Everyone suffers from abdominal problems from time to time: gas, bloating, and constipation. While occasional abdominal problems are tolerable, chronic problems can be miserable. You don’t have to live with those problems though! The gastrointestinal specialists at SoCal Gastro can help you find answers and help relieve your symptoms.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastrointestinal problems and affects about 20% of adults. It is usually more common in women and usually occurs before the age of 50. Simply put, IBS just means that the intestinal system does not work like normal, and this can cause painful symptoms. More than half of the people who have IBS assume it’s just something they have to live with and never seek medical advice. Not only can a gastroenterologists help diagnose IBS, they can also make sure there are no underlying problems and can make living with IBS more tolerable.
Irritable Bowel Disorder is more serious and while it shares the symptoms of IBS they’re unrelated. IBD is merely a term for a variety of gastrointestinal diseases, which are either categorized as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Ulcerative colitis is the less serious of the two and usually affects the colon and/or rectum. Crohn’s disease however, can affect the esophagus, stomach, colon and small intestines.
Difficulty using the bathroom, usually referred to as constipation, is another common abdominal issue. While bathroom frequency varies from person to person any changes in diet, liquid intake or stress can throw off the normal frequency. Any variations in size, consistency, amount or color should not be alarming as long as they are temporary. If you notice any changes in your bowel movements lasting more than two or three weeks or if you ever notice blood in the stool, either a more blackish color or a bright red you will want to call your gastroenterologist. They’ll be able to run any tests needed to make sure there are no additional problems.
Many of these abdominal issues can be similar and that why it’s important to talk with a gastrointestinal specialists. They will be able to diagnose the problem and suggest treatment options, which can range from diet changes and medications, to steroids or antibiotics. Staying positive and keeping in touch with your gastroenterologist and others who have experienced similar abdominal issues can make living abdominal issues or chronic abdominal problems more tolerable.