IBS Awareness Month

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects approximately 15% of the United States population, causing abdominal pain and changes to the frequency or appearance of your bowel movements. It also commonly causes cramping, bloating, and gas buildup. Although these symptoms can occur in anyone with this condition, they occur more commonly in people with the following forms of IBS:

IBS-C, also known as IBS with constipation, is mainly characterized by symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, infrequent bowel movements, and difficulty passing stool. IBS-C is not life-threatening, but it can be painful and disruptive to your daily activities. It also has no cure and is generally treated through dietary and lifestyle adjustments.

IBS-D, also known as IBS with diarrhea, can also lead to constipation, abdominal pain, gas buildup, and bloating. However, certain other symptoms, such as diarrhea, watery stools, and some degree of loss of bowel control occur approximately 25% of the time in people with this form of IBS, with constipation occurring less than 25% of the time. IBS-D triggers can include stress or certain food products, such as milk, wheat, red wine, or caffeine.

IBS-M, also known as IBS with mixed bowel habits, presents symptoms associated with both IBS-C and IBS-D, as well as common IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain. Bouts of constipation and diarrhea alternate between one another in people with this condition.

Post-infectious IBS generally occurs after an infection in the intestines. The most common culprit is gastroenteritis, which can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting due to inflammation in the intestines. Post-infectious IBS most often occurs as IBS-D or IBS-M, with a smaller number of cases presenting symptoms of IBS-C.

No matter what form of IBS you experience, working with a gastroenterologist can help you manage your symptoms effectively. You can schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center by calling (718) 206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.