IBS. A Disease Of Many Masks.
If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, you have probably spent many frustrating hours reading, researching and pondering your diagnosis and treatment. You already know that IBS is a cosmopolitan disorder, affecting many big city inhabitants in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. You know about the theories of causation and how IBS is differentiated from other, more immediate life threatening illnesses. And, you most certainly are aware that this illness wears many masks and looks like many other diseases. Symptoms of diarrhea, constipation or both interfere with the enjoyment of daily life. Is there any relief?
Body aches, back pain, headaches, stiffness, anxiety and depression and fatigue also seem to come with the territory. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are frequently muttered in the same breath as IBS. Your colorectal surgeon, also known as a proctologist, has already ruled out cancer, ulcers, gall stones, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, microscopic colitis and thyroid diseases as a cause of your symptoms. Now what?
Treatment Needs To Be Individualized.
Treatment is available. Each treatment must be tailored to each patient. A proctologist, also known as a coloproctologist, can help you to tailor a therapy program designed to help your constellation of symptoms.
Change Your Diet?
Food intolerance can be a part of the IBS family. A lactose-free diet may help. If fructose has been shown to be a problem, fructose may be rigorously removed from your diet. True food allergies are thought to be rare and not consistent with a diagnosis of IBS.
Drugs may be useful for symptomatic therapy. For those with constipation, stool softeners may be of use. Natural fiber or synthetics such as methylcellulose may allow for a softer stool. In those patients with diarrhea, loperamide or diphenoxylate may firm the stools. Prescription narcotics such as codeine may be required in rare cases. Serotonin is a natural chemical in the body which may affect receptors in the gut. Medications that block serotonin, such as ondansetron or Zelnorm, can help with diarrhea.
Antispasmodics such as Phenobarbital, atropine or Donnatal may help control diarrhea and the painful cramping that accompanies IBS.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) block the release of stomach acid and are useful in the treatment of ulcer disease. However, they can also allow the development of bacterial overgrowth which can mimic or cause IBS. You may need to stop the use of your PPI under the guidance of your doctor.
Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates Can Help.
Many other drugs are available and the physicians at Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles are experienced and skilled in using them. However, the doctors are also experienced with discussing and using other techniques such as psychotherapy, stress relief through meditation, or yoga. Feel free to ask about probiotics, various herbal remedies and acupuncture as possible sources of relief.
Most importantly, take the first step toward treatment by seeking the consultation of a physician experienced in all of the aspects of gastrointestinal disease. The surgeons of Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles are board certified and able to help you in a quiet setting, allowing you time to explore your diagnosis and treatment plan. You can make an appointment by calling (310)273-2310.