Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment

irritable bowel syndrome treatment

Any irritable bowel syndrome treatment remedies?

What is irritable bowel syndrome and are there any treatments?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome whic is sometimes referred to as other names such as Spastic Colon, mucous colitis, Spastic colitis, nervous stomach or irritable colon is actually a functional disorder and not a disease as some would conclude. A functional disorder refers to a problem with the function of a particular organ in the body, in this case, there is a problem in the gut, the bowels of your system.

Studies have shown that irritable bowel syndrome affects up to 20% of the population. As a matter of fact, ibs is one of the most common conditions diagnosed by a gastroenterologist. As is common with other complaints or problems of the body, it is common for patients to be very resistant to get checked by a physician because of the nature of the condition as well as the symptoms seems associated with “normal” stomach aches at times.

The problem is, for the vast majority of patients who experience ibs symptoms, it is sadly a chronic condition, but symptoms can vary in their strength, ranging from a mild inconvenience to a completely debilitating experience.

Irritable bowel syndrome refers to the muscles in the gut contracting stronger and longer than what is considered normal to you and this causes food to either be passed through the intestine faster than it should or experience constipation, which will show itself in a number of unwanted symptoms.

What are some of the common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are quite uncomfortable as one who has it can attest to but one of the biggest problems in diagnosing the problem is that fact that the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can be mis-interpreted as the same as other common digestive conditions with the symptoms such as follows:

  • Cramps, with radiating pain in the stomach
  • Painful diarrhea or constipation (or sometimes a combination of both)
  • Mucus in stool
  • A swollen abdomen with a feeling of being blocked
  • Always feeling that you have not completed your bowel movement no matter how much you try

The Ways To Diagnosis Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The most common and successful way to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome is to listen carefully to the symptoms of the patient and then proceed to go through a process of elimination of other digestive disorders which will help reduce the chance of a mis-diagnosis.

As was stated earlier, due to the fact that the symptoms are very closely related to other common stomach problems, this can be quite difficult and often involves a process of trial and error until other conditions have been removed from the list.

On top of investigating and eliminating the symptoms you may need to have done some of the following medical examinations:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy – which is the study of the lower part of the colon with a flexible lighted tube
  • Colonoscopy – another small flexible tube that is used to examine the entire length of the colon to see any problems
  • A Computerized Topography (CT) scan – This provides a cross-sectional series of x-rays that are used to rule out other causes of symptoms the patient might suffer from
  • Lactose intolerance tests – These are performed if the patient lacks the enzyme lactase, which shows itself patients who struggle to digest the sugar found in common dairy products. This is one of those instances which may cause similar symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

There are also other blood tests that can be done to rule out celiac disease, which is a sensitivity to wheat protein that can also cause similar symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Many people ask, what exactly causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Nobody has the definitive answer as to what causes irritable bowel syndrome and is something frustrating to those who experience it. There are several theories about the cause of ibs itself and we’ll talk about a few here.

One theory is that simply it is the nerves that control emotions and the associated muscle contractions are to blame.

Another theory is that the problems are within the central nervous system which may be the reason for this functional disorder.

Studies have shown that 2 to 3 times more women suffer from irritable bowel syndrome than men, so it could indicate that this problem could be due to hormonal problems, or again a combination of many factors.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is again a confusing functional disorder as stated earlier with no straightforward solutions even in this day and age of modern medicine. It really isn’t know what causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome, so it is difficult if not impossible to provide a straightforward cure.

Despite the difficulty, there are many ways to relieve symptoms associated with ibs. All of these solutions include mainly diet and or lifestyle changes that make the patient much more comfortable, many times with the eradication of symptoms almost completely however remember that each person is different so one has to see what works best for them.

First and foremost, keeping a food diary is the first step of working out which foods trigger the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome so the patient can remove what they learn is causing these symptoms from their diet.

A common trigger among most who experience these problems is eating large meals and eating spicy, fried or fatty foods, which most people would benefit from removing much of these foods from their diet anyway.

If constipation is one of the symptoms one is experiencing, then increasing the one’s water intake and also increasing the amount of fiber in their diet, will reduce this problem.

If diarrhea is a problem, then the opposite of the above which would be reducing the amount fiber in the diet, will hopefully alleviate this symptom.

Cutting or at least reducing our consumption of tea, coffee, tea, milk, soda, wine and beer, will also allow one to be much more comfortable.

Keeping a regular eating pattern can also help as well as keeping away from cigarettes and smoking is highly recommended.

