IBS Myths Busted by a Gastroenterologist

IBS can significantly impact your life, interfering with your social and professional activities. The stress, discomfort, and unpredictability of it can also affect your mental health.

Dr. Samrat Jankar Created on 27th Jan, 22

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is characterized by abdominal pain, gas and bloating, constipation, chronic or recurrent diarrhoea, or a combination of these symptoms. It can affect anybody, including children, but it is more common among women. 

IBS can significantly impact your life, interfering with your social and professional activities. The stress, discomfort, and unpredictability of it can also affect your mental health.


If you have had IBS for a time, know someone who has it, or recently been diagnosed, you are definitely aware that it is an illness buried in myths and misunderstandings.


Dr Samrat Jankar, an experienced gastroenterologist in Pune, assists patients suffering from this ailment, understanding their situation, and managing their symptoms.


He is the HOD of Minimally Invasive Surgery and Surgical Gastroenterology at Symbiosis University Hospital and Research Centre, Lavale, Pune.


Further, Dr Samrat Jankar wants you to be aware of some common IBS myths and learn the truth about your condition.

Myths vs Facts

1. Our lives are becoming increasingly hectic, and many of us are more stressed than we realize. Is stress the cause of IBS?

IBS has a variety of causes. Stress may be a key factor for some people, but not for everyone. Many of our internal functions, including the digestive system, shut down when we are in a very stressful scenario.


Persistent underlying stress impairs the digestive process, leading to symptoms such as indigestion.


2. When you have IBS, it's easy to feel alone and believe that you're one of the few people who suffer from it. Is IBS a prevalent ailment?

IBS affects about 17% of the population worldwide. That means 17 out of every 100 people suffer from IBS.


3. Symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, yet a few minor changes are needed to cure it. Is there a one-size-fits-all solution for IBS?

“Certainly not,” says Dr Samrat Jankar, an expert gastric doctor in Pune. “Some of my patients have seen significant improvements by eliminating items like dairy and gluten, while others have to completely change their diet and exclude high FODMAP foods.


4. Is IBS a problem that only women have?

Women have IBS at a higher rate than males, accounting for roughly 23% of the population. However, it has been discovered that men are less likely than women to seek treatment.


As a result, the lower number of reported cases may contribute to the larger number of women diagnosed.


5. Eliminating entire food groups or adhering to a very rigid diet are sometimes recommended as techniques to help control IBS. Is diet the only method to get rid of IBS?

You can follow a low FODMAP diet under the supervision of a qualified healthcare expert. Additionally, you can include dietary adjustments, breathing exercises, and yoga to manage the illness. Always get the advice of a healthcare expert before beginning a strict diet.


Irritable bowel syndrome

6. Should you avoid buckwheat if you have IBS?

Buckwheat, rather than being wheat, is a fruit seed grain. It is classified as low FODMAP and can be consumed in small amounts. It is also gluten-free.


7.  People assume that too much salt in your diet can cause bloating and water retention. Is too much salt the cause for IBS symptoms?

IBS is unlikely to be caused by too much salt in your diet. It could, however, be one of the causes of the symptoms. If you have trouble cutting salt from your diet, try eating more zinc-rich foods like nuts, seeds, seafood, and red meat.


8. Is IBS solely a psychological condition?

IBS being a mentally generated ailment is a misconception that needs to be refuted as soon as possible. People who suffer from this ailment know how difficult the symptoms may be.


Dr Samrat Jankar, a competent surgical gastroenterologist in Pune, explains that IBS is a general problem with the digestive system. Inadequate secretion of digestive enzymes, fewer stomach acids, a bacterial imbalance in the gut, or slow motility are just a few of the possible causes.


9. Is there no cure for IBS?

Dr Samrat Jankar treats IBS with counselling, lifestyle and dietary changes, and medication. "For most patients, treating minor or infrequent symptoms with over-the-counter medication is effective," he explains.


"However, if problems persist, it is crucial to contact your doctor because overuse of over-the-counter drugs can potentially worsen gastrointestinal symptoms." 


10. Is IBS an autoimmune disease?

IBS is not an autoimmune disease like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and it is not a risk factor for colon cancer. 


There is no single treatment strategy for IBS. Everyone's symptoms will be different. Hence, the same treatment cannot be given to everyone. To acquire a proper diagnosis and treatment plan for your irritable bowel syndrome, you need to see a doctor.


Furthermore, IBS can lead to other issues such as malnutrition, pregnancy complications, hemorrhoids, and even depression if you don't seek medical help. 


That’s why you should consult Dr Samrat Jankar. Being one of the leading gastroenterologist in Pune, he is an expert in digestive health. He specializes in treating ulcers, acid reflux, IBS, Crohn's disease, IBD, ulcerative colitis, fistula, and colon cancer.


Relevant Questions

Q. What are the symptoms of colon cancer?

Colon cancer is also known as colorectal cancer, a term that combines colon cancer with rectal cancer, which starts in the rectum. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of colon cancer:

  • A change in your bowel habits, such as diarrhoea or constipation, or a change in the consistency of your stool, that persists.
  • Blood in your stool or rectal bleeding.
  • Consistent stomach pain, such as cramps or gas.
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Weakness or exhaustion.
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Q. My brother has sleep apnea most probably due to his obesity, how can that be treated?

For milder cases of obstructive sleep apnea, we recommend some lifestyle changes. Such as, 

  • Lose weight if you're overweight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Use a nasal decongestant or allergy medications.
  • Don't sleep on your back.
  • Avoid taking sedative medications such as anti-anxiety drugs or sleeping pills.
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Q. My grandfather was diagnosed with GERD, how can he be treated?

GERD is a digestive disorder that affects the ring of muscle between your oesophagus & your stomach. This can usually be controlled with medication. If you wish to avoid long-term medication then we recommend: Fundoplication. Plan a consultation with Dr Samrat Jankar, our expert gastroenterologist. He will provide the best possible & effective treatment for this. 

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Q. Can i know about bariatric surgery and the criteria on meeting which i will qualify for this surgery?

To be eligible for bariatric surgery, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or have a BMI between 35 and 40.
  • An obesity-related condition, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or severe sleep apnea.
  • Weigh less than 450 pounds, the maximum weight that hospital radiology equipment can accommodate. If you need to lose weight to meet this requirement, a nutritionist is available to help.
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Q. If i want to reduce weight, then what all options do i have, surgically or otherwise?

Each weight loss surgery option presents unique risks and benefits, so it's important to compare them. There are many surgical options out there, like Bariatric surgery, gastric bypass surgery, Sleeve gastrectomy etc. For further details, you can visit our clinic or book an appointment @+917904139064. 

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