Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment in Orlando, FL
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects the digestive process, during which powerful muscles that line the walls of the intestines rhythmically contract and relax to move food through the gastrointestinal tract. IBS occurs when the pace of food movement is either too fast or too slow. For instance, overly strong muscle contractions can move food too quickly, producing symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, gas, and diarrhea. Alternatively, weak muscle contractions can stall the passage of food and cause stool to harden, leading to constipation.
What Causes IBS?
The underlying causes of IBS are not well understood. Some studies suggest that there may be a genetic link. Additionally, many people find that their IBS symptoms are triggered by:
- Food intolerances (common culprits include chocolate, broccoli, cauliflower, beans, dairy products, and carbonated, caffeinated, and alcoholic beverages)
- Hormonal fluctuations, such as those that occur during a woman’s menstrual cycle
- Stress or depression
- Certain medications, such as antibiotics
IBS cannot be completely prevented. The goals of treatment are to ease the symptoms and reduce the frequency of uncomfortable episodes. In addition to avoiding triggers, it can be helpful to exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, get sufficient rest, and quit smoking, if appropriate.
IBS generally does not worsen over time, nor does it lead to other health issues, such as inflammatory bowel disease. However, if you regularly experience IBS symptoms, you should see a physician who can perform a physical examination, and perhaps a blood test or stool analysis, to rule out more serious conditions.
Your Physician Can Help You Feel Better
If you’re a member of Optimum Direct Care, a direct primary care practice in Orlando, FL, and you are experiencing IBS symptoms, you can discuss your treatment options with our board-certified family practice physician, Dr. Toni “Muzzi” Muzzonigro. Contact us to learn more.