Inflammatory Bowel Disease Specialist

Westside Gastroenterology

Gastroenterologists located in Upper West Side, New York, NY

At West Side Gastroenterology on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Dr. Weiss offers advanced, effective care for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), helping patients from throughout New York City relieve painful symptoms, prevent bowel damage and improve overall quality of life.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Q & A

What is irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS?

IBS is a chronic medical condition that affects the colon, or large intestine. Unlike inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, IBS doesn't cause changes in the bowel tissue. Still, although it has a different risk profile compared to IBD, it can still cause painful symptoms that can have a big impact on your overall quality of life.

What is inflammatory bowel disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, is a serious medical condition that can occur anywhere in the digestive tract, although in most patients, symptoms occur in the colon or small intestine. The two primary forms of IBD are ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, both of which can cause permanent damages to the bowel lining. Without proper treatment, IBD can cause serious complications and even death.

What symptoms are associated with IBS and IBD?

IBS and IBD can cause similar symptoms, including:

  • bloating

  • gas

  • abdominal cramps

  • diarrhea

  • constipation

  • nausea

  • mucusy stools

IBD also often causes bloody stools or bleeding at the rectum.

How are IBS and IBD diagnosed?

There is no single test to check for IBS. Instead, a diagnosis is usually made by eliminating other issues that may cause similar symptoms. Diagnosis usually involves a physical exam and medical history, and may also include a colonoscopy or endoscopy. IBD is usually diagnosed with a colonoscopy or endoscopy, during which tiny samples of tissue are taken for further evaluation in a lab.

What treatments are available for IBS and IBD?

IBS symptoms can be successfully managed with lifestyle changes, including eating a diet higher in fiber and avoiding foods that trigger symptoms. In some cases, medications may be prescribed to help control constipation, diarrhea, cramping or spasms, bloating and other symptoms. IBD requires medication to control symptoms, and in some cases, surgery may be needed to repair damaged areas.