Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) services offered in Waldorf, MD

Do you experience abdominal pain and cramping that’s worse after eating, excess gas, or abnormal bowel movements? You may have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). At GI Associates of Maryland, located in Waldorf, Maryland, the team diagnoses IBS and offers customized treatments to relieve your symptoms. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today to learn more.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Q & A

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that affects your large intestine. The symptoms range in severity, and most people can control their symptoms with dietary adjustments and stress management. However, you may benefit from medication and counseling if you have severe IBS symptoms.

Some common symptoms of IBS include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramping that is partially or fully relieved by a bowel movement
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Mucus in your stool

Your symptoms may come and go, such that there are stretches where you have almost no symptoms and other times where your symptoms are severe and debilitating.

What causes IBS?

Doctors and medical researchers haven’t identified the exact cause of IBS. However, many factors contribute to the condition, including:

  • Muscle contractions or spasms in your large intestine
  • Nervous system malfunction that leads to an overreaction to normal digestive functions
  • Inflammation and immunologic responses
  • Infection
  • Abnormal microflora in your gut

The doctors at GI Associates of Maryland also know that food, stress, and hormonal fluctuations can trigger IBS symptoms. Your risk of IBS is higher if it runs in your female or if you are female, as estrogen imbalances can trigger IBS.

How is IBS diagnosed?

At GI Associates of Maryland, the doctors provide detailed consultations and physical exams to diagnose IBS. They talk to you in detail about your symptoms, and while it might feel embarrassing to talk about your bowel movements and gas, these details can help your doctor identify the condition causing your symptoms.

Unfortunately, there’s no single test to determine IBS, so your doctor might run some diagnostics to rule out other causes. Your doctor may recommend a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy to examine your colon for signs of inflammation and disease.

How is IBS treated?

Your doctor provides customized treatment for IBS, depending on the severity of your symptoms. For example, you may find relief by changing your diet to include more fiber. You may also benefit from stress management techniques such as exercise and meditation.

If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the muscle contractions in your colon or increase fluid secretion in your small intestine. Your doctor may also recommend counseling or antidepressants to manage the mental health effects of IBS.

Call GI Associates of Maryland or schedule an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and treatment of IBS.