Samuel I. Fink, MD
Internal Medicine & Primary Care located in Tarzana, CA
Irritable bowel syndrome significantly restricts your ability to live life due to its frequent, sudden, and unpredictable changes in bowel habits. Samuel I. Fink, MD, Inc., has extensive experience helping patients find relief from their pain, diarrhea, and constipation. If you’re not sure whether your symptoms are related to IBS or another intestinal problem, schedule an evaluation by calling the office in Tarzana, California, or using the online booking feature.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q & A
What is irritable bowel syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that affects your large intestine. It’s defined by two symptoms that occur together: abdominal pain and a change in your bowel movements, which may be diarrhea, constipation, or both.
There are three types of IBS based on your symptoms:
IBS with constipation (IBS-C)
- Hard stools
- Difficulty going to the bathroom
- Need to have a bowel movement but can’t
IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D)
- Frequently have loose stool
- Urgent need to go to the bathroom
- Cramping and belly pain
When you have the third type, IBS with mixed bowel habits (IBS-M), you have symptoms of both IBS-C and IBS-D.
If you have symptoms more than a few times a month, or your bowel habits interfere with daily life, it’s time to see Dr. Fink for help.
What causes irritable bowel syndrome?
The cause of IBS isn’t known, but several conditions may contribute to the problem:
Abnormal muscle contractions
Your intestinal walls are lined with muscles that contract to move food and waste. Contractions that are stronger than normal cause gas and diarrhea, while weak contractions slow down movement and cause constipation.
Nervous system disconnect
Problems in your intestinal nerves may affect communication between your brain and gut, making your intestine hypersensitive to the normal digestive process.
Inflammation is associated with abdominal pain and diarrhea.
In some cases, IBS develops after a bacterial or viral infection.
Change in gut bacteria
IBS is associated with an imbalance between the good and bad types of bacteria in your gut.
How is irritable bowel syndrome treated?
Dr. Fink may order lab tests to rule out other conditions that may cause your symptoms, but there isn’t a specific lab test for IBS. Your diagnosis is based on your symptoms, which are evaluated according to established criteria.
Your treatment, which focuses on symptom relief, is determined by the type of IBS. These are a few possible treatment options:
- Dietary changes
- Fiber supplements
- Anti-diarrheal medications
- Medication to relieve muscle spasms
- Non-opioid pain relievers
Don’t assume your change in bowel habits is simply due to something you ate. Call Samuel I. Fink, MD, Inc., to schedule an appointment, get to the root of the problem, and receive treatment.