What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C)?
If you are experiencing persistent symptoms of constipation and discomfort, it is advisable to seek medical attention in order to obtain a diagnosis and establish a treatment plan aimed at alleviating symptoms, enhancing bowel function, and improving overall comfort. Meet our team of medical professionals at Diamond Gastroenterology today to learn more about treatments for IBS-C. We care about your health! For more information, contact us or visit us online to book an appointment. We serve patients from Oak Park IL, and surrounding areas.
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C) is a subtype of irritable bowel syndrome characterized by abdominal discomfort or bloating accompanied by constipation. Constipation is typically defined as infrequent passage of stools (less than three times per week) with the presence of hard stools or a feeling of incomplete bowel movements.
Symptoms of IBS-C encompass abdominal pain, discomfort, and changes in bowel function. Bloating and/or gas may also occur. Changes in bowel function can manifest as straining during bowel movements, infrequent stools, the presence of hard or lumpy stools, and a sensation that the bowel does not fully empty.
Some individuals may experience a feeling of “blockage” that impedes stool passage, requiring them to apply pressure or change body positions to aid in completing a bowel movement. The frequency or appearance of stools may vary during episodes of abdominal discomfort. It is worth noting that abdominal discomfort often improves following a bowel movement in individuals with IBS-C. While symptoms typically persist (chronic), they can exhibit periods of remission and recurrence.
The exact cause of IBS-C remains unknown. It is believed to be associated with alterations in intestinal motility and contractions, as well as changes in pain perception within the gastrointestinal tract. In certain cases, IBS-C may develop following a previous gut infection, and it could also be linked to disruptions in communication between the brain and intestines.
Evidence suggests that the presence of specific gut bacteria or variations in their composition may contribute to the condition. Researchers are also investigating the potential roles of genetics and immune system changes in the development of IBS-C. While the precise mechanisms behind IBS-C are still being explored, multiple factors are believed to influence its occurrence.
The diagnosis of IBS-C is established through a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s medical history and a thorough physical examination. Doctors utilize a set of specific symptoms and factors to aid in determining the presence of IBS-C.
Essential criteria include the experience of abdominal pain or discomfort and a change in bowel habits. It is important to note that there are no laboratory tests or imaging studies available that can definitively confirm a diagnosis of IBS-C.
In certain cases, a limited amount of testing, such as blood work or imaging studies, may be conducted to rule out other potential conditions. Additionally, there are specific symptoms that may indicate the presence of a condition other than IBS-C. These symptoms include unexplained weight loss, bleeding, or the onset of IBS-C symptoms after the age of 50 in individuals who did not previously experience such symptoms on a frequent basis. These situations may prompt further investigation to ensure accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.
If you are experiencing persistent symptoms of constipation and discomfort, it is advisable to seek medical attention in order to obtain a diagnosis and establish a treatment plan aimed at alleviating symptoms, enhancing bowel function, and improving overall comfort. Consulting with a healthcare professional can significantly enhance your quality of life.
Furthermore, if you regularly rely on over-the-counter medications to manage symptoms, it is important to consult with a doctor to determine the most appropriate and effective treatment approach.
Additionally, it is essential to inform your doctor about any abdominal discomfort or symptoms accompanied by weight loss, bleeding, iron deficiency (as indicated by blood tests), or if these symptoms emerge after the age of 50.
Providing your doctor with information regarding your personal or family history of gastrointestinal diseases, such as cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, is also crucial.
By seeking medical attention and discussing these important details with your doctor, you can ensure appropriate diagnosis, personalized treatment, and effective management of IBS-C symptoms, ultimately improving your overall well-being.
IBS-C treatment is available at Diamond Gastroenterology; feel free to call us right away. We serve patients from Oak Park IL, River Forest IL, Cicero IL, River Grove IL, Forest Park IL, Berwyn IL, Melrose Park IL and Broadview IL.