gastrointestinal conditions

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), also called spastic colon, comes with uncomfortable symptoms that don't have a known cause. These symptoms can include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Feeling bloated
  • Gas

Symptoms can show up alone or be combined together. Sometimes they alternate over time.


In order to diagnose you with IBS, your doctor will need to rule out other diseases that could cause your symptoms. These diseases include Crohn's disease, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and other colon problems. Unlike these other diseases, IBS doesn't cause physical changes to your colon.

Procedures like colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy give your doctor a safe way to look inside your colon, or large intestine, to rule out other diseases. Blood and/or stool tests may also give you and your doctor information to aid in your diagnosis. Your doctor can also use breath tests to check if certain bacteria or lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products, are the source of your symptoms.

Managing IBS

Managing the symptoms of IBS can be tricky since the cause of the problem is not yet known. Your doctor may suggest changes to your diet or lifestyle to ease your symptoms. Medications may also improve symptoms. If stress triggers your symptoms, your doctor can suggest ways to help you reduce stress on a daily basis.

IBS is a chronic condition that can really impact your life. Our gastroenterologists are committed to partnering with you to help improve your symptoms and ease your mind as you monitor and manage your IBS over time.