IBS

Usha Sivakumar, MD -  - Internal Medicine

SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care

Usha Sivakumar, MD

Internal Medicine & Primary Care located in Frederick, MD

IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, causes digestive upset and considerable pain and discomfort, but there are effective ways to restore your gut health. Usha Sivakumar, MD, MBBS, is a highly experienced physician at SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care in Frederick, Maryland, who specializes in treating patients who have IBS to manage their condition and minimize the symptoms. Call the clinic now to arrange a consultation, or book an appointment online.

IBS Q & A

What is IBS?

IBS is short for irritable bowel syndrome, a condition of the intestinal tract that causes pain, discomfort, and digestive disturbance. You may experience regular bouts of diarrhea or constipation or both, bloating, and problems with intestinal gas. Stomach cramps are common, especially prior to having a bowel movement.

IBS doesn’t represent a serious health risk, so it’s not a condition you need to be concerned about in that respect. However, it can make you feel miserable and interfere with every aspect of your work and home life, so finding a way to relieve the problem can drastically improve your quality of life.

How do I know if I have IBS?

The symptoms of IBS are similar to those of other digestive diseases or could be due to other factors such as:

  • Food allergies and intolerances
  • Infections
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn's disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Anemia
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Enzyme deficiencies
  • Medications like iron supplements and pills for high blood pressure

There’s no specific test for IBS, but Dr. Sivakumar at SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care can diagnose the condition by reviewing your symptoms and ruling out other causes. She may also order diagnostic tests to help with the diagnosis, such as:

  • X-rays
  • Upper endoscopy
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Bowel muscle function tests

Before you visit SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care, it’s a good idea to make some notes describing your symptoms, when they occur, how long they last, and anything that makes the symptoms worse.

What treatments are available for IBS?

There’s no straightforward cure for IBS, but there ways to ease the symptoms and manage your irritable bowel syndrome. Identifying what brings on an attack of IBS enables you to avoid these triggers, so for example, if eating pickles or drinking beer irritates your bowels, eliminate them from your diet.

Dr. Sivakumar can also help with medications such as a course of antibiotics to rebalance your gut microflora. Other treatment options include:

  • Antidepressant medication for the discomfort
  • Bulking agents to make food move more slowly through the gut
  • Probiotics that replenish good bacteria
  • Yeast supplements to improve gut health
  • Medication for constipation and diarrhea

If you have any symptoms of IBS, get the help you need by calling SivIMed Internal Medicine and Primary Care today, or book an appointment online.