You may suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) if you have abdominal discomfort, gas and bloating, chronic or recurrent diarrhea, constipation, or an uncomfortable combination. IBS can affect anybody, regardless of age.

IBS can harm your social and work life. The disease's frustration, embarrassment, and unpredictability may also affect your mental health.

You may be aware of myths and misunderstandings surrounding IBS if you have had IBS for a while, know someone who has it, or has just been diagnosed.

Needham Gastroenterology Associates is a professional team of physicians and nurses that provide comprehensive digestive health services for people in Needham, MA. Please learn the truth about IBS so you can make better-informed treatment decisions. We also want to dispel some common misunderstandings regarding IBS and provide accurate information on your illness.

So What Is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common illness of the large intestine. Varying abdominal discomfort, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation are among the symptoms. IBS is a long-term condition that you must deal with daily.

Only a tiny percentage of people with IBS have severe symptoms. Some folks may moderate their symptoms by following a healthy diet, exercise, and stress reduction techniques. Medication and counseling is often used to treat more-severe signs and symptoms.

Myth: Symptoms of IBS are identical for everyone.

IBS is sometimes seen as a textbook example of an illness. Abdominal pain, bloating, and recurring diarrhea are common IBS symptoms.

Fact: The severity of IBS symptoms varies.

Someone with IBS might experience a collection of symptoms but may also have chronic gas, bloating abdominal discomfort, or aberrant bowel habits. The intensity of these signs varies considerably from patient to patient. Symptoms can happen frequently or come and go for people with chronic IBS.

Myth: IBS is caused by stress.

Stress is a common cause of IBS symptoms; therefore, many believe there is a causal link.

Fact: IBS is NOT caused by stress.

Stress, on the other hand, may exacerbate or trigger IBS symptoms. If you identify that your IBS symptoms worsen when you are stressed, we can help you learn how to relax with meditation, yoga, cognitive behavior therapy, and hypnosis.

Myth: IBS can become IBD or colon cancer.

IBS is a long-term illness that may have distressing and life-altering symptoms, to the point that some individuals feel it is linked to or can escalate into different serious diseases.

Fact: IBS is a distinct condition.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not an autoimmune disease like IBD and is not a risk factor for colon cancer. However, it should be diagnosed by a medical professional.

Other Myths Include:

IBS is not that big of a deal. IBS can affect virtually every aspect of your life, from your job to your relationships to your daily routine.

Getting diagnosed or treated for IBS is a lengthy and complicated process. A doctor most typically identifies IBS through the symptoms you describe. Your doctor may, however, order tests such as blood tests or a colonoscopy if you have severe indications, such as intestinal bleeding.

A strict diet is required to alleviate IBS symptoms. Diet modifications may occasionally help. However, they are not able to cure IBS and do not work for everyone. Consider making dietary changes that might help you. Some people with IBS report that reducing foods like beans, vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and kale, and sugar alternatives like xylitol can reduce gas, bloating, and pain.

Lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are the same things. Lactose intolerance occurs when your body cannot break down lactose, a natural sugar in milk and dairy products. Gas is one of the symptoms. Compared to people without IBS, individuals with it tend to suffer more abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, heartburn, nausea, or vomiting. There's no single food that causes IBS; instead, frequent triggers include:

Fiber cures IBS. Fiber, which the body cannot digest, can help with IBS-related constipation. It is not a cure, though. Some people report that adding more fiber to their diet makes their pain and bloating worse at first. If your condition causes you to have hard stools, gradually increase your fiber intake so that your body has time to adjust.

Needham Gastroenterology Associates Can Help With IBS

Needham Gastroenterology Associate professionals are here to help your IBS symptoms. We encourage you to contact us and set up an appointment to help with screening, diagnosis, and treatment. Remember your gut health affects more than just your digestion and to live a healthy life it begins with the bowls.