IBS doctors in Bay Area

For anyone who suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome or has a child with IBS- have you found a doctor or other health care practitioner  who is knowledgeable about IBS and who has been able to help with symptom management.  Who doesn't just give you the diagnosis and tell you you'll just have to learn to live with it?  My 14 year old son has had IBS off and on for 4 years and his doctors have been less than helpful.  Would love to find someone who takes the diagnosis seriously and is willing and able to help us do some detective work to identify triggers/causes, optimal diet, etc.  

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RE: IBS doctors in Bay Area ()

Hi there, I belong to Kaiser, so not sure if my experience would be helpful in case you are not a Kaiser patient, but things that they recommended I do helped me. I have IBS and found Kaiser's class on IBS helpful.  Basically, the summary is to try a course of probiotic and also start every day with Metamucil as a part of a healthy breakfast with good amount of fiber in it.  They weren't specific on which probiotic, so I went to Pharmaca and got something they recommended to me at the store, and that didn't do anything.  Eventually, my stomach issues got really bad:  by afternoon, I had so much gas that I looked 7 months pregnant, and then back to my usual fairly skinny self next morning. I got to a GI specialist at Kaiser (after asking for one for a while!), and she said that the Align brand of probiotic is best for IBS.  She also said that some people manage to ferment Metamucil, and suggested that I replace it with Ctirucel.  I followed the doc's suggestions, and 3 months later my stomach is soooo much better.  I still have avoid foods that trigger my stomach issues (one of the things your son may want to do is to have a food journal and determine what triggers his IBS), but other than that my life is a close to normal as it could be for someone with IBS.

Good luck, things do get better eventually!

RE: IBS doctors in Bay Area ()

Chris Kresser is the absolute best.

RE: IBS doctors in Bay Area ()

I saw Dr. Liana Vesga (gastroenterologist) a few years ago and she was very helpful (I also have IBS). It looks like she's still practicing in Oakland. Good luck!

RE: IBS doctors in Bay Area ()

I would suggest getting a referral to a digestive doctor.  I see one at Stanford for IBS. I don't know as I will ever have a normal digestive system but they do understand that these are real issues and they recommend ways to treat.  Also, if there are underlying conditions (e.g. celiac disease) they should rule out all of those.  If there is a pediatric digestive doctor at UCSF or Stanford (which I am sure there is) then that is probably a better bet for your son.

RE: IBS doctors in Bay Area ()

I had the exact same experience with doctors and nutritionists. It was awful. I didn't get my symptoms under control until I found this website and followed her guidance: www.helpforibs.com. She gives a lot of suggestions about how to eat - which order to eat foods in, what to avoid (skins, hard edges, fat), and what to eat to recover from an episode. I'm a skeptic and approached her suggestions guardedly. But she wasn't suggesting anything crazy or unhealthy so I tried it. It totally saved my sanity. Before I followed the advice and got things calmed down I was missing at least one day of work each week and laying on the floor of my office in pain. That website saved me.