Does this sound familiar: you’ve just finished a long, stressful day and had a good dinner and now the cramping begins. You spend the evening vacillating between trying to ignore the growing pain in your abdomen and trying to find relief in the bathroom. If this sounds like you, you may be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
“IBS is an often painful and recurring condition that could be masking a more serious condition. It could be caused by something like a bacterial infection or it could be caused by changes in the muscle contractions of the intestine,” said Medco ER’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan. “Some people find their IBS symptoms are triggered by stress and others find certain foods contribute to their discomfort.”
Symptoms of IBS
According to the NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, any or all of these symptoms may be present with Irritable Bowel Syndrome:1
- Abdominal pain
- Constipation and diarrhea
- Changes in bowel movements
When IBS is an Emergency
If your abdominal pain or IBS is interrupting your life and the pain is so persistent that you can no longer function, go to the nearest emergency room. Your doctor will want to rule out other, more serious conditions.2
If you have a fever that accompanies abdominal pain or cramping, you should seek medical help.
Any unexplained and rapid weight loss needs to be discussed with your doctor.
If you have to get up in the night with diarrhea, that is something to discuss with your doctor.
When there are signs of any rectal bleeding or dark, tarry stools that indicate blood in the stool, you should go immediately to Medco ER.
If you have nausea and vomiting accompanying abdominal cramping, if you are dizzy or faint, if you have chest pain, or if you have difficulty breathing, go to the ER.
If your abdomen is painful to the touch or is hard and distended, go to Medco ER right away.
“Persistent abdominal pain that doesn’t lessen with trips to the bathroom can indicate a serious condition,” said Dr. Khan. “Come to Medco ER right away when you think something is wrong and let us take a look. We have full diagnostic capabilities at Medco ER, we have rapid results labs, and our doctors are board-certified and experienced in treating IBS.”
Treatment for IBS
If IBS is diagnosed and other, more serious conditions are ruled out, your doctor will have ideas to help you start to feel better. Since IBS is not a form of cancer and doesn’t damage the intestines, treatment usually begins with diet modifications. Your doctor may discuss a diet low in gluten and high in fiber.
Lifestyle changes, probiotics, exercise, sleep, and fluids could be recommended. Laxatives, fiber supplements, antidepressants, anti-diarrheal medications, and pain medications are some pharmaceuticals that your doctor may consider.2
Get Help Fast at Medco ER
While IBS may not seem like an emergency most of the time, when the pain interferes with your life, increases dramatically, or has accompanying symptoms like fever, nausea or chest pain, the team at Medco ER are ready to help you any time, day or night.
- Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive, Plano, TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-747-0370
- Carrollton: 2745 E Belt Line Road, Carrollton, TX 75006
Call us @ 469-840-4600