Hardeep M. Singh, M.D.
Gastroenterologist located in Irvine, Newport Beach, and Orange, CA
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects millions of Americans every year with a wide range of unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms. While the exact cause is unknown and there isn’t a known cure, IBS can be managed with medication and a few simple lifestyle changes. If your IBS is affecting your quality of life, call the practice of Hardeep M. Singh, MD, in Orange County, California, serving Irvine, Newport Beach and Orange, and make an appointment today, or use the convenient online scheduling tool.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
IBS is a common and chronic condition that affects your colon, the last organ in your digestive system, and causes a number of gastrointestinal symptoms like cramping, diarrhea, constipation, and chronic excess gas. The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but it can often be triggered by stress, certain foods, and hormonal changes like a woman’s menstrual cycle.
While there is no cure for IBS, it can be managed with medication and most people’s symptoms never become severe.
What are the symptoms of IBS?
Signs of IBS vary from person to person. Most commonly, you’ll probably experience one or more of the following, with varying levels of severity:
- Abdominal pain
- A feeling of pressure that can only be relieved by passing gas or stool
- Mucus in the stool
Sometimes your symptoms can be quite severe, and sometimes they can disappear entirely for days or weeks. Experiencing any of the above symptoms is reason enough to visit Dr. Singh, but it becomes much more urgent if you experience:
- Weight loss
- Diarrhea that prevents you from sleeping
- Rectal bleeding
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain that can’t be relieved by passing gas or stool
While many people don’t think of IBS as an urgent or dangerous illness, these could be a sign of dangerous complications, so it’s best to see a doctor right away if you experience any of the above symptoms.
How is IBS treated?
IBS can be treated in several ways, depending on its severity. If you have mild or moderate IBS, Dr. Singh might first suggest some lifestyle changes and stress reduction tips that can help manage your symptoms, including a diet plan he designed himself called Healthier You. Many people find that an adjusted diet, regular exercise, and emphasis on hydration can keep their symptoms under control.
For more severe cases of IBS, any of several prescription medications can be used. Dr. Singh can help determine if one is right for you, and suggest any other treatments, like anti-diarrheal medication or fiber supplements.
If IBS is affecting your lifestyle, call the office today or make an appointment online with the scheduling tool.