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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Specialist

Gina Sam, MD, MPH -  - Gastroenterologist

Gina Sam, MD, MPH

Gastroenterologist & Wellness Center located in Midtown, New York, NY

If you suffer from abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea, you may have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Acclaimed gastroenterologist Dr. Gina Sam, MD, MPH, provides comprehensive care for men and women in New York City struggling with the challenging symptoms of IBS. Call the office to schedule a one-on-one consultation or use the online scheduler to book your appointment easily from home.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an intestinal disorder that changes the way your bowels work. It is almost always accompanied by telltale symptoms of abdominal cramping and pain, and alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea. Symptoms tend to worsen if left untreated.

What causes IBS?

There’s no definitive cause of IBS, but researchers have identified a few culprits that trigger an intestinal flare up, such as:

  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes
  • Digestive issues
  • Certain foods
  • Medications
  • Abnormal nerve pathways
  • High levels of serotonin
  • Changes in gut bacteria
  • Poor sleep
  • Overgrowth of small intestine bacteria or SIBO

What are the symptoms of IBS?

Hallmark symptoms of IBS are:

  • Pain and cramping
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Change in bowel movements
  • Bloating
  • Allergic reactions to food
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Mucus in the stool

These common symptoms indicate that it’s likely you have IBS, though the same symptoms can be associated with more serious conditions like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or colon cancer. If your symptoms last longer than a month, it’s imperative that you seek medical care to rule out more serious diseases.

Is IBS a curable disease?

Unfortunately, no - not yet. Thankfully, researchers and doctors, like Dr. Sam, have found ways to manage and stabilize symptoms and reduce flare ups.

Who is at risk of developing IBS?

IBS can strike anyone at any time, but it’s most common between ages 18 and 35, affecting women more frequently than men. It has a genetic component, so more than one family member often suffers from the debilitating symptoms of IBS.

How is IBS treated?

Once Dr. Sam confirms that you have IBS, she develops a personalized treatment plan based on your health history and current condition. She works to identify the underlying cause of IBS, not just band-aid over symptoms. She’ll encourage lifestyle changes like food and stress avoidance, sleep schedules, and exercise.

If medication is absolutely necessary, Dr. Sam may prescribe antispasmodics, antibiotics, antidepressants, antidiarrheals, or specific supplements.

Don’t let IBS keep you from living life to the fullest. Call the office to learn more about how Dr. Sam can help you take back control and manage IBS, or book an appointment online.