Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
When To Call a Doctor
Call your doctor or other health professional if:
Watchful waiting is not appropriate if you have any "alarm symptoms," which could mean a serious problem. Alarm symptoms include:
If none of the symptoms listed above is present, try to rule out other causes of abdominal problems, such as eating a new food; eating sugar-rich foods, especially milk products; eating foods containing sorbitol or other artificial sweeteners; nervousness; or stomach flu. Try home treatment for 1 or 2 weeks. If your symptoms don't get better or if they get worse, call your health professional.
An occasional case of upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation is common, especially during stressful times. Symptoms of stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that come on quickly and that go away on their own are more likely to be caused by stomach flu or food poisoning, especially if other people around you are also sick.
Who To See
The following health professionals can diagnose and treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
If more tests are needed or your symptoms do not respond to initial therapy, it may be helpful to see a doctor who specializes in treating digestive system problems (gastroenterologist). If stress may be playing a role in IBS, it may be helpful to see a psychiatrist or psychologist.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
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