Who treats irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

If you are having symptoms and think you may have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you should talk to your primary care physician or other healthcare provider. Your doctor may treat you or may refer you to a gastroenterologist.

A gastroenterologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive system. These diseases include, among others: IBS, colorectal cancer, liver disease, swallowing and esophageal disorders, and pancreas disorders.

In some cases of IBS, the symptoms may not respond to the medical treatment prescribed by the doctor. In these cases, the patient may be referred for psychosocial therapies. Some patients may improve with counseling and alternative treatments such as hypnosis and biofeedback.

How can my healthcare provider help with managing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Your healthcare provider can:

  • Make sure there is no other cause for your symptoms
  • Order blood tests or X-rays if needed
  • Offer appropriate medicines
  • Suggest dietary therapies
  • Answer any questions you have about stress and other IBS triggers
  • Advise you about calcium supplements, if needed
  • Offer support as you gain control over IBS

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