Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional digestive disorder that affects up to 21% of people. IBS causes a variety of symptoms 一 diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, and cramping ー but regardless of which symptoms you exhibit, it’s no secret that untreated IBS can take a toll on your quality of life.
Gastroenterologist Eric Ibegbu, MD, and our team at Atlantic Medical Group want you to know that you don’t have to suffer alone with IBS. Once Dr. Ibegbu confirms IBS as the source of your symptoms, he prepares a treatment plan to help you get the relief you need.
Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t ignore IBS.
There are many different medications available
Even though there isn’t a cure for IBS, there are many medications that can help you manage your symptoms. They include:
- Fiber supplements
The sooner you seek medical intervention for your IBS, the sooner you can get on a medication regimen.
Knowing the type of IBS you have helps you manage symptoms
While IBS is often referred to as one specific condition, there are three types: IBS-C, IBS-D, and IBS-M/IBS-A.
IBS-C is accompanied by constipation, gas, and bloating. IBS-D is accompanied by diarrhea, frequent and sudden urges to use the restroom, and abdominal pain.
IBS-M/IBS-A refers to a combination of the C and D forms of IBS in which you have mixed symptoms or alternating symptoms.
We can help you identify your triggers
In addition to finding the right IBS medication and pinpointing which form of IBS you have, you can manage your IBS by learning to identify 一 and then avoid 一 your triggers. Triggers can vary depending on which type of IBS you have.
Triggers for IBS-C include:
- Processed food
- Carbonated beverages
- High-protein diets
Triggers for IBS-D include:
- Eating too much fiber
- Eating large meals
- Fried food
Other triggers for either form include stress (at work or home), anxiety, certain medications, and the onset of your menstrual period, which can make IBS worse for women.
Dr. Ibegbu takes all of this 一 your symptoms, the type of IBS you have, and your specific triggers 一 into account when formulating a treatment plan.
Treatment improves your quality of life
When you ignore IBS, it can wreak havoc on your life. Unmanaged IBS can contribute to frequent and sudden changes in your bowel habits, which can be frustrating and embarrassing whether you’re at home or at work.
There’s a connection to other digestive disorders
Did you know that diverticulitis can increase your risk of developing IBS? This is called post-diverticulitis IBS.
Other conditions, including Chron’s disease and colitis, can also cause uncomfortable GI symptoms.
Although talking about changing bowel habits isn’t always comfortable, we offer compassionate care to help you feel comfortable again. Talking about unpleasant symptoms is often the first step to feeling better, and we’re here to help whether you’re dealing with IBS, chronic constipation, colitis, or Crohn's disease.
If you suspect your symptoms are related to IBS or another gastrointestinal disorder, call Dr. Ibegbu to schedule an appointment at our Kinston or Jacksonville, North Carolina, location.