What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common disorders affecting the gastrointestinal tract. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, an estimated 10 to 15% of U.S. adults suffer from IBS. However, only 5 to 7% of U.S. adults receive appropriate diagnosis. Studies estimate that twice as many women as men are affected by IBS. Most often, IBS occurs in people younger than age 45.

Those with IBS may suffer from abdominal pain and bloating in association with diarrhea, constipation or a combination of both these symptoms. Symptoms may become aggravated by stress, caffeine, fatty foods or spicy foods. Patients with IBS typically do not suffer from severe symptoms such as weight loss, rectal bleeding, fever or anemia.

Can Irritable Bowel Syndrome be Treated?

IBS diagnosis is typically made after a physical examination. Diagnostic testing such as stool studies, blood tests and colonoscopy may be necessary to exclude other related diseases. IBS treatment involves simple dietary modifications and medications. Patients may benefit from regular exercise to relieve underlying stress or depression. Ongoing treatment may be required to address chronic ailments.

Interested in Learning More?

As Lancaster County’s leading gastroenterology specialty practice, Regional Gi treats those affected by diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. To learn more about our practice or to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient area locations, contact us today.