Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Tillman Medical Group

Gastroenterologist & Internal Medicine located in Vidalia, LA

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is common, affecting more than one in five adults in the United States. You might have been suffering from it since your teens or 20s, and wish there was a better way to manage how you feel when it flares up. At Tillman Medical Group in Vidalia, Louisiana, experienced gastroenterologists C. R. Tillman, MD, specialize in gastrointestinal issues like IBS. They can help manage your cramping, bloating, and pain so you can get back to your daily activities without discomfort. Call the office or book a consultation online today.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q & A

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a condition in your digestive tract. IBS can affect your intestines in several ways. It can interfere with the normal workings of your intestines, heighten the sensitivity of your intestinal nerves, or short-circuit your brain’s communications with your intestinal functions. IBS typically causes diarrhea, constipation, and repeated abdominal pain.

What causes IBS?

While the exact causes of IBS aren’t clear, high-calorie or high-fat meals, medications, hormones, certain foods, and emotional factors such as stress, anxiety, and depression, can trigger an episode of IBS.

Certain factors seem to play a role in IBS, including:

  • Muscle contractions in the intestine
  • Misfiring signals between the nerves in your digestive system and brain
  • Intestinal inflammation
  • Changes in the good bacteria in your gut

A serious infection can also bring on IBS.

What are the symptoms of IBS?

The signs and symptoms of IBS aren’t the same for everyone, but some common signs include:

  • Abdominal pain, bloating, and/or cramping
  • Excess gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Mucus in your stool

If you have IBS, your symptoms can come and go, and at times even disappear completely.

How is IBS diagnosed?

Your provider at Tillman Medical Group will take a complete medical history and perform a medical exam. He can recommend several tests, including a stool test to rule out an infection or assess for bacterial overgrowth in your intestine.

To rule out other causes of your symptoms, you might need a colonoscopy. This is a minimally invasive procedure that involves sending a long, flexible tube with a light and tiny video camera through the rectum to see the inside of your colon. The procedure checks for abnormalities or signs of infection.

How is IBS treated?

Tillman Medical Group’s main goal is to ease your symptoms so you can go about your day without worrying about IBS flaring up. If your symptoms are mild, they may recommend diet and lifestyle changes, such as avoiding stressors, getting regular exercise, and drinking plenty of fluids.

Certain medications help reduce the symptoms of IBS. These include prescriptions to relax the colon, reduce diarrhea, increase the levels of fluids in the intestines, and kill bacteria.

If you’ve been struggling with constipation, pain, cramping, and bloating, isn’t it time you sought the specialized care you deserve? Call today or book a consultation online with Tillman Medical Group.