Health Literacy

Healthcare – Seeking Diagnosis and Treatment for IBS


Irritable bowel syndrome, commonly referred to as IBS, is a debilitating and chronic gastrointestinal disorder that a considerable section of the population is afflicted by. Many patients seek IBS related healthcare in medical facilities and they account for the largest group that visits gastroenterology clinics. It is well known that these patients face the challenge of an impaired quality of life and often require health care services.

Symptoms of IBS

Several theories have been presented regarding the exact cause of the condition but it is not yet clear. Symptoms vary among different patients and may change over time. Some of the distressing symptoms that are reported by patients include abdominal pain, bloating, straining urgency and the general feeling of being seriously ill.

Treating IBS can be challenging due to the diversity and complexity that is associated with it. While there are guidelines regarding how to treat IBS, emphasis is placed on identifying comprehensive evidence that facilitates effective diagnosis and treatment to help clinicians as they diagnose and treat their patients.

Bowel Habits

IBS is characterized by the alteration of bowel habits along with abdominal pain and discomfort without detectable biochemical or structural abnormalities. Scientific advancement has made it possible to understand IBS and gain further insight into the condition. IBS is a relatively common bowel disorder that can impair the quality of a person’s life and generates the need for ongoing healthcare.

Medical Management of IBS

It is important to understand the cause of IBS and target it for effective treatment. Aside from gastrointestinal symptoms like abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea, constipation and bloating, there are other indications of the problem such as fatigue. Medical management has historically focused on handing individual complaints according to symptoms.

Before treatment options are discussed with patients who may have IBS, physicians are expected to carry out a detailed and thorough medical history and physical examination to rule out other diagnoses for similar symptoms.

Physicians and IBS Patients

Individual patients are likely to present unique characteristics and it is essential for physicians to establish strong relationships with their patients as the basis of effective treatment and fulfilling expectations. Attentive listening and providing the patients with detailed explanations of the condition, management, treatment options and prognosis eases the patient’s anxiety.

All of the patient’s questions and concerns should be responded to along with spending adequate time during the initial visits to address the problem. Reassuring patients makes it easier for them to accept and understand their situation. Setting realistic goals creates a structured environment for the patient and enables them to play an active role in taking care of their health.

Long-Term Goals

After establishing a worthwhile relationship with the patient, long-term goals can be set to deal with the affliction. Physicians need to emphasize that the syndrome is chronic and most patients continue to have an IBS diagnosis for years.

Exercise and Diet Modifications

Exercise is helpful for maintaining GI function while lowering stress levels. Regular physical activity is recommended for symptom relief. The main objective of IBS intervention is to relieve symptoms and enhance quality of life. Dietary modification helps to address food allergies or intolerances.

Would you like to receive similar articles by email?

Charles Brown is a freelance writer and blogger. He contributes to various blogs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *