IBS stands for irritable bowel syndrome. People who have IBS typically have one or more of these five major IBS symptoms: constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, or bloating.
Bowel movements may be urgent, frequent, sporadic, incomplete, loose, soft, hard, difficult to pass, painful, wet, sticky, dry, somewhere in between all of these issues, or completely normal. If you have had chronic problems with any of these symptoms, then you likely have IBS. This is as true for infants as it is for seniors, and we’ve treated it in all ages.
Even if you’ve seen dozens of doctors and multiple gastroenterologists, we want to see you. Unlike these doctors, we are IBS specialists. And if you’ve never seen a doctor, we still want to see you. We’ll help you sort out your problem.
At the IBS Treatment Center we help patients with chronic digestive problems. People with IBS also can have any of the following digestive symptoms or diagnoses:
- Anal itching or burning
- Canker sores
- Celiac disease
- Collagenous colitis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Cyclic vomitting
- Eosinophilic Esophagitis
- Food allergies
- Food intolerances
- Functional disorders
- Gluten intolerance
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Leaky gut
- Lymphocytic colitis
- Microscopic colitis
- Motility disorders
- Stomach migraines
- Ulcerative Colitis
A Quick Digestive System Overview
Your gastrointestinal tract is a long tube. This tube starts at your mouth and ends at your anus. It is a highly specialized organ that is designed to do three very important things: convert food into something your body can use for nourishment; protect you from invading bacteria, viruses, and toxins; and dispose of a variety of waste products (poop). It is truly amazing that these three vital functions are performed by one structure.
In order to do all of these things, this tube has developed some very special features. For one, it contains 80% of your immune system, which defends you from invaders coming down the pipe. Equally important, this tube contains a complex ecosystem of over 100 trillion good bacteria that are not only critical to proper digestive function, but are also a vital part of the defense system. And finally, this tube is so specialized that it has its own nervous system, often called a second brain.
When it’s all working well, normal digestion is an unremarkable experience. You typically have one to two bowel movement per day. They aren’t urgent, they don’t cause any discomfort, there is very little noticeable gas production, and they only take about 5 minutes. The stool is well formed, easy to pass, you don’t need to wipe much, and at the end of the bowel movement you feel like you are fully “through.” Pooping is a natural experience and should be comfortable and – dare we say it? – even bring an enjoyable feeling of release.
If this isn’t happening, then you have a problem and deserve better digestion. At the IBS Treatment Center we are uniquely qualified for and experienced in assessing these functions and treating these problems so that you can start to feel better and get your life back. It’s not about giving you a fancy diagnosis, it’s about solving your problem.
Dr. Stephen Wangen is the award winning author of two books on solving digestive disorders, and a nationally recognized speaker on IBS. He has been on ABC, NBC, and Fox as well as public radio. He was recently named one of Seattle’s Top Doctors by Seattle Magazine.