Services & Specialties at Grand River Medical Group

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment in Dubuque IA

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition of the large intestine that causes uncomfortable symptoms. Most cases of IBS are minor and unlike gastrointestinal disease such as Crohn's Disease or Colitis, doesn't lead to any serious conditions such as colorectal cancer. A very small amount of people with IBS have severe symptoms.

Symptoms

Symptoms of IBS include:

  • Gas
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Abdominal pain and/or cramps
  • Feeling bloated
  • Rapid change in bowel habits
  • Food Intolerance

These symptoms need to occur over a long period of time in order to be diagnosed with IBS. It's also important to know that these symptoms can occur without having IBS, or can be caused by other GI conditions.

Causes

There's no central root to why IBS occurs. However, the physical cause of IBS is when the muscle lining in your intestines that's used to rhythmically contract and relax to push food through them is not working properly. This means that the contractions may last longer/shorter or tighter/weaker than they should be, leading to the many uncomfortable symptoms.

The following stimuli may cause IBS in some people, although it varies from person to person:

Food allergies/intolerance – Make sure you know which foods cause your IBS symptoms, keep track of when symptoms occur and make a list

Other illnesses – GI infections such as gastroenteritis can cause IBS as well as other GI diseases

Psychological factors – Stress, depression and anxiety can all cause IBS

Hormonal imbalance – Improper levels of reproductive hormones, neurotransmitters and estrogen can lead to IBS

Risk Factors

Anyone can develop IBS, but certain factors seem to make people more likely to develop it, such as:

Age – IBS occurs more in younger people, usually between teenage years until their 40's

Gender – Women are twice as likely to develop IBS than men

Mental health disorder – Since IBS can be psychological, people emotionally unstable are more likely to develop it

Family history – Just like with any ailment, a family history of IBS can mean you're more likely to have it as well

Treatment

Most cases of IBS can be helped with the following treatments:

Changing diets – Eliminating gluten, high gas foods (soda, certain vegetables) as well as cutting out some carbohydrates like fructose and lactose (FODMAPs). This is also why it's important to keep track of what foods cause IBS for you.

Medication – Some medications can calm IBS symptoms such as:

  • Anti-diarrheal (Imodium)
  • Fiber supplements (Metamucil)
  • Antidepressants. Depending on if you have depression or not, your physician pay prescribe different types of antidepressants
  • Antispasmodic (Levsin)
  • IBS-specific medication (Lotronex, Amitiza)
  • Antibiotics if the IBA is caused from infection

If you have IBS, your physician will most likely prescribe you a medication. If you have further questions about IBS, call Grand River Medical Group at (563) 557-9111 to schedule an appointment

Providers Specializing in Gastroenterology

Grand River Medical Group has two board certified gastroenterologists:

 Doctor Gottepati

Dr. Krishnarao Gorrepati

 Doctor Lengeling

Dr. Randall Lengeling

Most of the procedures performed by our gastroenterologists are done at the Dubuque Endoscopy Center. On rare occasions, you may need to have your gastrointestinal procedure done at one of the area hospitals - Finley Hospital or Mercy Hospital.

Contact us

If you have any questions or comments about any of our services, please let us know by calling 563-557-9111.