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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome services offered in Richmond, Colonial Heights, Midlothian, N. Chesterfield, Short Pump, Henrico and Mechanicsville, VA

Up to 15% of all people in the United States have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) today. As digestive disorder experts, the Richmond Gastroenterology Associates team understands the difficulties of IBS well. They offer customized care at eight offices throughout Richmond, Colonial Heights, Chesterfield, Henrico, and Mechanicsville, Virginia, so call the one nearest to you or book your appointment using the online scheduler now. 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q & A

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an intestinal disorder that causes discomfort and bowel habit changes. If you have IBS, you probably experience abdominal pain when you need to pass stool along with changes in stool frequency and form.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a functional disorder, which means it’s a problem with the way your bowels work rather than a structural problem or disease like cancer.  

What are the symptoms of IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome causes symptoms including:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or a mix of the two
  • Change in bowel movement frequency
  • Change in the appearance of bowel movements

Symptoms like unintended weight loss, blood in your stool, and needing to wake up to have bowel movements during the night are not symptoms of IBS, but they can occur in gastrointestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. 

What causes IBS?

The American College of Gastroenterology states that irritable bowel syndrome occurs because of issues with the muscles and nerves that control sensation and movement in your intestines. Some medical experts have raised other possible causes, including microbial gut imbalance. 

How is IBS treated?

Richmond Gastroenterology Associates treats IBS with customized treatment plans based on your particular needs. In most cases, treatment focuses on lifestyle changes and improving your diet. The team may recommend: 

Avoiding certain foods

Some foods, such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, wheat, and some fruits, may be more likely to trigger IBS symptoms. Avoiding these foods may significantly reduce your symptoms.

Adding fiber

Adding fiber supplements to your diet can help your body to have more reliable and well-formed bowel movements, particularly if you’re struggling with constipation.

Medication

Depending on your symptoms, several drugs may help with IBS. The team may prescribe antidepressants or antispasmodic drugs to ease abdominal pain. Antibiotics can help with IBS, but they’re generally only for short-term use.

Stress management is another helpful tactic for the management of irritable bowel syndrome. The team can recommend relaxation techniques and practices that are easy to add to your routine.

IBS can be a painful and inconvenient problem, but you don’t have to deal with it any longer. Book your IBS evaluation by calling the Richmond Gastroenterology Associates office nearest you or clicking on the online scheduling feature now.