Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a surprisingly common condition. It affects up to
15% of the population, but most people are unaware that they have it. To increase understanding
of the condition, April is designated as IBS Awareness Month. This health
awareness occasion is dedicated to both increasing knowledge about IBS
in people who don’t have the disease and helping people with IBS
learn more about their disease and lobby for the kind of support they
need. Should you speak to your doctor about IBS? Here are the facts you
need to know.
IBS is a chronic condition that can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and
constipation. Typically, sufferers experience different symptoms at different
times, and not all sufferers will experience the same symptoms. It affects
people in all age groups and is more common in women than in men. There
is no specific diagnostic test for IBS. Your doctor can make a diagnosis
based on your symptoms and by ruling out other conditions that can have
The classic symptoms of IBS are constipation, diarrhea, and pain. These
symptoms can vary significantly in severity, and they may come and go
in different combinations without warning. Many people experience periods
without any complications followed by periods of flare-ups. Along with
these symptoms, many people with IBS have bloating, sleep disturbances,
and changes in sexual functioning.
When to See a Doctor
Any time you experience IBS symptoms, consult with a doctor. Although these
symptoms can indicate a number of different conditions, and getting an
accurate diagnosis is the first step towards managing your discomfort.
Because IBS is not curable and lasts for life, the earlier you are diagnosed
and get treatment to manage the condition, the better.
If you are concerned about your gastrointestinal symptoms and think you
could have IBS, call Westside Regional Medical Center today and ask for
a referral to one of our specialists. Our nurses can also answer your
questions about our other hospital services, such as our ER,
orthopedics, robotic surgery, and cancer program in Plantation, FL.