Support for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, abbreviated IBS, is a “gray zone” problem.  Why “gray zone”?  IBS is not life threatening.  And IBS cannot be ignored as a trifling nuisance.  It falls in the gray zone of life’s problems.  It is one of those illnesses whose patients do best with support first and then with pharmaceutical intervention.  The support may be self-support, emotional support from friends or support groups, or from your proctologist, also known as a colon and rectal surgeon.  In Los Angeles, there are many options, including the physicians at Los Angeles Colon And Rectal Surgical Associates.

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Irritable bowel syndrome wears many faces.

IBS looks and feels different for each patient.  The same is true for the cause of IBS; many theories, none proven.  Is IBS caused by:

  • An old infection?
  • Some type of remote trauma?
  • An autoimmune disease (whereby the body turns against itself)?
  • A food allergy or intolerance?
  • An alteration in the lining of the intestine?
  • Other (the old catch-all basket when nothing else has been proven)?

Support In Los Angeles (Or Any City For That Matter).

First, look inward.  Marshal your strength and your defenses.  You are your own best source of strength.  Although you may feel hobbled by this illness, know that it is NOT life threatening, that it is an inconvenience (albeit a major inconvenience) and that the sun is still shining (most of the time) and that you are alive and can, with effort, be happy.  Look inward.

Second, learn which foods or events trigger the symptoms.  Usually there is a pattern.  Perhaps when your son or daughter (or both) upset you, the symptoms begin.  Take a step back, take two steps back and remember that your children need not be the source of your illness.  Handle the problem and then move on.  Do not ruminate over it.  Do not let things roil your intestines. What about foods? Are there foods that start things going? For the time being, stop consuming those items. You may try them again later, but, for now, stop eating them. Additionally, consider following a diet for IBS, which typically involves avoiding known irritants and incorporating foods that are gentle on your digestive system.

Third, Find external support from a therapist or nutritionist, especially one with skills in the area of IBS.  Although experience is helpful, any trained, empathetic ear will help.  In times past, there were support groups that would meet and people could talk to each other.  Now, in the digital age, those groups have migrated to the internet.  They are easy to find.  Be careful.  But read what others have to say and how they feel.  You might be able to learn from them.

Fourth: Los Angeles Colon And Rectal Surgical Associates.

The physicians of Los Angeles Colon And Rectal Surgical Associates are board certified and trained to listen to your concerns about IBS.  They can offer support as well as helpful tips, tricks and hints to make living with IBS a bit easier.  Call (310)273-2310 to schedule a consultation. Your doctor will listen and try to help.

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