Myths and Facts About IBS

If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you probably live with abdominal pain, gas and bloating, chronic or recurrent diarrhea, constipation, or an uncomfortable mixture of these. IBS can affect anyone, even children, but is more common in women.

IBS can impact your life quite severely, interfering with your social and work life. Your mental health can also suffer due to the frustration, embarrassment, and unpredictability of the condition. 

If you’ve suffered from IBS for a while, know someone with IBS, or have just been diagnosed, you probably know this condition is shrouded in misconceptions and misunderstandings. 

At GastroDoxs, Dr. Pothuri helps people in the greater Houston area suffering from the condition understand their particular case and manage their symptoms. We also want you to understand some very basic myths about IBS and get the right facts about your condition.

MYTH: Symptoms of IBS are similar for everyone.

Some people believe that IBS is almost textbook in how it presents. IBS is often associated with the symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, and chronic diarrhea.

FACT: IBS symptoms vary.

While a person with IBS may have a collection of symptoms, they may also have just chronic gas and bloating, abdominal pain, or abnormal bowel habits. The severity of these symptoms varies widely from patient to patient. Symptoms can occur daily or may come and go -- even for chronic IBS sufferers.

MYTH: Stress is the primary cause of IBS.

Stress commonly triggers symptoms of IBS, so it’s common for people to believe there’s a causal relationship.

FACT: Stress does not cause IBS.

Stress can, however, trigger or worsen symptoms of IBS. If you find your IBS flares when you face undue stress, we can help you explore relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, cognitive behavior therapy, and hypnosis.

MYTH: IBS is or will become inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or colon cancer.

IBS is chronic and does have symptoms that are disturbing and life-altering, so much so that some people believe it is related to or can become more serious conditions.

FACT: IBS is its own condition.

IBS is not an autoimmune condition like IBD is, and it’s not a precursor to colon cancer either. While it should be diagnosed by a medical professional such as Dr. Pothuri and can benefit from his management, it doesn’t predispose you to other digestive disorders.

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