How Do You Get IBS — and Can It Be Cured?
Find the truth about questions that pique your curiosity in our “Short Answer” series. Gastroenterologist Brian Kirsh, MD, answers this one.
A: In general, no one knows how a person develops irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). You might wonder if someone can be genetically predisposed to developing IBS, but currently, there’s no evidence for this.
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We do know that a small number of patients develop IBS after a bout of stomach flu. Also, most people with IBS develop it early in life, sometimes in their teenage years or in their 20’s.
IBS cannot be cured or prevented. After diagnosis, our goal is to manage a person’s symptoms through lifestyle changes and medication as needed. Also, while stress can certainly worsen symptoms, it is not necessarily a cause.
If you have IBS, managing your diet and controlling stress can go a long way to keeping symptoms at bay.
Gastroenterologist Brian Kirsh, MD