IBS/ Functional Bowel Disorders

Millions of Americans, most of them women, suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In fact, it ranks as the most common intestinal-related complaint.

IBS affects the colon (large intestine) and is characterized by cramping and pain in the abdomen along with changes in bowel movements. Stress can cause the colon to contract more then usual and exacerbate the condition. Fortunately, IBS does not permanently damage the colon, nor does it lead to cancer.

IBS typically begins during adolescence or early adulthood and can continue throughout one’s life, which is why managing symptoms is vital. While the severity of symptoms varies from person to person, for most people they are mild and usually come and go.

There is no diagnostic test specifically for IBS, but blood tests and stool cultures may be done to rule out other missed diagnoses. NJ gastroenterologists Dr. Howard N. Guss and Dr. Gagan D. Beri complement lab work with state-of-the-art Breath Testing, a noninvasive cost-effective tool to check for the presence of bacteria and malabsorption diseases that can contribute to IBS. Additionally, they take diagnosis to the next level with sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy screenings, which examines the intestinal structure via endoscopy.

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):

  • Cramping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Bloating and gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloody stools

Treatments of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS):

  • Stress management
  • Regular exercise
  • Increased dietary fiber
  • Eating smaller meals
  • Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, milk products, chocolate, wheat, barley and rye
  • Over-the-counter medications (talk to your doctor before taking)
  • Prescription medications (anticholinergics, loperamide, lubiprostone, tricyclic antidepressants)
  • Counseling in cases of severe depression/anxiety