Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome can have adverse effects on quality of life

Our Plano gastroenterologist, Michael Weisberg MD, has the expertise to diagnose and treat irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. IBS is a very common functional bowel disorder that affects between 10 and 15% of the United States population, but only about 25% of people with symptoms see a physician.1

Although IBS doesn’t usually lead to serious complications or illnesses, it does severely affect people’s quality of life. It may affect their ability to participate in everyday activities, cause more stress in their lives and even affect sexual health and functioning.

What are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome causes several symptoms.

Women often notice symptoms or an increase in symptoms during menstruation. Symptoms can be triggered in women and men by different foods and stress.

What causes the problem?

Physicians and researchers don’t know the exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome, but there are several suspected causes.

  • Abnormal gastrointestinal movement or motility
  • Dysfunctional muscles and nerves that control movement and sensation in the bowels
  • Overgrowth of normal bacteria in the intestines
  • Changes in the microorganisms or microflora in the gut

IBS may also occur after someone has an infection, such as severe gastroenteritis.

Who is at risk of developing IBS?

Several factors cause people to have a higher risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome.

  • Age. IBS occurs more frequently in people who are age 30 or younger.
  • Gender. Women are six times more likely to develop this syndrome.
  • Family history. There appears to be a genetic link.
  • Mental health issues. People who suffer from anxiety or depression may experience more stress, which aggravates the condition.

A detailed medical history is an important diagnostic tool

An IBS diagnosis relies heavily on the patient’s medical history and the physician’s skill. Our Plano gastroenterologist has nearly three decades of experience diagnosing patients with irritable bowel syndrome. His expertise and diagnostic skills help provide patients with an accurate diagnosis. Dr. Weisberg takes a complete medical history, asks vital questions and orders tests. Usually, patients need bloodwork and sometimes an imaging study. Some patients may require an endoscopy or colonoscopy.

Lifestyle changes are an important part of any treatment plan

Most patients with IBS respond favorably to lifestyle changes, but some people may require medication or therapy to help deal with stress and mental health issues. Our physician recommends certain lifestyle changes to help reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

  • Avoiding food that exacerbates the symptoms
  • Finding ways to more effectively deal with stress
  • Prescribed medication to treat the effects of:
    • Gas
    • Bloating
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Alternating diarrhea and constipation

Dr. Weisberg has worked with nutritionists for three decades who can provide personalize lifestyle recommendations to improve your quality of life. Contact us for an appointment.

*https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/eating-diet-nutrition
1http://patients.gi.org/topics/irritable-bowel-syndrome/#tabs2

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Constipation, diarrhea or both
  • Belching and bloating
  • Mucus in the stool
  • A feeling of  incomplete bowel movement