Treat & Manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Williamsport, PA
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a group of symptoms that occur together which changes how your bowel functions. IBS is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder.
IBS is typically classified into four different types, based on stool consistency:
- IBS with constipation (IBS-C)
- IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D
- Mixed IBS (IBS-M)
- Unsubtyped IBS (IBS-U)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Symptoms
Symptoms of IBS consist of abdominal pain, changes in bowel movement and changes in stool consistency. Other symptoms include bloating, white mucus in your stool, diarrhea and/or constipation, and a feeling that you haven’t finished a bowel movement. While IBS is a chronic disorder, symptoms may come and go.
IBS usually comes with two of the following symptoms:
- Lessened pain or discomfort after a bowel movement
- A change in how often you have a bowel movement
- A change in the appearance of your stool
You may have IBS if you’ve had symptoms three times a month over the past three months or your symptoms started six or more months ago. If you think you may have IBS, please call 570-321-3454, or Find a Provider at UPMC.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Causes
The causes of irritable bowel syndrome is not understood. Doctors think that there may be a variety of factors that contribute to IBS.
Mental Health Problems
Your colon may respond negatively to too much stress. Mental health problems like anxiety disorder, panic disorder, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may worsen IBS.
The following physical problems may lead to IBS:
- Bacterial infections
- Brain-gut issues
- GI motility issues
- Pain sensitivity
- Altered sense of neurotransmitters
- Small intestinal bacterial growth
- Family history
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment at UPMC
IBS doesn’t have a cure, but with the proper diet, medicines, probiotics, and mental health counseling, symptoms can improve.
The following medicines may be recommended to manage your IBS:
- Fiber supplements can help with constipation when increasing fiber in your diet doesn’t work.
- Laxatives can also help with constipation.
- Loperamide is an antidiarrheal that can slow the movement of stool through your colon.
- Low doses of antidepressants can help alleviate abdominal pain.
- Lubiprostone can be taken with IBS-C to improve abdominal discomfort.
- Linaclotide can help people with IBS-C increase bowel movements.
- The antibiotic rifamaxin may reduce bloating.
- Antispasmodics can control muscle spasms.
- Probiotics are live microorganisms that can only be seen under a microscope that may improve IBS symptoms.
- Therapy for Mental Health
Emotional and psychological stress can have an impact on your IBS. Managing stress, talk therapy, gut-directed hypnotherapy, and mindfulness training are a few techniques that some experts say may help alleviate your pain and better manage your symptoms.
Gastroenterologists at UPMC specialize in the care and treatment of IBS in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.