The exact cause of IBS is unknown. Symptoms in patients with IBS may be due to abnormal spasms of intestines (“spastic bowel”) or “sensitive bowel”. Some people may develop IBS symptoms after a gastrointestinal infection or due to food allergies.
The most common symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain (cramps) and change in bowel habits. Some patients may have predominant constipation, other may complaint of diarrhea, and some report alternating constipation and diarrhea. Other symptoms include gas and bloating.
There is no specific test to diagnose IBS; however, it is important to rule out or exclude other conditions which may cause similar symptoms such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and bacterial overgrowth.
Treatment of IBS helps to reduce the severity of symptoms, and the associated stress and anxiety with this condition. It is important to identify and avoid foods which aggravate symptoms of IBS. Fiber supplementation, laxatives and anti-diarrheal medications may help to improve the bowel habits. Antispasmodic medications may be used to reduce bowel spasms and abdominal discomfort.
If you have any questions, please contact us to schedule a consultation with IBS specialist Dr Arif and discuss your symptoms.