What Are the Symptoms of IBS?

From frequent cramping and bloating to bouts of constipation or diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is no fun. 

When IBS symptoms flare up, it’s easy to feel like you’re alone in your struggles. In reality, that’s far from true. Some 10%-15% of people around the world live with IBS, making it the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder.

At Houston Gastrointestinal & Liver Clinic, P.A. in Sugar Land, Texas, Dr. Sreelatha Reddy diagnoses and treats IBS to alleviate your symptoms so you can experience a better overall quality of life. Read on to learn more about IBS, including its symptoms and ways we can help.

IBS symptoms

IBS affects people differently and your own symptoms may shift over time or in response to certain triggers, such as particular foods or medications and emotional stress. 

If you menstruate, you may find that your symptoms flare up or worsen during your period. And for many people, symptoms worsen after meals.

Symptoms of IBS include:

In some cases, an IBS flare-up lasts for several days and then seems to diminish on its own.

If you start noticing these symptoms, keep a diary of what you eat and when your symptoms occur, worsen, or improve. This can help Dr. Reddy make a proper diagnosis and determine your personal triggers. 

Getting diagnosed with IBS

Only about 5%-7% of people estimated to have IBS ever receive a diagnosis. If you’re experiencing symptoms of IBS, such a diagnosis can be helpful for getting appropriate relief.

If Dr. Reddy suspects that you have IBS based on your medical history and symptoms, she may order tests to rule out other potential causes, such as: 

How to manage IBS symptoms

Once you’ve been diagnosed with IBS, effective treatment aims to reduce the frequency and severity of your symptoms. 

Dr. Reddy may recommend that you make lifestyle changes, such as avoiding gas-causing foods, taking probiotic supplements, and better managing stress. 

You may also benefit from eating more fiber-rich foods, such as legumes, and drinking plenty of water. Laxatives and fiber supplements may help, too. 

To learn more about IBS or get the care you need, call Houston Gastrointestinal & Liver Clinic or request an appointment through our website.

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