The digestive disorder known as irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, can impact your daily life in many ways. Leading to discomfort in the large intestine (colon), stomach, and other areas of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, irritable bowel syndrome generally often causes unpleasant and distressing symptoms.

At Dr Ankita Gupta, we understand the uncomfortable effects irritable bowel syndrome may have on your overall health and quality of life. Our GI providers routinely treat IBS in Houston, TX patients, and can help you find relief from its symptoms. Read on to learn more about irritable bowel syndrome and if you could be at risk.

What causes IBS?

The cause of irritable bowel syndrome is unclear. Researchers believe it results from an interruption between the brain, which controls gut function, and the gastrointestinal system, causing many GI doctors to dub it “the brain-gut disorder.” This disturbance might produce motility complications inside the gastrointestinal tract, causing the muscles to move food through the GI system at a pace that is either too fast or too slow. IBS is also known as “spastic colon” because of the colon spasms often associated with this condition.

Several factors can be irritable bowel syndrome triggers, including:

  • Bacterial or viral gastroenteritis (intestinal infection)
  • Hormone fluctuations
  • Changes in the microbial makeup of the intestines
  • A diet high in fatty and spicy foods
  • Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and soda
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Stress

Knowing IBS triggers and your chances of developing the condition may help you better manage your body’s reaction if you are diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.

What are the risk factors for IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a complex digestive condition. Therefore, a variety of elements may combine to result in the condition’s onset or reoccurrence. Factors that may exacerbate the risk of this condition involve:

  • Age: Patients of almost every age group can get IBS; however, it often starts during the teenage years or in early adulthood. It is less common in those 50 and older.
  • Being a woman: Irritable bowel syndrome is about twice as prevalent in women than men.
  • Familial history: Some patients are genetically more susceptible to irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Mental health: Anxiety and depression can increase the risk of developing the condition.
  • Lifestyle: A poor diet, lack of exercise, alcohol and/or tobacco use, and being overweight can all elevate the risk of irritable bowel syndrome.

If you might be at risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive issues, please request a consultation at a Dr Ankita Gupta location in your area.

What are the most common symptoms of IBS?

The effects of irritable bowel syndrome often fluctuate from person to person. Furthermore, IBS symptoms in women are generally different than IBS symptoms in men and may range in severity. The majority of people experiencing IBS generally have mild effects. Common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping

You should consult a physician if you have one or more of these symptoms or notice a shift in your bowel habits. Our GI team in Houston, TX can assess your symptoms and concerns to determine if IBS is to blame.

How is irritable bowel syndrome treated?

Even though avoiding IBS isn’t always possible, action can be taken to lessen the effects. Controlling irritable bowel syndrome often involves the long-term management of associated symptoms. Reducing symptoms and managing irritable bowel syndrome may include lifestyle adjustments, such as eating more fiber, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and knowing your IBS triggers. Some medications may also help alleviate its effects, including anti-nausea, anticholinergic, anti-diarrheal, and antidepressant options. Laxatives or fiber supplements may help address underlying issues that often aggravate the condition.

Find irritable bowel syndrome treatment in Houston, TX

Aside from causing frustrating symptoms, IBS makes many people feel defeated and hopeless. However, it is possible to experience relief from this chronic condition. The team at Dr Ankita Gupta provides personalized care for this condition and is here to help usher you or your loved one to a better quality of life. To learn more about the condition and irritable bowel syndrome self-care, or to find treatment for IBS in Houston, TX, please schedule a consultation at a location near you

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