What is irritable bowel syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome, or "IBS," is a condition that causes belly pain and problems with bowel movements.
What are the symptoms of IBS?
Symptoms include: Stomach pain and cramps, related to a bowel movement, Diarrhea or constipation (some people switch back and forth between diarrhea and constipation), Bloating, Gas.
Is there a test for IBS?
No, there is no specific test. But your doctor can figure out if you have IBS by asking you a few questions, and by running tests to make sure you do not have something other than IBS. So it is important that your doctor checks the other possibilities.
What can I do to feel better?
* Start a diary to keep track of what you ate each day, what you did, and how you felt. That way, you can figure out if anything you do or eat makes your symptoms better or worse.
*Stop eating foods that might be making your IBS worse. Start by giving up foods that give you gas, and then give up milk, ice cream, and other foods that have traces of milk for 2 weeks.
* Eat more fiber, if you have constipation. You can do this by eating more fruits and vegetables Or you can take fiber pills or powders.
* Exercise. Do something active for 20 to 60 minutes, 3 to 5 days a week.
How is IBS treated?
Stress and worry can make the condition worse.
The medicines that can help with IBS symptoms include:
* Medicines to ease diarrhea.
* Medicines to ease constipation
* Antidepressants – These medicines work by blocking pain.
* Medicines called "antispasmodics"
* Antibiotics – These medicines sometimes help with bloating and diarrhea in some people.
What will my life be like?
Most people with IBS have the condition for the rest of their life. Even so, most people find ways to improve their symptoms. The key is to keep working with your doctor until find an approach that works.
Dr.Mohamed Tharwat – Internal Medicine Specialist