Dr. Sing Chan is a Board Certified gastroenterologist who serves residents throughout the greater New York City, New York, area including Flushing and other local neighborhoods.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Q & A

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome is extremely common. Although its cause is unknown and it can be very uncomfortable, it does not alter or change the bowel in any way. The inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease can damage the bowel through the creation of scar tissue. Irritable bowel syndrome does not cause damage, only irritation. It is possible that the irritation may be caused by neurological abnormalities within the intestinal walls or gastrointestinal tract. Irritable bowel syndrome may also be caused by misinterpreted signals sent between the brain and the digestive tract. The result can be chronic diarrhea or chronic constipation.

Can Diet Help Control Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Altering the diet may offer some benefits for sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Eliminating foods that create gas in the digestive tract is important. Many doctors recommend eliminating gluten from the diet. Gluten is found in many grains, including wheat, and causes certain issues within the digestive tract, especially if the body cannot properly digest it. Certain types of carbohydrates may also pose a problem. Eliminating fructose and other monosaccharides may also help to control the pain and discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome. Adding fiber to the diet can also offer benefits as well.

How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treated?

Anti-diarrhea medications may be used to reduce cramps and discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome. While one of the key elements of treatment is altering a person’s diet, there are other things that can be done to help control the pain. Antispasmodic medications can also be beneficial because it helps to control the spasms within the colon and intestines that increase the irritation and discomfort. Antidepressants may also be described to help control stress. Doctors have proven that individuals who are under major amounts of stress often suffer more severe symptoms when they are depressed or overly anxious.