Irritable Bowel Syndrome Specialist

Houston Gastrointestinal & Liver Clinic, P.A

Sreelatha Reddy, MD

Gastroenterologist located in Houston, TX & Sugarland, TX

Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder, affecting over 10% of the world’s population. Irritable bowel syndrome results in approximately 3 million doctor visits every year. If you have abdominal pain and cramping, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Sreelatha Reddy at Houston Gastrointestinal and Liver Clinic in Houston to get diagnosed and treated for irritable bowel syndrome.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q & A

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects your large intestine, causing abdominal cramping, bloating, and a change in your bowel habits that often includes both constipation and diarrhea; it’s not uncommon to go back and forth between the two.

Though irritable bowel syndrome causes discomfort, it isn’t caused by an anatomic abnormality and does not harm your intestines.

What causes irritable bowel syndrome?

It’s unclear what causes IBS. The symptoms are believed to occur due to abnormal communication between your nervous system and bowel muscles. This unusual regulation results in increased bowel irritation and sensitivity, resulting in the muscles in your bowel wall losing coordination.

Other factors that play a role in causing an IBS flare-up include:

  • Inflammation
  • Infection
  • Certain foods
  • Stress
  • Hormones, as IBS often flares up during a woman’s period

How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed?

No test definitively diagnoses you with IBS. Instead, Dr. Reddy begins by reviewing your medical history, completing a thorough physical exam, and reviewing your symptoms. There are two different diagnostic criteria used to diagnose IBS:

  • Rome criteria: Abdominal pain at least one day a week for three months accompanied by a change in the regularity and consistency of your stool.
  • Manning criteria: Pain relief with defecation, incomplete bowel movements, mucus in your stool, and changes in the consistency of your stool.

Dr. Reddy performs several tests, including stool studies, to rule out other causes for your symptoms. Additional tests include:

  • Lactose intolerance tests
  • Breath test for bacterial overgrowth
  • Upper endoscopy, during which Dr. Reddy looks down your throat
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy, during which Dr. Reddy looks at the lower portion of your colon
  • Colonoscopy, during which Dr. Reddy looks at your entire colon
  • X-ray or CT scan

How is irritable bowel syndrome treated?

Since there’s no cure for IBS, the goal is to relieve symptoms. To do so, Dr. Reddy recommends that you avoid high-gas foods or gluten, find a way to manage your stress, and take probiotics. There are also several medications such as laxatives and fiber supplements that help control irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

To get the help you need to find the right treatment plan for your IBS, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Sreelatha Reddy at Houston Gastrointestinal and Liver Clinic in Houston.

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