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What is IBS?  

IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine and can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.

While the exact cause of IBS is unknown, it is thought to be due to a combination of factors, including muscle contractions in the intestine, inflammation in the digestive tract, and changes in the gut microbiome.

There is no cure for IBS, but there are treatments that can help relieve symptoms.

One of the most important things you can do is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Avoiding trigger foods, such as those that are high in fat or fiber, can help to reduce symptoms.

It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, and to get regular exercise.

There are a number of over the counter and prescription medications that can also be effective in managing IBS symptoms. Work with your doctor to find the right treatment plan for you.

IBS can be a very disruptive condition that affects your daily life. But with the proper management, you can help to keep your IBS under control and live a comfortable, symptom-free life.

This blog post can help you manage your IBS symptoms and continue with your daily life while striving to live a healthy lifestyle.


How Can IBS Be Diagnosed?

There is no one specific test for diagnosing IBS.

Instead, doctors typically rely on a combination of a person’s symptoms, medical history, and physical examination. In some cases, additional tests may be ordered to rule out other conditions.

IBS is generally diagnosed after a person has seen their doctor and had a physical examination. The doctor will ask about the person’s symptoms and medical history.

They may also ask about any stressors in the person’s life.

Based on the information gathered, the doctor may then order additional tests. These tests may include blood tests, stool samples, or imaging tests.

The purpose of these tests is to rule out other conditions that could be causing the person’s symptoms.

Once other conditions have been ruled out, a diagnosis of IBS may be made.

ibs diagnosis - IBS:  Tips for Symptom Management

Causes of IBS

There are many possible causes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and the exact cause is often unknown.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that affects the large intestine.  IBS can be chronic, meaning it lasts for more than three months.

IBS can be linked to several factors, including:

  • Muscle contractions in the intestine: Abnormal muscle contractions in the intestine can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
  • Nervous system problems: IBS may be associated with problems with the nervous system that affects how the brain and gut interact.
  • Inflammation in the intestine: Inflammation in the intestine can also lead to IBS symptoms.
  • Genetics: IBS may be more common in people who have a family member with the disorder.
  • IBS may also be associated with stress, anxiety, and depression.


Treatments for IBS

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating IBS, as the condition can vary greatly from person to person.

However, there are a number of treatments that can be effective in managing the symptoms of IBS.

Dietary changes are often recommended as the first line of treatment, as certain foods can trigger IBS symptoms.

Common trigger foods include those that are high in fat, dairy, and gluten. Eliminating or reducing intake of these foods can help to lessen the severity of symptoms.

In addition to dietary changes, stress management can also be helpful in managing IBS.

Stress can exacerbate symptoms, so finding ways to reduce stress in your life can be beneficial. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or talking to a therapist can all help to reduce stress levels.

Medications may also be prescribed in some cases to help relieve symptoms.

Commonly used medications include laxatives, antispasmodics, and antidepressants.
These medications can help to relieve constipation, diarrhea, and pain.

If you are suffering from IBS, it is important to speak to your doctor to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.

With the right treatment, you can manage your symptoms and live a normal, healthy life.


What Are the Symptoms of IBS?

There are a number of different symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and these can vary from person to person.

Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Fatique
  • Insomnia
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

IBS can be a chronic condition, meaning it can last for months or even years. Some people with IBS may have periods of remission, where symptoms go away for a period of time.

There is no cure for IBS, but there are treatments that can help manage symptoms.

Some more serious symptoms to be aware of are:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Diarrhea that occurs mainly at night
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in stool
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Unexplained vomiting

IBS can be a very debilitating condition, and it can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. If you think you may have IBS, it is important to see a doctor for a diagnosis.

ibs symptoms - IBS:  Tips for Symptom Management

How to manage IBS?

If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you know that the symptoms can be extremely debilitating.

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to help manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Here are a few tips:

Identify and avoid your triggers.
Certain foods, stress, and other factors can trigger IBS symptoms. Once you know what your triggers are, you can try to avoid them as much as possible.

Eat a healthy diet.
A healthy diet can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of IBS symptoms. Try to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit your intake of fatty and processed foods.

Get regular exercise.
Exercise can help to relieve stress and promote regularity. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.

Try stress-relieving techniques.
Stress can exacerbate IBS symptoms, so it’s important to find ways to manage it. Yoga, meditation, and deep breathing are all great ways to reduce stress.

Work with a healthcare professional.
If your symptoms are severe or you’re having trouble managing them on your own, don’t hesitate to seek help from a healthcare professional.

They can provide you with more tips and resources to help you get your symptoms under control.


Risk Factors

There are several risk factors for IBS, including:

  • A family history of IBS or other gastrointestinal disorders
  • Stressful life events
  • Certain personality types
  • Sensitivity to certain foods

There is no one single cause of IBS, and it is likely that a combination of these factors plays a role in its development.

While some people with IBS may be able to manage their symptoms with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications, others may require more aggressive treatment.

If you are experiencing severe abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation, it is important to see a doctor to rule out other potential causes.

ibs infographic - IBS:  Tips for Symptom Management



Irritable bowel syndrome can be a frustrating and debilitating condition, but there are ways to manage it and live a normal life.

With the help of a doctor, and by making lifestyle changes, such as following a special diet and reducing stress, you can minimize the symptoms of IBD and live a normal, healthy life.

Dr. Schneider offer services such as endoscopy procedures, including gastroscopy, colonoscopy and video capsule endoscopy.

For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of IBD in Johannesburg, contact Dr. Schneider or book your consultation today.



The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.