Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Mordecai Dicker, MD

Gastroenterologist located in Great Neck, NY

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic (ongoing), incurable disease that can make life miserable for people living with it. If you have IBS, Mordecai Dicker, MD, practicing in Great Neck, New York, can help. Dr. Dicker is a board-certified gastroenterologist who has considerable experience in helping patients to manage their IBS and lead a more comfortable, rewarding life. Call Dr. Dicker today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment using the online form.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q & A

What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

IBS is a chronic condition that causes digestive problems in the large intestine, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Excessive intestinal gas
  • Mucus-covered stools

Bowel movements typically provide relief from the symptoms of IBS, but the effect is temporary. The severity of symptoms can change from mild to moderate to severe in an often unpredictable cycle, and for many people, IBS becomes a problem that limits their ability to lead a full life.

What causes IBS?

There’s no definitive cause of IBS, but there are contributing factors. For example, patients with IBS often have higher than normal levels of inflammation in their digestive tract and fewer beneficial bacteria.

One explanation of the symptoms of IBS is that it is a problem with the way your intestinal muscles work. These muscles help push food through the digestive tract by contracting in waves. If the contractions slow down or weaken, it can lead to constipation. If they speed up or get too strong, it can cause diarrhea.

Another possibility is that the nerves in your intestines aren’t working properly and are sending pain signals to your brain when there’s no actual tissue damage or they’re exaggerating normal sensations like the need to have a bowel movement to the point where they become distressingly uncomfortable.

It’s common for people who have IBS to have triggers that make their symptoms worse. These are personal to every person, but common triggers include specific types of food, high levels of stress, and menstruation.

How is IBS treated?

IBS isn’t curable but it’s possible to manage the condition and reduce its effects. Dr. Dicker can provide you with plenty of advice and information and create a care plan personalized to your specific needs and circumstances. Your plan could include a combination of treatments, including:

  • Diet and lifestyle changes
  • Fiber supplements and laxatives
  • Anti-diarrheal medications
  • Bile acid binders
  • Anticholinergic medications
  • Probiotics
  • Pain medications
  • Stress counseling
  • Biofeedback therapy
  • Relaxation exercises

These treatments work well for most patients. If after treatment you’re still experiencing severe IBS, Dr. Dicker can prescribe medicines that relax your colon and improve your gut health.

If you have IBS or any of its symptoms, call Mordecai Dicker, MD, today or book an appointment online.