Diarrhea, constipation, bloating, abdominal pains, and cramps are the common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. Although IBS does not damage your colon or increase your chances of getting colorectal cancer, the condition can be very uncomfortable and most sufferers would want to have permanent relief.
The human body is fueled by the food taken in and processed by the digestive system. If your digestive system is malfunctioning, then it can cause an imbalance in the overall function of the body. You may lose some energy within the day, various skin disorders can flare up, and even your emotional well-being can be affected as the discomfort can make you feel moody and depressed.
The cause of IBS is currently unknown. Speculations point toward various factors, such as stress, food sensitivity, abnormal movement of the large intestine, and a possible malfunction in the communication between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract. Because of these speculations, the mode of treatment for irritable bowel syndrome is more focused on relieving the symptoms.
Change in Diet
Identifying the food that triggers the condition is the first treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. Dairy products are known to cause intolerance to some people resulting to diarrhea so you decreasing the intake of dairy products is advised if it is seen to trigger your symptoms. To still meet your dietary requirement for calcium, consider taking supplements instead. You should also lessen the consumption of fatty foods and those that cause gas, like soda, cabbage, salads, and broccoli. If your IBS manifests in the form of constipation, then you should increase your fiber intake. You can get this from nuts, whole grain breads or from supplements.
Exercise is a good treatment for irritable bowel syndrome because it works in two ways. First, it will help you lose weight. Extra weight, especially if centered in your middle, can aggravate digestive conditions as your internal organs are being pressed inside. Another benefit of exercise is it will help you manage your stress. Too much mental and emotional load creates havoc in your digestive system and overall physical health.
Other factors that contribute to the aggravating symptoms of IBS are smoking and drinking. It is commonly recommended that you reduce alcohol intake and minimize your smoking habit if eliminating it is hard to do. Avoid stressing yourself. Find a way to deal with daily problems to keep you calm amidst challenges. You can try doing some yoga or meditation after work to relax your body.
Many forms of medicines are used as treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, depending on the symptoms you are suffering from. If the common manifestation of your IBS is in the form of diarrhea, then your doctor will prescribe antidiarrheal medicines, like loperamide. To treat bowel spasms, anticholinergics and antispasmodic medicines are prescribed. Antidepressants are also used to treat IBS to treat symptoms and complications. People suffering on IBS can fall into depression because of the social limitations the condition causes.
Treating IBS is a long journey that requires a strong working relationship between doctor and patient. To closely monitor your condition, it is best to keep a journal to record the possible triggers and always notify your doctor if you notice new symptoms so that he can appropriately test whether other conditions are affecting your IBS.