Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder characterized by abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. It can occur at any age, often beginning in the teen years or early adulthood. Affecting one in six people, it is twice as common in women as in men. Left untreated, IBS can undermine the quality of one’s life, not only physically, but also psychologically and socially.

The specific cause for IBS is unknown, but it appears that dietary changes, hormonal imbalances, emotional stress, a prior intestinal infection, food sensitivities, and allergies can cause or contribute to the development of the disease.

Diagnosing the condition can be tricky because IBS shares symptoms with a variety of other medical conditions, including Celiac disease, colitis, Crohn’s disease, and some food allergies. Given how frequently the symptoms of IBS overlap with other medical disorders, getting a complete and accurate diagnosis is critical to ensuring that your treatment will be as effective as possible. At the Kaplan Center, our physicians have years of experience treating patients with chronic conditions such as IBS, and we reject the notion that “you just have to live with it.”

At your first visit, your Kaplan physician will take the time to explore the onset of your condition, the specific nature of your pain sensations, and the overall status of your health. You’ll also be asked about the medications and therapies you’ve tried in the past, and what has and hasn’t worked for you. To gather additional information about your condition, your Kaplan physician may also order specialized diagnostic laboratory testing.

After reviewing all of the factors contributing to your health situation, your physician will spend time talking with you about your diagnosis and working with you to create a customized and multi-dimensional treatment plan that addresses your symptoms and any possible underlying or co-existing conditions that may be causing or aggravating your IBS.

Although there is no known cure for IBS, there are options that can help control its symptoms. Making dietary changes with the help of nutritional counseling, using medication or herbal supplements, receiving acupuncture, and practicing stress management strategies, including meditation, can ease the symptoms of IBS.

We are here for you, and we want to help.

Our goal is to return you to optimal health as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment please call: 703-532-4892

Additional Resources:

Research study: Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Severity of IBS in Women The American Journal of Gasteroenterology
Website: International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
Website: CDC: Inflammatory Bowel Disease