At North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC, Joseph Kim, MD, Jermaine Clarke, DO, MBA, and their team provide comprehensive IBS care. Using safe, effective treatments, they can ease your symptoms and improve your quality of life. To schedule an appointment at the Sherman or Anna, Texas, office, call to speak with a team member or book online today.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a gastrointestinal disorder that affects your large intestine (colon). It’s a chronic condition that requires regular checkups and long-term treatment.
IBS affects everyone differently. For some people, it’s a minor annoyance that causes frequent trips to the bathroom. For others, it causes excruciating abdominal pain, making it difficult to work, exercise, and participate in routine activities.
Telltale signs of IBS include:
If you have IBS, you might also notice that your bowel movements look less solid and happen more frequently.
Researchers aren’t entirely sure what causes irritable bowel syndrome. It’s thought that several things play a role, including muscle contractions in the intestines, nervous system abnormalities, and changes to your gut microbiome (the bacteria that live in your colon and help you digest your food). You’re also more likely to develop IBS if you experienced stressful events in your early childhood.
To diagnose irritable bowel syndrome, North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC reviews your medical history, asks you about your symptoms, and completes a physical exam. They then order blood and other lab tests to rule out other possible underlying problems like celiac disease.
If your symptoms show up after 50, they can point to a more serious problem like gastrointestinal cancer. Your doctor would then order a colonoscopy, upper endoscopy, and a stool test to determine if cancer is present.
The treatment for irritable bowel syndrome will depend on how severe your symptoms are and how they affect your daily life. If you have mild to moderate symptoms, North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC can recommend:
You can also benefit from prescription medications, including fiber supplements, laxatives, anti-diarrheal drugs, or tricyclic antidepressants. The treatment’s goal is to ease your symptoms so that you can live a pain-free life.
To get treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, request a consultation at North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC. Call the nearest office to speak with a team member, or book online today.