Between 25-45 million people in the United States suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This condition causes digestive distress, including cramping and bowel changes, and can be hard to manage. Jan J. Shim, MD, has extensive experience evaluating and treating IBS. Make an appointment at one of her offices in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York, or at her office in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Call or book online now to learn how to manage your IBS.
Every person’s experience with irritable bowel syndrome is slightly different. Most people experience versions of the following:
Symptoms of IBS can be present every day or may be intermittent with periods of remission. Stress often worsen the symptoms. Women, who are particularly vulnerable to IBS, may notice the symptoms are worse around their period.
People who get diarrhea most of the time have IBS-D. Those whose irritable bowel syndrome presents most often as constipation have IBS-C. With mixed IBS, you experience both diarrhea and constipation in an alternating pattern.
The cause of IBS isn’t fully understood. It’s possible that a history of infections and changes in the bacteria in your GI tract may be responsible. Some people have clear food sensitivities and problems with digesting fermentable carbohydrates.
Irritable bowel syndrome is defined as a functional gut disorder, meaning that parts of the digestive tract and the brain don’t always communicate correctly. This means you experience abnormal gut responses that trigger symptoms, such as a normal amount of waste or gas in the colon leading to pain or spasms.
What is the treatment for IBS?
There is no cure for IBS, but symptoms can be successfully managed with the expert care of Dr. Shim. She helps you identify your gastrointestinal triggers and develop strategies to avoid them. Treatment focuses on lifestyle changes such as:
You may also be a candidate for antispasmodic medications to help relieve painful bowel spasms.
Your symptoms and any family history of certain gastrointestinal (GI) conditions will determine if you need additional screening tests, such as a colonoscopy, upper or lower GI endoscopy, or blood work. Dr. Shim may also check your stool for bacteria or parasites.
Digestive distress that’s affecting your everyday life could indicate irritable bowel syndrome. Call the office of Jan J. Shim, MD, or use the online scheduler to book an appointment online now.