Anne Thai, MD
Gastroenterologist located in Burlingame, CA
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects up to 15% of people in the United States and causes a range of gastrointestinal symptoms that may interfere with many aspects of life. Anne Thai, MD, is a board-certified gastroenterologist who takes a patient-focused approach to care and understands all too well the effects IBS has on your quality of life. She works closely with you to develop a plan to minimize your symptoms and help you get back to doing the things that bring you joy. To schedule your IBS consultation, contact the office in Burlingame, California, by phone or through the online tool today.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q & A
What is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
IBS is a common gastrointestinal condition that affects bowel function and causes a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. You may find your IBS symptoms debilitating at times. However, IBS doesn't cause any damage to your digestive tract.
People with IBS suffer from diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of both. Your most dominant bowel habit symptom determines your IBS type, which includes:
- IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D)
- IBS with constipation (IBS-C)
- IBS with mixed bowel habits (IBS-M)
Though IBS affects both men and women, it’s significantly more common in women. You may be at risk of developing IBS if it runs in your family. A history of stressful events (physical or sexual abuse), as well as severe digestive tract infections, are also risk factors for IBS.
What are the symptoms of IBS?
Abdominal pain, usually associated with your bowel habits, is the most common symptom of IBS. Other symptoms of IBS include:
- Feeling as though you can’t fully evacuate your bowels
- Mucus in your stool
While IBS symptoms aren’t life-threatening, they’re debilitating for many and may significantly affect your quality of life. Dr. Thai specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of IBS and can help you gain control over your symptoms so you can get your life back.
How is IBS diagnosed?
No single test can diagnose IBS. Dr. Thai conducts a thorough evaluation that may include diagnostic testing to rule out other causes of your symptoms to confirm a diagnosis. During your exam, she asks detailed questions about your symptoms, as well as your medical and family history.
She then performs a physical exam and may request various tests such as:
- Blood tests
- Stool testing
- A hydrogen breath test
- An endoscopy
- A colonoscopy
- A flexible sigmoidoscopy
After other causes are ruled out, Dr. Thai diagnoses IBS based on your reported symptoms.
How is IBS treated?
Dr. Thai develops a personalized treatment plan for your IBS that’s specific to your IBS type and symptoms. No single treatment works for everyone, and she partners with you to develop the most effective plan that keeps your symptoms under control.
Your treatment plan may include a combination of lifestyle changes and medications, such as:
- High-fiber or low-FODMAP diet
- Regular exercise
- Stress management with mindfulness therapy
- Anti-diarrheal medication
- Fiber supplements or laxatives
Dr. Thai may also prescribe various medications to help control your abdominal pain, such as antispasmodics or antidepressants.
For compassionate care for your IBS, call the office of Anne Thai, MD, or request an appointment online.