IBS (also known as spastic colon, intestinal neurosis, and nervous indigestion) refers to a disorder of the lower intestinal tract that leads to abdominal pain and abnormal bowel movements.
The cause of IBS is not known, but it can occur after an intestinal infection (post-infectious IBS). IBS symptoms may be worse in patients who also have stress or mood disorders, such as anxiety, and depression; however, these conditions do not cause IBS.
Symptoms range from mild to severe with most people experiencing the milder ones.
Abdominal fullness, gas, bloating
Abdominal pain that:
comes and goes
is reduced or goes away after a bowel movement
occurs after meals
Chronic and frequent constipation, usually accompanied by pain
Chronic and frequent diarrhea, usually accompanied by pain
Loss of appetite
The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms.
Lifestyle changes can be helpful in some cases of IBS.
Improved sleep habits
Other possible treatments may include:
Counseling in cases of severe anxiety or depression
Anti-diarrheal medications for those whose main symptom is diarrhea
Low-dose antidepressants to help relieve intestinal pain
Medications to stimulate bowel movements for those with constipation
Make an Appointment
To schedule an appointment with a gastroenterology specialist, please call our scheduling line.
Get answers to commonly asked questions about the Gastroenterology department at MedStar Georgetown.