Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

What is IBS?

It is a motility disorder of the colon. There are several hypotheses about its primary cause(s) including food intolerances and disruption in the balance of colonic bacterial content. Research is underway.

Esophagus

Stomach

Intestine

What are symptoms of IBS?

  • Excessive gas/bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea

How is the diagnosis made?

It is diagnosed based on reported symptoms. However, certain tests may be ordered including celiac testing, lactose intolerance testing, upper endoscopy and colonoscopy in order to exclude other conditions.

How is the condition treated?

Fiber supplements or high fiber diet.

Low FODMAP diet: This is a diet which includes elimination of certain complex carbohydrates (Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides and Polyols) from the diet. These complex carbohydrates are sometimes difficult for patients with IBS to digest. The diet is usually done under the guidance of a health care provider.

Treatment of diarrhea/constipation using antidiarrheals or laxatives

Pain and antispasmodic medications

Probiotics - Probiotics are manufactured forms of bacteria which promote normal gut function by restoring the balance of healthy bacteria.