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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome, more commonly known as IBS, affects as much as 20% of the US population. If you struggle with irregularity, bloating, and abdominal cramping on a regular basis, schedule an IBS exam with Rajesh Mehta, MD, and the team at Lone Star Gastroenterology (affiliated with Boston Scientific) in Austin, Texas. Call the office today.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Q & A

What causes IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which affects your large intestine, leads to chronic gastrointestinal issues that can become quite uncomfortable and can lower your quality of life. If you have IBS, it may be linked to:

  • Abnormal intestinal muscle contractions
  • Family history of IBS
  • Digestive nerve issues
  • Intestinal inflammation
  • Severe infection

Hormonal fluctuations are often to blame, too. This is why women are twice as likely to struggle with irritable bowel syndrome. 

What are the symptoms of IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome leads to a wide variety of symptoms. You may experience minor to severe episodes of diarrhea or constipation, as well as:

  • Mucus in your stool
  • Bloating
  • Cramping 
  • Gas 

In severe cases, irritable bowel syndrome can lead to nutrient deficiency issues, including iron deficiency anemia. Because these types of IBS symptoms mimic more serious bowel disorders, it’s important to come into Lone Star Gastroenterology for an evaluation. 

How does a doctor treat IBS?

The team at Lone Star Gastroenterology conducts comprehensive tests and screenings to confirm IBS, as well as to rule out related issues (like polyps). Though no definitive test confirms irritable bowel syndrome, your physician may recommend a lactose intolerance screening, breath test for bacterial overgrowth, or endoscopy or colonoscopy, among other screenings. 

Depending on the cause and severity of your irritable bowel syndrome, your physician may recommend:

  • Making dietary changes and avoiding certain carbohydrates
  • Taking fiber supplements or laxatives
  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol
  • Avoiding gluten

Your provider can also prescribe medications that may help. For instance, you can take medications to relax your colon and slow down the passage of waste, as well as medications to minimize bacterial overgrowth, among others. 

Although rare, it’s possible for irritable bowel syndrome to lead to serious intestinal damage, which is why it isn’t something you should ignore, even if your symptoms seem minor. The Lone Star Gastroenterology team is dedicated to ensuring you experience effective and long-lasting relief from IBS.

Lone Star Gastroenterology works with research trial medication phase 2 and phase 3 for Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis. 

Schedule your irritable bowel syndrome evaluation at Lone Star Gastroenterology by calling the office today.