In fact, there is no cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However, there are some treatment and management methods used by doctors and health professionals to ease IBS symptoms. In some cases, no treatment is required as many people learn to control their symptoms. When the condition affects an individual’s normal life, medication and other management techniques are used. Knowledge about the disorder can help better understand the symptoms. Understanding about the IBS condition may help remove anxiety and ease the severity of IBS symptoms. A number of treatment approaches are available. Some of these methods are discussed as follows.
Making dietary changes can be an effective way to control your symptoms of IBS. Some people with IBS find that particular foods and drinks aggravate their symptoms. These foods and drinks are usually known as IBS triggers. Avoiding such trigger foods can lessen IBS symptoms. However, there is no “one size fits it all” diet plan for IBS. Individual food tolerance differs from person to person. A diet plan that works for one individual might not work well for someone else with the same disorder.
The amount of fiber in diet plays a big role in the condition of people with IBS. An individual with IBS must modify the amount of fiber intake every day.
A person with constipation-predominant IBS should increase the amount of soluble fiber intake. Soluble fiber increases bowel regularity and soundness of overall gastrointestinal health. It is also necessary to drink plenty of water every day. This will prevent constipation. A person with diarrhea-predominant IBS should cut down on the insoluble fiber intake. Artificial sweeteners must be avoided. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help prevent cramping. IBS patients should avoid caffeinated foods and beverages. Processed foods contain ‘resistant starch’, which the body cannot digest completely. Such foods must be avoided. Many individuals with IBS are lactose-intolerant. They should reduce consumption of dairy products. Keeping a food diary can be very helpful to see if certain foods make symptoms worse.
People with IBS can manage symptoms by making minor adjustments to their lifestyle. Reducing alcohol consumption helps improve symptoms. To keep bowel movements regular, regular physical exercise is important. People with IBS must maintain a good physical fitness to improve bowel function. Exercise reduces the amount of stress and depression. Most IBS patients find that regular exercise helps relieve their symptoms. Sound sleep is another prerequisite for staying healthy. Good sleep reduces stress and relieves IBS symptoms.
For some people with IBS, dietary and lifestyle changes may not be enough to control symptoms. They are advised to take medications by doctors. There are several types of drugs available that can help alleviate IBS symptoms. No medication should be used without taking advice from a doctor.
To treat diarrhea-predominant IBS, various anti-spasmodic drugs are prescribed. These drugs minimize the involuntary muscular contractions or spasms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Abdominal pain from muscular spasm is also reduced by these anti-spasmodic drugs.
Laxative drugs are prescribed by doctors to treat constipation-predominant IBS. Usually, mild laxatives are prescribed by doctors. Constipation is treated with these drugs. Antibiotics may be prescribed when there is an infection. Various stool softeners are used sometimes. Fiber supplements are used to treat constipation.
Sometimes antidepressants are also prescribed as a treatment of ibs even when the patient does not have any depression symptoms. Antidepressants filter out painful stimuli from the gut to the brain. Thus these drugs block the brain’s perception of pain in the gut. Various tranquilizing drugs are prescribed to improve relaxation. To control pain, various painkillers or sedative drugs may also be suggested.
Probiotics are sometimes referred to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Studies suggest that IBS may occur due to an imbalance of the necessary bacteria in the intestines. Probiotics are prescribed to increase the amount of “good” bacteria in the gut. These are special nutritional supplements that contain good bacteria.
Stress management and psychotherapy
Stress is directly related with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Most IBS patients find that their symptoms aggravate during stress and depression. Research shows that stress and other emotional factors influence the condition. Reducing the level of stress is the best treatment of ibs. Regular physical exercises, yoga, prayer or meditation are effective ways to relieve stress. Adequate sleep is also very important to reduce stress. Various relaxation techniques, talk therapies and counseling can help reduce stress as well as improve the condition. Spending time with friends and family, listening to music, reading books etc can be some of the effective ways to minimize stress.