Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder in which the large intestine does not function properly. People with IBS can experience a range of symptoms including abdominal pain, constipation diarrhea or both.
IBS is a chronic, long-term condition that does not have a cure. The exact cause of IBS is not known.
Thankfully, with expert IBS care, you can improve your quality of life. Our board-certified gastroenterologists help patients diagnose IBS, identify triggers, and treat symptoms.
IBS risk factors: Many people experience IBS symptoms from time to time, but do not have the syndrome. You are more likely to develop IBS if you:
● Are under the age of 50
● Are female
● Have a family history of IBS
● Have a mental health illness, such as anxiety or depression
Prevention strategies: Reducing stress and improving diet are effective ways to prevent and lessen IBS symptoms. Our leading gastroenterologists recommend that patients:
● Work with a registered dietician to help identify any food triggers
● Receive psychotherapy to help manage stress more successfully
● Learn and practice stress-reducing techniques
IBS signs and symptoms vary from person to person. They also may lessen or worsen over time. The most common symptoms include:
● Abdominal pain
● Excess gas
● Mucus in stool
● Other persistent change in bowel movement patterns
Diagnostic tests and imaging: [P] There is no definitive test for IBS. In fact, there is no sign of the disorder when the intestine is examined. A set of criteria can be used to diagnose IBS based upon the physician taking a careful history and performing a physical examination. Depending upon a person’s individual symptoms, some testing may need to be done to evaluate for other conditions. These tests may include:
● Blood, urine, and stool tests
● Abdominal imaging tests, such as x-ray or ultrasound
● Food intolerance tests, such as lactose or gluten intolerance tests
● Anorectal manometry
If the testing is performed and confirm that the symptoms are not caused by another disease or disorder, your physician will then carefully discuss your symptoms and if you meet the criteria, you will be diagnosed with IBS.
Successful IBS treatment incorporates many different strategies — such as diet, exercise, stress reduction, and medication. At Weill Cornell Medicine, all patients receive a personalized treatment plan that addresses their unique triggers, symptoms, and lifestyle goals.
Diet: Many IBS patients greatly benefit from tracking their food intake and symptoms. This helps identify specific food that triggers symptoms. In addition to eliminating these foods, IBS patients may also be recommended to:
● Eat more high-fiber foods
● Eat smaller, more frequent meals
● Drink six to eight glasses of water per day
● Avoid foods that are known to commonly trigger IBS symptoms, including caffeine, fatty foods, dairy, alcohol, and chocolate
Our board-certified gastroenterologists collaborate with Weill Cornell Medicine registered dieticians to develop personalized dietary strategies. Patients also benefit from seeking advice from our registered egistered dieticians and specialized nutritionists.
The gastroenterologists at Weill Cornell Medicine unite their specialized expertise with the breadth of knowledge and support at our top-ranked hospital.
Weill Cornell Medicine patients have access to specialists in surgery, rheumatology, psychiatry, hepatology, oncology, nutrition, genetics, and other fields. In addition, our patients benefit from collaborative care with:
Our board-certified gastroenterologists provide compassionate care based on the latest research and clinical findings. Patients benefit from our gastroenterologists’ extensive training, targeted care, and collaboration with other specialists at our top-ranked hospital.