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Ojen Masrour, M.D.
21301 Sherman Place, Suite 210
West Hills, CA 91307
Phone: 818-702-9962


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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): What is it?

By: Dr. Ojen Masrour on January 9, 2016

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), reports that up to 1 out of every 5 Americans has Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and 75% of them are women.

The Causes

Causes of IBS can be different for everyone. Although there sometimes are no obvious causes for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), there are certain triggers that can bring pain and other symptoms, including:
  • Hormonal changes
  • Antibiotics
  • Food
  • Stress

The Three Main Types

  1. IBS with Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain
  • Discomfort
  • Infrequent bowel movements
  • Hard stool
  • Lumpy stool
  1. IBS Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Discomfort
  • Urgent/frequent bowel movements
  • Watery stool
  • Loose stool
  1. IBS with Alternating Constipation
    and Diarrhea
  • Alternating symptoms of constipation
    and diarrhea, usually one is more prevalent 

The Symptoms

In the Bowel/Intestines
  • Lower belly pain
  • Mucus in the stools
  • Changes in bowel movement patterns
  • Excess gas
  • Bloating
  • Stomach cramps
  • Feeling like you haven’t completely emptied your bowels
Patterns in Bowel Movements
At least two of the following scenarios typically occur in IBS:
  1. Changes in size and/or consistency – thin, loose, watery, hard, small stool
  2. Straining, feel an urgent need to move your bowels or feel like you haven’t emptied your bowels
  3. Feeling bloated and gassy
  4. Suffer from constipation or diarrhea
Pain Linked to Bowels
Pain in the lower belly for at least 3 days a month for 3 months and 6 months of symptoms is indicative of IBS. Likely IBS pain symptoms include:
  • Pain caused by look and/or consistency of your stool
  • Pain with the frequency of a bowel movement
  • Pain relief associated with a bowel movement                       
Other Non-Gastrointestinal Symptoms
The following can be symptoms of IBS that have no effect on the intestines:
  • Insomnia and other sleep problems
  • Backache
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Heart palpitations
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Lack of sexual desire
  • Urinary/bladder problems
There can also be an increase in symptoms due to:
  • Menstruation
  • Anxiety
  • After eating

The Tests

IBS is frequently diagnosed based on the person’s symptoms and whether they have typical symptoms of the disorder. Tests can be helpful in ruling out other possible disorders or causes. Some examples of tests would be:
  • Stool analysis
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Blood test for celiac disease
  • Complete medical history
  • Physical exam
The symptomatic person’s age, severity of symptoms, onset of symptoms, response to treatment and medical history may determine whether testing is required and how extensive it is. For example, a 25-year-old with no history of symptoms might not need additional testing, whereas a 60-year-old with the higher potential for colon cancer might.

The Next Steps

IBS is long-term, and symptoms can vary in severity from day to day, but there are things a person can do to reduce the symptoms they suffer from. Sometimes the symptoms are so mild, the syndrome goes completely undiagnosed and untreated. It’s important to seek the assistance of a professional who can help you find a natural and long-term solution to alleviate your IBS symptoms.
Dr. Ojen Masrour, in West Hills, California offers First Line Therapy that provides proven results by incorporating healthy nutrition, nutritional protocols, exercise, life coaching and stress management. First Line Therapy is custom-made to each individual; whether you're looking to lose weight and keep it off, correct nutritional deficiencies, reduce painful symptoms of obesity, IBS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or you're looking to achieve optimal health. First Line Therapy program is a big picture approach to significant, but realistic, health improvements which all Southern Californians can attain. ? ?
If you'd like to talk with Dr. Masrour about beginning First Line Therapy to help you to lose weight, and bolster your overall health and well-being contact Healthy Transformation, A Lifestyle Medical Group by calling our West Hills, CA office at 818-702-9962.


21301 Sherman Place, Suite 210, West Hills, CA 91307





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