Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Kevin H. Ashby, MD

Gastroenterologist servicing Orange County, CA located in Foothill Ranch, CA

As many as 15% of all adult men and women today have irritable bowel syndrome. If you have chronic abdominal pain accompanied by constipation or diarrhea, it could be IBS. The private gastroenterology practice of Kevin Ashby, MD, in Foothill Ranch, California, offers comprehensive IBS care, from initial diagnosis to highly effective treatments. Book your appointment online or call the office nearest you to set up a visit today.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Q & A

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal (GI) condition causing bouts of abdominal pain along with constipation, diarrhea, or both. 

Although it's not life-threatening, irritable bowel syndrome can be intensely irritating and disruptive to your life. IBS is most common in women and usually occurs before the age of 50. 

What are the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?

The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome typically include: 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Mucus in stool
  • Tender abdomen
  • Change in bowel movements, typically diarrhea or constipation
  • Change in bowel movement frequency

Many IBS sufferers have serious pain or cramping that goes away immediately after a bowel movement. 

What causes irritable bowel syndrome?

The cause still isn't certain. Recent studies indicate that people with IBS have an unusually sensitive GI tract that functions faster or slower than normal.

Additional research suggests other triggers, including dairy products, carbonated drinks, smoking, alcohol, hormones, stress, and fatty foods.

How is irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed?

Irritable bowel syndrome diagnosis begins with a review of your symptoms and medical history. Because symptoms are similar to those of other GI disorders and diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, Dr. Ashby carefully evaluates all your symptoms.

He performs specific diagnostic tests like blood tests, stool tests, colonoscopy, or sigmoidoscopy to rule out other conditions and verify IBS. 

How is irritable bowel syndrome treated?

Treatment for IBS emphasizes symptom relief and prevention. Usually, the most effective IBS treatment plan includes dietary changes, habit changes, and medication.

Dietary changes

The American College of Gastroenterology recommends avoiding gas-producing foods like lactose, beans, and fructose. Dr. Ashby can recommend specific changes according to your particular IBS triggers. 

Habit changes

Habit changes, like dietary changes, depend on your lifestyle and triggers. Dr. Ashby may recommend stress reduction techniques, regular exercise, and other changes.


Certain medications can help you manage your IBS symptoms but won’t cure the condition itself. Medication options include fiber supplements, anti-diarrheal drugs, antibiotics, probiotics, and antidepressants.

Dr. Ashby personalizes an IBS symptom relief plan that works for you. 

There’s no reason to suffer from chronic abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and bowel problems any longer. Kevin Ashby, MD, is ready to help with your irritable bowel syndrome, so call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online.

Dr. Ashby treats acute and chronic GI disorders such as:




Irritable Bowel Syndrome






Peptic Ulcers


Gallbladder Disease


We offer diagnostic procedures and treatments including:




Upper Endoscopy