It’s an incontrovertible fact that the brain to a large extent controls and keeps a check on most of our physiological activities. However, with a failure or disconnect in the communication between the brain and any organ of the body,numerous health issues may arise. What has been concluded after extensive research is that the irritable bowel syndrome is not caused by a singular factor but a combination of factors such as psychological issues, hormonal levels, diet, the individual’s immune system and the impact of neurotransmitters which causes a miscommunication between the brain and the bowel. What ultimately happens is an overreaction by the bowel in the form of excessive stool or diarrhea, or the cramping of the muscle causing constipation.
A person suffering from the Irritable Bowel Syndrome can feel acute pain from the bloating of the stomach and flatulence, constant discomfort, the urge to pass stool, tiredness, fatigue, stomach cramps, nausea, headache and a general feeling of fatigue leading even to depression. The symptoms may get acute with the intestine becoming more and more vulnerable to triggers, which may range from the genetic make up, the ingestion of certain foods, and the system’s non-adherence to normal bowel relaxants. There is no conclusive evidence to what exactly may lead to this condition.
While the condition may not be highly debilitating but with its growing severity ,treatment and management of the condition requires timely diagnosis and management of all critical areas of the symptoms. What is also necessary to assess at the clinical level is the triggers and how to ward off preconditions that may exacerbate the onset of the bowel reaction.The treatment for irritable bowel may be looked at with more precision so that it can be directed towards psychological support, dietary revisions and finally pharmacological treatment of its symptoms.
Here are certain parameters of treatment for irritable bowel
- A thorough medical examination to prove or study any pathological presence in the gastrointestinal system, is necessary to assure the patient of recovery and to gain more confidence.
- This could be followed up by studying the stressors that causes the exacerbation of the symptoms . This will help build greater patient confidence and hugely impact the lowering of the stress levels.
- Controlling the diet has proven to have a pronounced impact with positive results while treatment for irritable bowel is undertaken. Reducing legumes in the diet lowers intestinal bloating and reduction of lactose may help in patients having lactose intolerance.
- There have been mixed reviews on the effect of gluten free diet though in most cases, those taken off gluten seemed to have lesser symptom re occurrence. But, when put back on a gluten diet once again without their knowledge most of them did not show any higher levels of symptoms.
- Limiting fatty foods, spices, caffeine and hot beverages and alcoholic drinks on an empty stomach, once limited, does play an important role in the dietary route for treating irritable bowel.
- Reducing soluble fibers from various food sources, foods that are processed and containing various kind of starch resistant ingredients, those having artificial sweeteners like sorbitol, or foods related to slimming or diet control , must be limited.
- Drinking adequate amounts of fluids that are devoid of any component that may cause irritation of the gastro- intestinal passage , like high citrus content fruit drinks , or preservative laden juices , need to be avoided.
- Including some form of probiotics in the diet have also known to help and aid any method or strain of treatment for irritable bowel by introducing components of better digestive health.
- Lifestyle changes which includes a regular exercise routine and finding more sustainable dynamic psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy , have also been used to help in the relaxation procedures.
- Treatment for irritable bowel using only medicines may only treat the symptom like diarrhea wherein medicines such as bile binding agents, Alosetron or anti-diarrhea like Imodium , would only address the symptom and merely slow down the bowel movement. In the same manner, taking laxatives and anti -depressants may not conclusively cure one of the condition but would definitely provide short term relief.
A holistic approach to the treatment for irritable bowel would definitely require a thorough medical examination and all possible tests to ensure not only effectiveness but also relief from one of the most common conditions to affect almost 20% of all people. There are also a large numbers of natural formulations to ease the digestive system whose potential is being recognized in the world of medical studies.