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What is IBS?
By Melvin D. Bullock MD
August 29, 2016

Do you suffer from bouts of diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain? You may have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Dr. Melvin ibsBullock, your Roswell, GA gastroenterologist, shares some information about the disorder.

What is IBS?

IBS actually describes a collection of symptoms that include:

  • Diarrhea: You may experience loose stools and may feel the need to visit the restroom very urgently.
  • Constipation: When you don't have diarrhea, you may develop constipation.
  • Pain: Abdominal pain and cramps are common if you have IBS.
  • Fullness: Do you ever feel stuffed even though you didn't overeat?
  • Incomplete Bowel Movements: It's not unusual to feel as if there's still stool in your bowel after you've used the toilet when you have IBS.
  • Bloating: Bloating and gas tend to occur when your IBS symptoms flare up.
  • Mucus: If you take a look at the toilet, you may notice mucus in your stool.

No one is quite sure what causes IBS, although you may be more likely to suffer from it if you are female, have a family history of the disorder, are younger than 50 or have depression, anxiety or other mental health problems. Researchers think IBS may be caused or worsened by a stomach or intestinal infection, changing hormone levels, food sensitivities, bacterial overgrowth in your intestines or a problem with the way your intestines move food through your gastrointestinal system.

Will IBS cause permanent damage?

Perhaps the only good thing about IBS is that, despite its painful symptoms, it doesn't damage your gastrointestinal tract. It also doesn't cause cancer or other serious diseases.

How can I relieve my IBS symptoms in Roswell?

If your symptoms seems to be triggered by certain foods, avoiding these foods can help reduce them. Foods that tend to cause problems include dairy products, alcohol, soda, caffeinated drinks, fried foods, high-fiber fruits and vegetables, fatty foods or refined grains.

Counseling can be helpful, as can stress reduction techniques. If your symptoms cause severe pain or interfere with your life, your gastroenterologist can prescribe medication that will help control your symptoms and relieve your pain.

Tired of dealing with IBS on your own? Call Dr. Bullock, your Roswell, GA gastroenterologist, at (770) 442-5882 and make an appointment to learn how you can successfully manage your disorder.

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