Stomach Aches & Pains(IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a long-term and many times reoccurring disorder which affects the functioning of your stomach and intestines. It usually involves disturbances in the colon and small intestine which can involve symptoms of:

  • abdominal pain or discomfort,
  • bloating or a sense of gaseousness, and
  • a change in bowel habits (diarrhea and/or constipation).

IBS affects at least 10–15% of adults and is a common issue around the world. In fact, it is second only to the common cold as a cause of absenteeism from work.

The Most Common Symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain and discomfort which are often improved with a bowel movement. The causes for abdominal pain are usually associated with a change in bowel habits (diarrhea and/or constipation).

Symptoms can change over time, with periods when symptoms flare up as well as periods of remission when they diminish or disappear. The main bowel habit can vary over time, alternating between constipation and diarrhea.

Other symptoms of IBS include:

  • bloating (a sensation of fullness in the belly),
  • urgency (the need to use a restroom in a hurry),
  • mucus (white or yellow liquid) in the stool, and
  • the sensation of incompletely passing stools.

How is IBS Diagnosed?

The first steps are to confidently recognize the diagnosis of IBS and remove the suspicion of other diseases. In making a positive diagnosis, a physician will check for the most common symptoms of IBS. The next important step is to look for signs and symptoms that suggest a condition other than IBS, such as inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, or celiac disease. These signs and symptoms are referred to as “alarm signs” or “red flags.” They include:

  • anemia and other abnormal blood tests
  • blood in the stool
  • unexplained weight loss
  • fever
  • new onset of symptoms at the age of 50 or older
  • family history of inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, or celiac disease

These alarm signs usually do not occur because of IBS. They suggest other medical problems. When these symptoms occur, you should tell your doctor right away.

If your doctor suspects you have IBS, an evaluation will follow starting with a detailed history to identify the characteristic symptoms of IBS, and a physical examination. There is no test for IBS. Lab blood and stool tests, x-rays, and endoscopic procedures (e.g., colonoscopy) are used to rule out other diseases of the bowel, which can present with similar symptoms. These tests are common for people with IBS.

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ADC Endoscopy Specialists Center provides quality care with comfort and convenience to their patients in ColonoscopiesFlexible Sigmoidoscopies, and Esophogogastroduodenoscopy(EGD). ADC Endoscopy Specialists Center is licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services and certified for Medicare services.

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