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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Atlantic Medical Group

Gastroenterologists & Bariatrics located in Kinston, NC & Jacksonville, NC

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, isn’t usually dangerous to the patient’s health, but it can still make life difficult. Patients with IBS struggle with an array of symptoms, including constipation, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Dr. Eric Ibegbu offers accurate diagnosis and effective treatment to patients with symptoms of IBS. To make an appointment with Dr. Ibegbu in Jacksonville or Kinston, North Carolina, please contact Atlantic Medical Group today.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Q & A

Why does IBS develop?

Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the most common conditions affecting the digestive system. However, researchers don’t know exactly what causes this condition to appear.

Scientists believe that some people develop IBS because the muscles in their intestines have contractions that are too strong or last longer than they should. Other people with this condition may have weak intestinal contractions that slow down the passage of food. Other possible causes of IBS include problems with signals between your brain and intestines, as well as problems with the nerves in your intestines.

IBS is more common in women. It sometimes appears for the first time after illness or trauma.

What are the symptoms of IBS?

IBS can cause a number of different symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of this disorder include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Pain and cramping
  • Mucus in your stool
  • Gas and bloating

Though some patients with IBS have only diarrhea and no constipation, others experience only constipation and no diarrhea. It’s also possible to have IBS with both of these symptoms. IBS shouldn’t cause blood in your stool. If you experience this symptom, tell Dr. Ibegbu as soon as possible.

How do doctors treat IBS?

Before Dr. Ibegbu can treat IBS, he must first confirm that IBS is the cause of your symptoms. Unfortunately, there’s no specific test for IBS. Instead, Dr. Ibegbu must rule out other possible causes of your symptoms, such as an inflammatory bowel disease or cancer.

To rule out other diseases, Dr. Ibegbu may order blood work, take a stool sample, and/or recommend a colonoscopy.

Once he’s confirmed a diagnosis of IBS, Dr. Ibegbu can prescribe treatment. Some of the medications he may recommend include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Antispasmodics
  • Anticholinergics
  • Anti-diarrheals
  • Fiber supplements

In some cases, you may need more than one of these medications to control your symptoms.

What can patients do to improve symptoms at home?

Certain lifestyle changes can also be beneficial to patients with IBS. If you have IBS, you may experience fewer symptoms if you:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid foods that make your symptoms worse
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Find ways to deal with stress

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