Dr. Starpoli's Blog

Want Relief for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?  See a Gastroenterologist.

Posted by Anthony A. Starpoli, MD on Jun 3, 2020 7:30:00 AM

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects about 11% of the global population, but only 30% of those people seek a physician's guidance in treating symptoms.

This is surprising considering everything that gastroenterologists have to offer. Gastroenterologists are experts in the gastrointestinal system. Because IBS affects the gastrointestinal system, gastroenterologists can help patients control their IBS symptoms.

If you're interested in learning more about irritable bowel syndrome treatment by gastroenterologists, keep reading. We'll let you know exactly how the right gastroenterologist can help you manage your IBS.

1. A Gastroenterologist Can Help Relieve Pain

Many people with irritable bowel syndrome report experiencing pain and cramping. Some IBS pain can be unbearable. People even end up in the emergency room sometimes.

Gastroenterologists can help their patients manage this pain. Whether it's through nutritional changes or prescription medications, patients can manage their pain.

Patients shouldn't have to go through the pain of IBS alone. Get the help of a gastroenterologist and be honest about your pain.

It may also help to track what the pain feels like and when the pain happens. Some people only have cramping after eating certain foods, while others cramp randomly. Some patients have stabbing pain, while others have firey pain.

2. A Gastroenterologist Can Personalize Treatment

There are three types of irritable bowel syndrome: IBS-C, IBS-D, and IBS-M.

A patient with IBS-C struggles with constipation, while a patient with IBS-D struggles with diarrhea. IBS-M is a mix of both constipation and diarrhea.

Both sides of irritable bowel syndrome aren't any fun. Gastroenterologists understand the ins and outs of constipation and diarrhea. Therefore, they can help you with your specific struggles.

Whether they place you on a new medication or change up your nutrition, gastroenterologists will know how to help your bowels get back to normal. For example, many patients with constipation find relief with a laxatives.  However, before using these or other medicines, have a talk with your physician.  Remember that a change in your bowel habits warrants an evaluation by your doctor.  It could be a warning sign of colon cancer.

If you like the more natural route, you can try to change your diet around and see how your body responds. For example, patients with diarrhea may experience worsening symptoms after ingesting dairy. They can solve this issue by limiting or completely eliminating dairy consumption.

Your gastroenterologist will be able to help you navigate these changes.

3. A Gastroenterologist Can Help Control Bloating

Bloating is another common symptom of irritable bowel syndrome. Bloating inevitably leads to gas. It's understandable how this could become annoying. 

Patients with irritable bowel syndrome typically try to avoid lactose. This tends to decrease bloating and gas production. However, it may not eliminate it completely. The assessment is complex and there are many potential causes.

A gastroenterologist can help you identify what other foods or habits could be leading to gas production. Like with other symptoms, a change in nutrition or a new medication could help with this.

New diets are constantly being released for IBS patients. Your gastroenterologist will be able to help you find the best diet for you and your condition.

Your gastroenterologist will understand your symptoms and how they interact with your current diet. From this, they can find out what foods with which you react.

If you and your gastroenterologist can figure out what foods you're sensitive to, you can have great control over your IBS. It's amazing what small changes in diet can do for irritable bowel syndrome.

4. A Gastroenterologist Can Help You Sleep

Sleep may seem unrelated to irritable bowel syndrome. However, this is untrue.

Many patients with irritable bowel syndrome report poor sleep quality, insomnia, and fatigue. Not surprisingly, patients have worsening gastrointestinal symptoms the day following a poor night's sleep.

This is truly a testament to the fact that our bodies are completely connected. Everything affects everything, and your gastroenterologist understands this.

Getting your irritable bowel syndrome under control could be the key to getting a good night of sleep. However, a good night of sleep could be the key to getting your irritable bowel syndrome under control.

The best thing to do is to take every factor into account. Talk to your gastroenterologist about your sleep pattern. Track your symptoms and hours slept, and let your gastroenterologist know if there is a correlation.

Your gastroenterologist will be able to help you find out how to get all of this under control. They'll work with you to track your sleep and gastrointestinal symptoms. 

Your gastroenterologist will know important trackers from needless details. Be sure to ask them what they think that you should track for your specific symptoms.

5. A Gastroenterologist Can Determine If This is Something More

Your case of irritable bowel syndrome could be worse than you think. IBS can lead to irritable bowel disease, colitis, and other conditions.

One of the first tests your gastroenterologists will want to do is a colonoscopy. This may seem disgusting, but it's important. A colonoscopy will give your gastroenterologist a look into your body and let them see what's really going on.

From here, they can see if you have a more serious condition going on. For patients with extreme pain or other symptoms, this could be an explanation.

For example, patients who are experiencing rectal bleeding and cramping may have ulcerative colitis. A gastroenterologist can figure out if you have this form of irritable bowel disease by performing a colonoscopy.

Your gastroenterologist may also want to perform an endoscopy to check for something like acid reflux or intestinal enzyme deficiencies. Even if you unexplained symptoms, it's a good idea to let your gastroenterologist have a look.

The only way that gastroenterologists can be completely sure what's going on is by looking inside of your body. Your anatomy will reveal what's going on. From there, your gastroenterologist can make the right decisions.

Seeing a Gastroenterologist for Your IBS

If you have IBS, you need to get a hold of a gastroenterologist today. These medical professionals are trained to help you find relief.

With so many symptoms and complications, irritable bowel syndrome can be difficult to navigate. Don't make it harder on yourself by trying to take it on alone.

Make an appointment with us now and start your journey to a healthier you.

diarrhea, IBS, SIBO, constipation, stomach pain