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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Health Center

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10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Going to the doctor can be intimidating. You might feel rushed and forget to ask questions that are important. It's always a good idea to know what to ask beforehand and to take notes when with the doctor. Some of the questions below may be worth asking. Print out this page and take it with you to your next appointment.

1. Could some other condition be causing my IBS symptoms?

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Stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation can cause enough distress in a person's life. But often they are not the only problems. Studies show that anywhere from about 50% to 90% of people who seek treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) also have some psychiatric disorder. This may include panic disorder, anxiety, or major depression. Although anxiety is often a problem for IBS patients, depression can also play a role in aggravating symptoms. As far as scientists know, IBS does...

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2. If I keep a diary of my IBS symptoms, what should I write down?

3. Should I take laxatives or other over-the-counter medications? If so, what type, and how often is it safe to take them?

4. Would it help my IBS symptoms to add more fiber to my diet? If so, how much and what kind?

5. Are there other dietary changes you would recommend for IBS?

6. Could relaxation therapy or counseling help my IBS?

7. What about exercise?

8. Should I take prescription medications for my IBS symptoms? If so, what side effects should I expect?

9. Are there any tests you would recommend now or in the future?

10. Are there any other approaches or treatments I should know about?

WebMD 10 Questions

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on October 20, 2014

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