Irritable Bowel Syndrome Specialist

Robert T Baker, MD -  - Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology Specialists of Orlando

Robert T Baker, MD

Gastroenterology located in Downtown Orlando, Orlando, FL

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects between 25-45 million Americans. Without proper treatment, IBS can increase your risk of more serious health problems like anxiety and depression. At Gastroenterology Specialists of Orlando, board-certified gastroenterologist Robert Baker, MD, has extensive experience treating irritable bowel syndrome. To schedule an appointment at the Orlando, Florida-based practice, call or book a consultation online today.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q & A

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a painful digestive disorder that affects between 3-20% of Americans. It’s a chronic condition that causes cramping, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain.

There’s no cure for IBS, but it’s possible to ease symptoms and improve your quality of life. Usually, this requires a combination of healthy lifestyle changes, prescription medications, and nutritional counseling.

When should I see a doctor about irritable bowel syndrome?

Everyone experiences digestive problems from time to time. You should make an appointment to see Dr. Baker if your stomach issues include:

  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea at night
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unexplained vomiting

Additionally, you should make an appointment with Dr. Baker if you experience persistent abdominal pain that doesn’t improve after passing gas or having a bowel movement.

What causes irritable bowel syndrome?

Doctors aren’t entirely sure what causes IBS, but a combination of factors is thought to play a role, including:

  • Muscle contractions in the intestine
  • Abnormalities of the nervous system
  • Inflammation of the intestines
  • Severe infection
  • Changes in bacteria in the gut

Consuming certain foods and beverages, stress, and hormonal changes can also trigger IBS.

How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed?

There’s not a specific test used to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome. Instead, Dr. Baker conducts a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks about your symptoms and lifestyle. If you regularly experience diarrhea, he also orders lab testing to rule out gluten intolerance (celiac disease).

If these measures don’t provide enough information, Dr. Baker might request one or several stool samples. He uses these samples to look for signs of infection or intestinal malfunction. 

If necessary, Dr. Baker might also order a colonoscopy, a flexible sigmoidoscopy, endoscopy, or a CT scan. These diagnostic imaging tests can provide real-time images of your intestines and digestive tract, highlighting inflammation, ulcers, or other abnormalities.

How is irritable bowel syndrome treated?

Dr. Baker usually recommends conservative, integrative treatments to ease the uncomfortable symptoms of IBS. Healthy lifestyle changes like avoiding foods that trigger your symptoms, drinking plenty of fluids, exercising regularly, and managing your stress levels can significantly improve your quality of life.

If your symptoms persist or get worse, Dr. Baker might also recommend taking prescription medication. There are several medicines used to treat IBS, including alosetron, rifaximin, and linaclotide.

Don’t let irritable bowel syndrome prevent you from living your best life. Schedule an appointment at Gastroenterology Specialists of Orlando. Call the office or book a consultation online today.