Do You Have IBS? Here’s How You Can Know For Sure


ID-10087293IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic condition that affects a person’s digestive system. There are no known causes of IBS, but there are some theories that doctors have prescribed to in order to help with an IBS diagnosis and treatment for the condition. Some possible theories are that the condition either stems from physical issues in a person’s GI tract or mental troubles. Mentally speaking, acute stress and anxiety are possible causes from IBS, and when combined with a physical issue such as colon/intestine abnormalities, a gastrointestinal infection that was once severe, food sensitivity or even bacterial growth in the small intestine this can lead to a person suffering from IBS.

The symptoms of IBS that can mimic those of other GI issues, but when combined together over a period of time, it is possible that your doctor will provide an IBS diagnosis. Symptoms of IBS include:

  • A change in bowel movements – are your bowel movements more or less often than normal? Do you ever feel that a bowel movement is incomplete?
  • A change in stool consistency – is your stool less solid or is it more solid? Have you noticed that you are passing clear liquid during a bowel movement; i.e. GI mucus.
  • Do you have abdominal pain? Do your bowel movements aide in decreasing any abdominal discomfort you’re experiencing?
  • Increased bouts of diarrheaare your bowel movements urgent? Are you experiencing diarrhea more than once a day over a period of time?
  • Constipation – Do you have less than three bowel movements a week? Is it difficult to have a bowel movement? Is it Painful?
  • Bloating – Are you often bloated? Is it uncomfortable or painful?

If you find that you are answering in the affirmative to these questions, it is possible that you have IBS. In order to receive a diagnosis, we recommend that you visit our specialists at San Francisco Gastroenterology in order to discuss your symptoms and determine if the issue is IBS or something else. There is no set text or exam to diagnose IBS, but your doctor will be able to rule out other conditions, review you medical history, and run a psychical examination. Once a diagnosis is determined, we can provide options for treatment. As there is currently no cure for IBS, treatment will likely consist of nutritional changes, use of probiotics, medication(s), and if needed – therapy for mental health issues such as anxiety.

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