Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Illinois Gastroenterology Group -  - Gastroenterology

Illinois Gastroenterology Group

Gastroenterology located in Arlington Heights, IL & Elk Grove Village, IL

Up to 12% of Americans suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you’re dealing with stomach pain, gas, and cramping, there’s good news: IBS is treatable. The experienced gastroenterology team at Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Elk Grove and Arlington Heights, Illinois, can help you live symptom-free. Book an appointment online or by phone now.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q & A

What is IBS?

IBS is a gastrointestinal condition causing colon (large intestine) problems like abdominal cramps, bloating, and gas. IBS is known as a functional disorder, meaning it's a problem with the way your colon functions rather than a more complicated anatomic or biochemical problem.

In most cases, IBS is fairly mild, but some sufferers do have extreme symptoms. Fortunately, even severe IBS is easy to manage with help from your experienced gastroenterologist at Illinois Gastroenterology Group.

How Can I Tell if I Have IBS?

Some symptoms that indicate IBS include:

  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Lower abdominal cramping
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Mucus in your stool

Many IBS sufferers experience obvious symptoms after they eat certain trigger foods. Your symptoms can come in bouts or they could be a daily problem.

What Causes IBS?

The exact cause isn't certain at this time, but researchers say that a number of things might contribute to the development of IBS, including:

  • Overly powerful colonic motility (intestinal muscle contractions)
  • Inflammation in your intestines
  • A highly sensitive gastrointestinal tract
  • Problems with brain/gastrointestinal tract communication
  • Previous bacterial or viral infections

Many other factors might contribute to or worsen IBS symptoms, including stress, hormonal changes, and food sensitivities.

Am I at Risk of Developing IBS?

Certain things can make you more susceptible to IBS, including:

  • Being female
  • Being under 50
  • Having immediate family members with IBS
  • Having depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues
  • Having a history of gastrointestinal problems
  • Having established food intolerances

Of course, not every patient experiences IBS the same way so you could still develop IBS even without any of these risk factors.

How is IBS Treated?

Your Illinois Gastroenterology Group physician will prescribe IBS treatment tailored for you. The goal is to minimize or completely eliminate your symptoms so you can enjoy an improved quality of life again.

Your gastroenterologist often starts by recommending dietary changes like avoiding trigger foods, eating more fiber, and increasing water intake. Lifestyle changes like regular exercise, stress-reduction exercises, and a consistent sleep schedule can help, too.

You might need to follow a strict diet that eliminates certain types of foods like fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPS). Your gastroenterologist can recommend a dietary plan free of FODMAPS if you need it.

If you have severe IBS, your gastroenterologist can prescribe medications to minimize colon spasms, reduce pain, ease bloating, and reduce bouts of diarrhea.

Click the online scheduler or call Illinois Gastroenterology Group to get help for IBS today.