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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Specialist

John M Rivas, M.D. -  - Gastroenterology and Endoscopy

Rivas Digestive Center

John M Rivas, M.D.

Gastroenterology and Endoscopy & Transplant Hepatology located in Hollywood, FL

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may keep you from enjoying an active lifestyle. At Rivas Digestive Center, you can get help dealing with painful IBS symptoms from expert gastroenterologist John Rivas, MD. At his practice in Hollywood, Florida, Dr. Rivas performs in-depth exams and tests to figure out what's causing your IBS. He has the expertise you need to find solutions for even your most stubborn symptoms. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q&A

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common health problem for more than 20 million Americans. This condition affects your digestive system. People with IBS often experience:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping and bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss

Because IBS symptoms can be vague, they're often confused with other conditions. For example, women who suffer from pelvic pain may assume their symptoms are due to cramps or fibroids when IBS is actually to blame. 

What causes irritable bowel syndrome?

Researchers aren't sure what causes IBS, but many factors seem to play a role. Your symptoms could result from:

  • Muscle contractions inside your intestines
  • Abnormalities in your nervous system
  • Intestinal inflammation
  • Intestinal infections
  • Changes in gut bacteria

Food, hormones, and stress often trigger IBS symptoms. Hormonal changes, in particular, have a significant impact on IBS. Many women report that their symptoms are much worse during their period. Stabilizing your hormones is an essential part of IBS treatment.

How is irritable bowel syndrome treated?

If Dr. Rivas diagnoses IBS, you and he work together to create a management plan to reduce your symptoms.

Identifying what triggers an attack of IBS is helpful so you can avoid these triggers in the future. Recording the details of everything you eat and the symptoms you experience can help you isolate the most likely triggers for your IBS. Eliminating certain types of foods using the FODMAP diet can help many IBS patients, but you need to follow Dr. Rivas' guidance.

You might also benefit from medication. For instance, antibiotics could help if you have an imbalance in your gut bacteria. Antidepressants can also ease your symptoms, or you might benefit from medicines to reduce diarrhea and constipation. Anticholinergic medications can reduce painful spasms.

Bulking agents help slow down the passage of food through your gut. Probiotics that contain beneficial bacteria and yeasts can improve the general health of your gut and the digestive process.

There's no single solution to treating IBS, but Dr. Rivas has considerable skill and experience in helping people manage this distressing condition. Call Rivas Digestive Center today to schedule a consultation, or book an appointment online.