Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition characterized by symptoms such as abdominal pain, gas, bloating, changes in bowel movements and intolerance to certain foods. Individuals who suffer from IBS also frequently experience constipation.
Getting constipation under control is crucial since this condition leads to more pain and bloating. It is possible to manage irritable bowel syndrome by making a few dietary changes or thanks to medication.
Here are some treatment options you should explore if you are experiencing irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.
First of all, constipation can be avoided by staying hydrate, getting plenty of exercise and eating foods rich in fiber. Do your best to drink more water, go for a walk at least once a day and introduce new foods to your diet. Foods rich in fiber include anything made with whole grains, brown rice, beans, fruits and vegetables. Introducing these foods to your diet should help your digestion and make your IBS a lot easier to manage.
Finding the right diet can take time. You should focus on introducing one new food at a time. Keep a food journal to record what you eat and keep track of your symptoms. This strategy will help you determine which foods help alleviate your symptoms and which ones make your IBS and constipation worse.
Fiber supplements and laxatives can be a good temporary treatment for constipation. If you are experience pain and bloating due to constipation, a fiber supplement or a laxative will help with these symptoms.
However, you should not rely on supplements and laxatives to manage your symptoms on the long term. Using laxatives too often can actually worsen the symptoms of IBS.
Talk to your doctor first if you are not sure whether or not you should use laxatives or fiber supplements to relieve constipation.
Prescription drugs are sometimes used to help patients manage IBS. Common prescription drugs include Linzess and Amitiza. Linzess is often prescribed to IBS patients who also suffer from constipation since this prescription drug can regulate bowel movements.
The downside of using prescription medication is that these treatments can trigger side effects, including nausea, diarrhea and cramping. Prescription medication can be a good way to relieve the symptoms of IBS while a patient works on making changes to their diet. However, these treatments should not be used on the long-term due to the side effects they can trigger.
Anti-depressants are sometimes prescribed to reduce the symptoms associated with IBS. These drugs are used to reduce the pain experienced as a result of IBS. SSRI anti-depressants are sometimes used to help relieve constipation and other symptoms of IBS. Prozac, Zoloft and Celexa are often prescribed to IBS patients but small doses are always used since the purpose is not to treat depression.
It is possible to experience a loss of appetite or diarrhea while using these anti-depressants, which is why SSRI anti-depressants are usually prescribed on the short-term to help a patient deal with the symptoms they are experiencing while they work on changing their diet.
Doctors often recommend that IBS patients find a way to manage their stress. Irritable bowel syndrome is often associated by stress, especially in patients who are also experiencing constipation.
You should take some time to relax and think about your current situation. If you feel more stressed and anxious than usual and have noticed that your IBS symptoms become worse when you have a stressful day, you need to take action and find a way to manage your stress.
There are several ways of getting stress and anxiety under control. Some patients have gotten good results by meditating, listening to relaxing music or practicing an activity like yoga. Acupuncture and herbal treatments are also used as a way of relieving stress.
You should try identifying the situations or the people that cause you to experience stress and do your best to avoid them until you have developed efficient coping strategies. You will find that lowering your stress levels greatly reduces constipation and should also make your IBS symptoms easier to manage.
There is no single remedy for IBS and constipation. Everyone reacts differently to foods, medication and stress, which is why you might have to try different approaches before you find something that works for you.
Talk to your doctor about prescription medication if your symptoms are hard to live with.
You should also focus on identifying the foods or the stressful situations that make your symptoms worse so that you can avoid them altogether. Try different relaxation techniques and don’t hesitate to get help from a professional if you have a hard time with managing your stress. Meeting with a nutritionist can also beneficial if you are not sure how to introduce more fiber to your diet or cannot identify the foods that make your IBS worse.