Irritable Bowel Syndrome Specialist - Who Can Help!

Written by: Meenakshi Joshi – M. Sc (Applied Behavioural Analysis)
Last updated date : February 27, 2023

Do you feel pain in your stomach? Do you feel gassy? Have you noticed changes in your stools? Do you feel too full all the time? All these things show that you might have some stomach issues. You may have to see an expert and get help. Are you not sure what specialist to see for Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

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Chapter 1:

What Are the Signs?

  • Cramping: In IBS, you get severe cramping in the stomach. You get cramps or sharp pain in your belly.
  • Pain: You might have pain in the abdomen area. Additionally, the pain can be constant or might come and go.
  • Bloating: You may feel gassy and too full. This happens to all of us when we over-eat but this type of bloating happens sometimes and goes away when you take a walk.
  • Changes in bowel movement: You might see changes in your bowel movements. When you see a specialist for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the first thing they ask is about this. For example, do you have to use the washroom more these days than before? Or they may ask about changes in the colour, smell, and consistency of the stools that you have seen? etc.
  • Diarrhea: You may get loose motions very frequently.
  • Constipation: If not diarrhea, then you may get constipation. Also, sometimes you get both one after the other.

Chapter 2:

When to See a Specialist for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Many people are able to manage IBS if the symptoms are not severe. They can take care at home by changing their diet and exercising. Lifestyle change can be a big help in IBS. You can deal with IBS by following some easy tips.
  • Eat regular meals.
  • Avoid trigger foods
  • Have yogurt, bananas, peppermint tea, peaches, etc.
  • Do gentle exercises daily
  • Get good sleep
  • Reduce stress
  • Deal with your anxiety and fear in a positive way

These tips can help you reduce IBS. But if they do not help or your symptoms get severe, you may need to see an expert.

Signs That You Need to See an Expert
You should see a specialist for irritable bowel syndrome when you have these signs –
  • You go through weight loss. If you have a quick and unexplained loss of weight, then it could be a sign that something is not right with your body. Do see a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Vomiting without any reason. You may have vomiting because of overeating or acidity. However when you have vomiting and cannot find the reason behind it, then it might be a sign that your IBS is getting worse.
  • You may find it hard to swallow. Usually, IBS does not cause trouble swallowing. But if it does, then that means you are not doing okay.
  • Another sign that shows you are not okay is bleeding from the rectal area or having blood in your stools. This is surely a sign that things are not okay and that you need help immediately.
  • Anemia is another serious sign that your IBS has increased.
  • And pain! If your pain goes not go down no matter what you do, then you have to see a specialist and get help for your irritable bowel syndrome.

Chapter 3:

Which Specialist to See for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Sometimes we may not be sure who to see for your problem. The first person you might go to is your family doctor or a general physician. Typically, you would get advice from them about your symptoms.

Please do not wait for a long time if your condition gets worse or you have such symptoms of IBS. Also, do not self-diagnose. The treatment needs to be started immediately. An expert can help you design a long-term treatment considering all the different aspects of IBS.

If you already are diagnosed with IBS, then they may help you to deal with specific symptoms that have gotten worse or are bothering you. For example, they may give medication for constipation or gas. Also, they might suggest some diet changes and exercises.

In most cases, if the family doctor is not sure about the diagnosis or feels that your condition requires greater expertise, then they might send you to a gastroenterologist. They are doctors who have expertise in the digestive system. They have special training in disorders that are about the liver, bowels, and pancreas.

Chapter 4:

What Does the Specialist for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Do?

When you see a trained doctor for IBS they will do a complete and detailed diagnosis and then treat the condition.
  • They may begin with a physical exam to understand where the pain is located.
  • The doctor takes a complete history of the person. They will ask you about your family and anyone in your family who has IBS or such disorders. Also, they may ask when these symptoms started. You may be asked if you have any other disorders.
  • A stool sample is taken and analysed.
  • If the doctor wants to rule out any other causes, he/she may ask for other lab analyses. Blood work, urine tests, or more detailed imaging tests are done.
  • The doctor will ask you about your food habits, how much you exercise, your sleep patterns, etc.
  • Also, mental health-related questions will be asked. IBS is related to anxiety and depression. The doctor will ask you about many tension or stress that you have. They may ask about your emotional state and your mood and level of activity, etc.
Factors Associated With Ibs
You can see that IBS is something that affects all aspects of your life and many factors can influence IBS. When a specialist is suspecting that you might have irritable bowel syndrome, he/she will want to know if you have these factors and how you are doing on these.
  1. Food allergy – IBS is not completed related to food allergy. But if you have any food allergy, eating those foods can trigger or make your IBS worse.
  2. Stress – You will have severe symptoms of IBS if you have stress. There is a direct relationship between the two. So, the doctor will want to know about your stress level in detail.
  3. Lifestyle- You might have a greater chance of getting IBS if you have a bad or unhealthy lifestyle. Also, if you have IBS, it does affect your entire life. It will affect your work-life – you will have to take more leaves due to not feeling well.
  4. High protein diets – If you have a high protein diet, then you might have more severe symptoms of IBS. Proteins are not easy to digest. Even if you don’t have IBS but have tummy issues you need to reduce protein intake.

Chapter 5:

Can We Cure IBS?

We cannot cure IBS! Most people who have IBS might suffer from it throughout their life. However, you can manage the symptoms of IBS and can reduce these symptoms to a minimal level. If you can minimise or do away will the symptoms, then you will be able to live a good and active life even with IBS.

To summarise, IBS can cause pain, gas, cramps, and other symptoms which can cause problems in our daily life. With changes in diet and exercise, you can manage IBS. However, you need to see an expert if you do not feel better with these changes. Also, if your symptoms get worse, you should get professional help Get timely help if you have severe pain, bleeding in the rectum, or blood in stools. Food habits and stress are highly related to IBS and can vastly affect your condition.

If you have irritable bowel syndrome and need more information, please visit our courses page. Also, if you are worried about how to go about the treatment, do take up a course and learn to deal with this condition confidently.

"Quick online learning, thanks!" Susan

92 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount