Irritable bowel syndrome or just IBS is a common functional disorder of the intestines affecting many people across the globe but in different degrees. In fact it is a digestive condition where the colon becomes spastic. This painful condition of the large intestine is also referred to as the spastic colon, spastic bowel, irritable bowel, functional bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, or even colitis. When a person is affected by this condition his intestine finds it very difficult to digest the food properly and completely.
Symptoms and treatment of IBS:
Though IBS is a very common condition the underlying cause for it has not been fully determined till date. Moreover the symptoms also vary from one person to another person. However the common symptoms include abdominal pain or discomfort, cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea or even constipation. Hence this calls for a treatment that is comprehensive and multi-faceted in approach. The following are the effective methods to treat IBS.
Natural remedies for treatment of IBS:
The following are the natural remedies for alleviating or preventing the IBS symptoms.
a. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated aids in proper functioning of the digestive system. It relieves constipation effectively and if you are suffering from diarrhea on account of IBS, drinking sufficient water prevents you from getting dehydrated.
b. Consumption of fiber rich food reduces IBS symptoms as fiber improves bowel movements and relieves constipation. Regular intake of oat bran and flax seeds which are a rich source of fiber enables you to see noticeable results.
c. Include liberal quantities of carrot in your diet which is a good source of beta-carotene. Carrots contribute towards maintenance of the health of intestines and colon.
d. The good bacteria present in yogurt forms a coating in the digestive tract and alleviates the symptoms of IBS.
c. Pears, which is packed with essential nutrients is great for the speedy elimination of waste from the body.
d. Chewing of fennel seeds promotes easier digestion and good relief from heart burn and acidity related issues.
f. Aloe vera juice is also believed to induce the digestive system to digest the food effectively.
Treatment of IBS through diet:
The next approach towards rectifying IBS is though dietary changes. As diet plays a crucial role in the gut function, introducing dietary changes can influence a lot in improving IBS symptoms. One should avoid all foods rich in fat content, insoluble fiber, caffeine, carbonated drinks and alcohol. One should also avoid dairy products, cruciferous vegetables and legumes. These food stuffs are GI stimulants and can trigger or aggravate IBS symptoms. However foods rich in soluble fiber soothes the digestive tract, regulates the intestinal contractions and normalizes bowel movements. Moreover soluble fiber prevents and relieves both constipation and diarrhea.
Treatment of IBS through intake of supplements:
There are many supplements available for the effective treatment of IBS. The pre-biotic soluble supplements alleviate abdominal spasms and bowel abnormalities of IBS. It also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Soluble fiber supplements help in the smooth functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. The peppermint oil capsules can relieve abdominal pain and calm the stomach and intestines of the effects of IBS. As fennel seeds contain anti-spasmodic properties, the specially formulated fennel tea can induce digestion and regulate bowel irregularities. Peppermint is also touted for its anti-spasmodic action and pain killing properties. Hence consumption of peppermint tea can alleviate symptoms of IBS.
Heat therapy can also immediately relax the colon and provide instant relief.
Treatment of IBS through proper stress management:
Reducing the amount of stress can alleviate the IBS symptoms to a great extent. To get relief from stress one should practice relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, physical exercises or even breathing exercises. Ensuring an adequate night’s sleep can also relieve stress. All the above have proven to provide a wide range of health benefits in the alleviation and prevention of intestinal disorders.
Treatment of IBS through prescription medicines:
a. Anti-spasmodic medications can help to reduce abdominal pains, cramps and control the occurence of spasms.
b. Anti-depressants can also to a certain extent alleviate symptoms of IBS by relieving abdominal pain and cramping.
c. Anti-diarrhea medicines can treat diarrhea which is a major symptom of IBS.
d. Laxatives can be taken to treat symptoms of constipation.
e. Nowadays even a specific type of antibiotic is taken as it is believed to promote the overgrowth of healthy bacteria in the intestines.
Treatment of IBS through various therapies:
Various psychological therapies can also be implemented to help control IBS.
a. Hypnotherapy has been effective in some persons to relieve abdominal pain and discomfort. A scientific research has proved that hypnotherapy is in fact the safest and cheapest treatment for IBS alleviation.
b. Psychodynamic interpersonal therapy is a type of talking treatment that can be very beneficial in some people with IBS problem.
c. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help to manage stress, anxiety and depression effectively thereby reducing the frequency and intensity of IBS symptoms.
Treatment through lifestyle modifications:
Abstaining from drinking alcohol, quitting smoking habit, getting plenty of sufficient sleep and drinking plenty of water can also bring noticeable changes in the severity of IBS symptoms. IBS patients are also advised to eat smaller quanities of frequent meals.
Treatment of IBS through exercises:
Following a strict exercise regime has proved to be effective for those suffering from IBS. A regular exercise routine can relieve constipation to a great extent which is a major symptom of IBS. A minimum of thirty minutes vigorous and brisk exercise can really do wonders to treat IBS symptoms.
IBS condition is becoming increasingly popular day by day as life is becoming more pressurized and stressful. Hence the best way to deal with IBS is to find out food sensitivities and tackle stress effectively. A right combination of fiber rich diet, proper medications, practicing stress management techniques and adopting healthy lifestyle practices can help to alleviate irritable bowel syndrome effectively. Diagnose IBS at the earliest, initiate the right treatment and lead a healthy life.