Irritable Bowel Syndrome Specialist

Joseph Saracino, MD, FACG, FACP -  - Gastroenterology and Endoscopy

Joseph Saracino, MD, FACG, FACP

Gastroenterology and Endoscopy located in Kinston, NC

As many as 45 million people in the United States live with persistent symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). At the practice of Joseph Saracino, MD, in Kinston, North Carolina, Dr. Saracino understands how disruptive IBS symptoms can be. He can confirm bloating, abdominal pain, and excess gas related to IBS during a physical exam and creates a treatment plan to quickly relieve and prevent recurrent symptoms. If you need help managing irritable bowel syndrome, call Joseph Saracino, MD, or request an appointment online today.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q & A

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that affects your large intestine. While the exact cause of IBS isn’t known, there are several underlying issues that can contribute to the condition.

IBS may occur due to abnormal muscle contractions in your intestines. Muscles may contract too often or may not be strong enough to move food through your digestive tract.

You may also develop IBS due to:

  • Infection
  • Intestinal inflammation
  • Nervous system dysfunction
  • Changes in gut bacteria

There are also triggers that can cause flare-ups of IBS symptoms, such as certain foods, stress, and hormone changes.

What are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome affects people differently. 

Some of the most common symptoms of IBS include:

  • Cramping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Excess gas and bloating
  • Persistent diarrhea and/or constipation

Many people experience flare-ups of symptoms that last for several days before going away, while others have symptoms every day.

You can request a diagnostic evaluation with Dr. Saracino if you have IBS symptoms that are recurrent and don’t improve with at-home care.

How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed?

While there are no specific tests to diagnose IBS, Dr. Saracino can determine if the condition is the root cause of your symptoms through a review of your medical history, a discussion of your symptoms, and a physical exam.

Dr. Saracino may recommend a colonoscopy, a diagnostic procedure that uses a scope with an attached camera to explore the inner part of your intestine. 

Once he rules out other conditions to confirm that your symptoms relate to IBS, Dr. Saracino creates a treatment plan to reduce the frequency of your symptoms and protect your overall intestinal health.

What treatments are helpful for irritable bowel syndrome?

To relieve abdominal pain and other symptoms of IBS, Dr. Saracino can work with you on a diet plan that helps you avoid trigger foods. You should also incorporate more exercise into your daily routine and get enough sleep each night.

If you have chronic diarrhea, you may need antidiarrheal medications. If you experience chronic constipation, you may need to add more fiber to your diet or use laxatives or stool softeners.

There are also medications available that relax your colon to help control painful spasms and prevent IBS symptoms.

If you have symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and need a diagnostic evaluation, call Joseph Saracino, MD, or book an appointment online today.