Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills
Gastroenterology & Internal Medicine located in Los Angeles, CA
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is often a cause of chronic abdominal discomfort and digestive problems. Getting an accurate diagnosis of your symptoms can be a challenge as there’s no test for IBS, but the expert team at Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills, in Beverly Hills, California, can help. They have specialized skills in diagnosing and treating a range of digestive problems, including IBS. Call Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q & A
What is irritable bowel syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that causes a range of uncomfortable and unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms. You might experience:
- Abdominal pain
- Cramps after eating
Symptoms like cramping might improve following a bowel movement.
IBS isn’t a serious health problem, but it can cause severe disruption to your everyday life. The pain, uncomfortable feelings, and frequent need for the toilet can affect work, home life, leisure time, and relationships.
How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed?
There are no specific tests for IBS. The team at Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills needs to review your symptoms to see if they could be explained by anything else, and whether they match the typical symptoms of IBS.
Your provider needs to run tests to check for other explanations, as well as possible triggers that can cause similar symptoms. You might need to have tests for:
- Food allergies or intolerances
- Enzyme deficiencies
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn's disease
- Celiac disease
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Medication triggers
This could involve having blood tests, breath tests, and giving stool samples, and diagnostic tests such as X-rays, abdominal ultrasound, upper endoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, or wireless capsule endoscopy. Your provider can also check how well the muscles in your bowels are functioning.
How is irritable bowel syndrome treated?
Once your provider at Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills makes a diagnosis of IBS, you and they work together to tailor a treatment plan to your needs. There are various methods of treating IBS, and not all of them work for everyone, so it takes your provider’s expertise and your input to create an effective plan.
First, you need to identify triggers that set off your IBS. Keeping a diary of what you eat and any symptoms you experience can help you work out what foods or other triggers can cause a flare-up. Once you know what’s likely to trigger a flare-up, you can avoid your triggers and reduce your symptoms.
Medications can help some patients. Antibiotics can change the balance of gut bacteria, which some people find helps for as much as six months. Other patients find a course of antidepressant medication can help. Your provider can recommend the best medications to take for problems like constipation and diarrhea.
You might benefit from using bulking agents to slow the pace of food as it passes through your digestive system. The good bacteria and yeasts in probiotics can enhance gut health and aid digestion as well.
If you have any symptoms of IBS, call Gastroenterology Associates of Beverly Hills today, or book an appointment online.