Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an intestinal disorder that causes cramp-like pain, gassiness, bloating, and changes in bowel habits, including diarrhea and/or constipation. A spastic colon is frequently aligned with IBS, which is a spontaneous and sudden contraction of the muscles in your colon.
The most likely triggers for IBS are diet and emotional stress. Hormones may play a role as IBS is found to be more common in women then it is in men. Genetics may be a factor, too, if there's a family history of IBS.
Though the exact cause of IBS is difficult to pin down, in most cases it can be successfully managed by making simple lifestyles changes, including:
- Adopting a high-fiber diet with probiotics
- Avoiding foods that trigger symptoms
- Reducing stress by exercising, practicing relaxation, and/or seeing a counselor
If your condition is more severe, Jefferson gastroenterologists (physicians who specialize in the digestive system and its disorders) provide you with a thorough evaluation to ensure don't have a more serious inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Treatment may include changes in diet and medication, such as fiber supplements or occasional laxatives.