Irritable Bowel Syndrome Specialist Westfield MA

IBS is challenging and painful condition that can last for years and cause a reduced quality of life. The most challenging aspect of IBS is that it can’t be definitively diagnosed using a biological or chemical test. Rather, it is a collection of varying symptoms.

Francis D Horrigan, MD
(413) 568-2811
PO Box 1634
Westfield, MA
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided by:
Francis Day Horrigan, MD
(913) 568-2811
115 W Silver St
Westfield, MA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Georgetown Univ Sch Of Med, Washington Dc 20007
Graduation Year: 1966
Hospital
Hospital: Noble Hospital, Westfield, Ma
Group Practice: Noble Hospital

Data Provided by:
Joseph S Cody, MD
(413) 569-1161
PO Box 1227
Southwick, MA
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided by:
Bernard Danl Clifford, MD
(413) 534-1124
10 Hospital Dr
Holyoke, MA
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Boston Univ Sch Of Med, Boston Ma 02118
Graduation Year: 1988

Data Provided by:
Jan B Wojcik, MD
(413) 784-8444
2 Medical Center Dr Ste 406
Springfield, MA
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Tufts Univ Sch Of Med, Boston Ma 02111
Graduation Year: 1984

Data Provided by:
Heidi L Kolek
(413) 562-4456
115 W Silver St
Westfield, MA
Specialty
Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine

Data Provided by:
Heidi L Koleh, MD
(203) 852-2374
95 Apple Ridge Rd
West Springfield, MA
Specialties
Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ma Med Sch, Worcester Ma 01655
Graduation Year: 1989

Data Provided by:
Nicholas Katzen, MD
(413) 536-6902
2 Hospital Dr
Holyoke, MA
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of The Witwatersrand, Med Sch, Johannesburg, So Africa
Graduation Year: 1982

Data Provided by:
Bernard D Clifford
(413) 534-1124
10 Hospital Dr
Holyoke, MA
Specialty
Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine

Data Provided by:
David J Desilets, MD
(413) 794-3570
759 Chestnut St
Springfield, MA
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided by:
Data Provided by:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Provided by: 

IBS is challenging and painful condition that can last for years and cause a reduced quality of life. The good news is that relief is possible. Primarily by taking an integrated approach to treatment—focusing on the whole person, not just the symptoms of the disease—individuals can make effective lifestyle, diet, and supplement changes that can have profound effects toward alleviating IBS. What is IBS?

The most challenging aspect of IBS is that it can’t be definitively diagnosed using a biological or chemical test. Rather, it is a collection of varying symptoms. The primary symptoms are abdominal pain and bowel dysfunction, including gas, diarrhea or constipation, discomfort, bloating, and nausea. Most doctors diagnose IBS by ruling out other diseases and confirming symptoms. Diet, infection, and psychological stressors seem to underlie these symptoms for most patients with IBS.

What causes IBS?

Equally mysterious are the origins of IBS. Some research suggests that with IBS, the contractions of the colon that move food and waste through the intestines are abnormal, ranging from spasmodic to completely stopped. In the simplest sense, these abnormal contractions cause diarrhea and/or constipation, as well as poor digestion and malnutrition. Further, they can indirectly lead to bacterial imbalance, compromised immunity, poor metabolism, and changes in mood and hormonal activity.

Physical and mental stresses also are contributing factors, affecting contractions in the colon as well as the absorption of liquids and nutrients. People who have been exposed to psychological, physical, and/or sexual trauma in childhood appear to be at higher risk of developing IBS. Approximately 20 percent of individuals may get IBS as the result of a parasite, infection, or other inflammation of the intestine.

For those affected, the medical solutions can be disheartening. Few prescription drugs exist, and what is available can have serious side effects. For example, alosetron hydrochloride (Lotronex), a prescription medication that has been prescribed to women with IBS, can cause severe constipation and reduced blood flow to the colon. These effects have been associated with ischemic colitis, a critical condition of inflammation, irritation, and swelling of the large intestine.

Commonly used over-the-counter treatments have drawbacks as well. For example, one big mistake people with IBS make is taking too many antacids. Pain in the stomach and intestines doesn’t necessarily equate to too much acid. In fact, the opposite is often true.

A condition called hypochlorhydria, marked by insufficient levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, can cause maldigestion and symptoms of IBS. Additionally, many patients with heartburn take antacids and other medicines, which further decrease acid production and compromise the immune system. In a recent study, users of acid-suppressing medicines doubled their risk of pneumonia.

With acid suppression and chronic antibioti...

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