Seek Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
It’s estimated that between 25 and 45 million people in the United States live with irritable bowel syndrome. This chronic condition causes pain, discomfort, and sometimes embarrassment. But fortunately, treatment is possible. The GI specialists at Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology are here to help you find the treatment best suited to your needs. We work with patients throughout Colorado, listening to their specific needs and customizing a treatment plan. Learn more about irritable bowel syndrome and how we can help you manage your symptoms.
What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) causes chronic pain in the large intestine. In addition to pain, IBS often makes it difficult for people to have bowel movements. While there is no straightforward cure for IBS, the condition can be managed long-term with lifestyle changes, medication, and therapy.
What Causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
IBS has no known cause. However, many factors appear to play a role in the onset of irritable bowel syndrome. Muscle contractions, abnormalities in the nervous system, infections, and changes in gut microbes all seem to have a hand in IBS episodes. Many people also identify triggers that worsen their IBS. Certain foods and stress are some of the most common triggers, although they are not the root cause of IBS.
Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms will look a little different for everyone. Some symptoms may not even seem directly related to the abdominal area. Depending on the specifics of your condition, you may notice the following signs of IBS:
- Sharp pain or cramps in the abdomen
- Changes in frequency or appearance of bowel movements
- Feelings of fullness in the stomach
- Mucus in the stool
- Feeling unable to empty the bowels
- Pelvic pain
- Mood disorders
- Trouble sleeping
Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Serious?
While IBS is certainly bothersome and can diminish your quality of life, it usually isn’t a particularly serious condition. However, many patients report much more severe symptoms that require immediate attention from a medical professional. We encourage patients even with minor symptoms to see a doctor, but if you notice any of the following signs, call your doctor right away:
- Rectal bleeding
- Difficulty swallowing
- Weight loss
- Diarrhea at night
- Persistent pain or changes in bowel habits
Your Options for Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The team at Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology is well-versed in methods to treat irritable bowel syndrome. You have several options, and your GI specialist will help you explore each choice and make the decision best suited to your needs. Common ways to alleviate IBS symptoms include:
- Diet Changes: Because certain foods can trigger IBS, it may help to eliminate those foods from your diet. High-gas foods, FODMAPs, and gluten are all common IBS triggers and may need to be cut from your meals. We also recommend drinking plenty of fluids and choosing high-fiber foods whenever possible.
- Counseling: Stress sometimes plays a big factor in triggering IBS symptoms. Having regular counseling sessions can go a long way to minimizing your symptoms and helping you cope with anxiety and depression.
- Medication: We often recommend medication for irritable bowel syndrome treatment. Today, there are numerous medications on the market made specifically for people with IBS. We’ll evaluate the factors that play a role in your condition and prescribe the drug that could be most effective for your needs.
Contact Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology Today
IBS doesn’t have to rule your life. While this condition isn’t life-threatening, it can certainly diminish your quality of life and cause preventable discomfort. With the help of Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology, you can get your life back. We’ll walk you through all of your treatment options and discuss potential triggers for your condition. Whether you’ve lived with IBS for years or you’re looking for a diagnosis, don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment.