Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Gastrointestinal Associates of Rockland

Gastroenterologists located in New City, NY

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be frustrating, painful, and embarrassing, but the condition is manageable with the help of a skilled and knowledgeable doctor. The team of experienced specialists at Gastrointestinal Associates of Rockland in New City, New York, can help you handle the challenges of IBS through diet, lifestyle changes, and medication. To take control of your IBS, schedule an appointment online or over the phone.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q & A

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that affects your large intestine. Symptoms of IBS include:

  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Excess gas
  • Mucus in stool

IBS symptoms interfere with your everyday life and can cause great discomfort, but unlike other chronic digestive conditions, IBS doesn’t damage your digestive system over time. 

Symptoms of IBS come and go, often without warning. Your symptoms may also go from mild to severe, or vice versa. 

IBS is more common in women than men and usually affects people under the age of 50. Regardless of your age or gender, be sure to schedule an appointment at Gastrointestinal Associates of Rockland if you regularly experience any of the above symptoms. 

How is IBS diagnosed?

There’s no single test to confirm a diagnosis of IBS, and the symptoms of IBS are similar to other conditions, including specific food intolerances and inflammatory bowel disease. Your doctor at Gastrointestinal Associates of Rockland performs a thorough examination to rule out other causes of your symptoms. This may include:

  • Reviewing your symptoms and medical history
  • Blood and stool tests, including to detect gluten and lactose intolerance
  • Breath test for bacterial overgrowth
  • Imaging tests
  • Diagnostic tests, including a colonoscopy or upper endoscopy

If your doctor rules out other conditions, they may diagnose you with a specific type of IBS. The condition is categorized according to your bowel habits. IBS can be constipation-predominant, diarrhea-predominant, or mixed.

How is IBS treated?

At Gastrointestinal Associates of Rockland, your doctor helps you manage your IBS symptoms through a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. The goal of IBS treatment is to keep your bowel functions under control and improve your quality of life.

An important part of IBS treatment is figuring out your triggers. The most common triggers of IBS symptoms are food and stress. 

However, the specific foods and stressful situations vary from person to person. Your doctor may recommend:

  • Changing your diet
  • Taking medication for specific symptoms, including diarrhea and constipation
  • Stress management techniques, including exercise and regular sleep

Your specialist adjusts your treatment plan as needed.

For help getting control over your IBS, or to get a diagnosis for digestive symptoms, schedule an appointment at Gastrointestinal Associates of Rockland online or over the phone.