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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Specialist

Hal N Buch, MD

Gastroenterology located in Kingston, NY

About 12% of people in the United States suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. If this statistic includes you and symptoms hinder your quality of life, board-certified gastroenterologist Hal N Buch, MD, and Marisa Flanagan, FNP-BC, can help at their Kingston, New York, office. There, they test you for IBS and treat the condition to ease symptoms. Call Dr. Buch’s office to learn more or book an appointment online today.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q & A

What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a chronic health condition that affects your large intestine. IBS doesn’t harm the intestines but can cause discomfort and numerous unpleasant (sometimes embarrassing) symptoms. The exact cause of IBS isn’t known but it affects about two times as many women as men, especially those younger than 45.

What are the symptoms of IBS?

If you have IBS, you might experience common symptoms of the disease such as:

  • Abdominal pain/ cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Mucus in the stool

It’s common to go back and forth between constipation and diarrhea when suffering from IBS flare-ups. Even if IBS doesn’t cause discomfort, symptoms associated with it can sometimes be embarrassing.

What causes IBS?

While the exact cause of IBS isn’t entirely clear, certain factors appear to play a role in developing it. Examples include:

  • Stronger than usual intestinal muscle contractions
  • Abnormalities in the nervous system
  • Intestinal inflammation from excess intestinal immune cells
  • Intestinal bacterial overgrowth
  • A severe infection caused by a virus or bacteria
  • Changes in gut microflora

Triggers for IBS flare-ups might include eating certain foods or drinks, stress, hormone changes, anxiety, and depression.

How is IBS diagnosed?

Dr. Buch or Marisa goes over your medical history and completes an examination to help determine if you have IBS. They may ask for a stool sample or blood test to rule out the presence of other diseases.

To diagnose IBS, your provider completes a five-day test using the revolutionary SmartPill™, which is an ingestible motility testing system within a capsule you swallow.

The SmartPill measures pH, pressure, temperature, and transit time as it passes through your digestive tract to provide valuable diagnostic information. This cutting-edge pill is the only motility test that provides complete transit profiles.

What is the treatment for IBS?

Most of the time you can control IBS symptoms with stress management, probiotics, medications, and dietary changes. Taking Evvea® or Arise probiotics supplements helps reduce symptoms of IBS by boosting healthy gut flora and improves digestive and overall health.

Your provider works with you to reduce or eliminate IBS symptoms. He may recommend avoiding certain foods that trigger symptoms of IBS, such as:

  • Wheat
  • Dairy foods
  • Beans
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Citrus fruits
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Caffeinated beverages

You might try increasing your intake of high-fiber foods or experiment with different foods to determine which trigger IBS flare-ups. Your provider helps you properly plan your diet to ease unpleasant symptoms.

When you want to find out if IBS is causing gas, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation and you’re ready for symptom relief, call Dr. Buch’s office today or book and appointment online.