People with irritable bowel syndrome have chronic abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating, and disordered bowel habits. Understandably, they worry about their symptoms and how their lives are disrupted by IBS. And they are often frustrated because they cannot control their symptoms with dietary changes or over-the-counter medications. The contradictory advice they receive from friends and health care professionals only adds to their concerns. As a gastroenterologist, Dr. Brian E. Lacy is well aware of the concerns and frustrations that surround IBS. He has written this compassionate and readable book to explain all aspects of the disorder-from causes to symptoms, from diagnosis to treatment-for everyone who struggles with irritable bowel syndrome. In Making Sense of IBS, Dr. Lacy addresses the questions people most frequently ask, including how IBS develops, how it is diagnosed, how to distinguish symptoms of IBS from symptoms of other medical disorders, how the symptoms are affected by stress, the effectiveness of alternative and complementary therapies, available prescription medications, and whether IBS is hereditary. He provides tips on preparing for an office visit with a health care provider, a list of patient-based resources, a glossary of medical terms, and profiles of patients seeking-and finding-solutions. A complete guide for people with IBS and their families, this is an essential tool for understanding and living with this common and sometimes debilitating disorder.