As mentioned earlier, stress can cause the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome to show up and thus to alleviate this, there are a number of exercises that will reduce patients level of stress. Throughout our health website, we talk about exercises that can help reduce the stress in your life and this will also assist in helping out the treatment of your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

Most of this advice will help most of the people in today’s society be healthier in general, however, these tips have proven to be especially beneficial for sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome so try and implement them as much as possible to avoid any more symptoms. Of course there are medications that can help, but we’ll discuss these options in another post on our ibs section.

To sum it up, Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a very common disability affecting a significant number of the population and especially prominent more among women. As we discussed, it is very difficult to diagnose, but treatment can usually be accomplished with a case of changing diet and lifestyle as described in detail above. Doing these things can lead to a more enjoyable lifestyle without the worries of how one’s gut will feel.

Symptoms Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

What Are the Symptoms of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

The key symptoms encountered by people experiencing IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) are abdominal pain, bloating, and discomfort, though these can change from one person to another. Other IBS patients also experience constipation which can be characterized by hard, dry, and irregular bowel movements. When trying to move their bowels, persons who are constipated typically strain hard and experience cramping, but the end result is that they are only able to release a small amount of stool, if any at all. If bowel movement does take place, mucus, a fluid that serves to keep the passages in the digestive system moist and protected, is often present. On the flip side, people who suffer with IBS may also suffer from diarrhea, where the person suffers from loose, watery stools, and too-frequent bowel movements, as opposed to constipation. People with diarrhea frequently feel an urgent and uncontrollable need to have a bowel movement. In some cases, patients with IBS find themselves going back and forth between constipation and diarrhea. People with IBS may find some symptoms receding for some months, and then coming back after a time. Unfortunately for others, the symptoms may only worsen over time.

Because IBS is a problem with the colon, and the colon removes water from unprocessed food waste, it is common for people with the condition to be constipated or have diarrhea. Constipation occurs when waste matter remains in a person’s colon for too long so that too much water is absorbed, making the stool unusually hard and difficult to pass. If the muscles in the colon move the contents along too fast, though, the colon does not have a chance to remove enough fluid, so the person gets diarrhea.

Unlike other illnesses where patients may only experience symptoms for a time which then simply just go away completely, IBS Symptoms are recurring, which simply means that people suffering from it will be constantly bothered by the symptoms. People with IBS often see their symptoms get worse at certain times. For some, they notice this after consuming large amounts of food, while for others, constant pressure or stress triggers the more severe attacks. Some women notice that they get symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome around the time of their monthly periods.

Abdominal pain or discomfort is the first and foremost symptom of IBS. Of course, if you get a stomach ache, gas, or bloating sometimes, it does not necessarily mean that you have irritable bowel syndrome. In general, individuals diagnosed with IBS exhibit two or more of the listed symptoms shown below:

pain or discomfort that is relieved when a person goes to the bathroom and has a bowel movement

Abdominal pain or discomfort that usually comes when a person unconsciously changes bowel movement routines;

Abdominal ache or discomfort that comes with changes in a person’s stool appearance. For those who are constipated, stools become dry and harder to pass, while those experiencing diarrhea have loose, watery stool.

If a person exhibits only one of the above symptoms, it’s not likely that he is experiencing IBS.

Also, the following symptoms are not usually indicative of irritable bowel syndrome:

Blood is passed together with stool or urine

Vomiting (rare, though may occasionally accompany nausea)

Pain or diarrhea that interrupts sleep


Weight loss

What Other Health Conditions are Associated with the Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

As in most syndromes, the irritable bowel syndrome is built up of different signs and symptoms. IBS has not been shown to lead to serious disease, such as cancer. Over time, other terminologies have also been developed for IBS, among them colitis, mucous colitis, spastic colon, or spastic bowel. However, no link has been established between IBS and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Patients who are suffering the most severe symptoms of IBS have found that the quality of their life has been badly affected as well. They can have lower self esteem, and that can really affect their functioning in that way.

Irritable bowel syndrome can also be complicated by non-gastrointestinal symptoms, taking place simultaneously or accelerated due to IBS. Fatigue is one of the usual manifestations of irritable bowel syndrome. Another common symptom is sleep disturbances. What makes it worse is that when patients do not sleep well, the body is unable to recharge and heal itself, thus leading to worse bowel symptoms the following day. There have been studies that attest to this.

The other aspect of irritable bowel syndrome is the fact it coexists with other conditions, where you have symptoms that are outside the gastro-intestinal tract. Like fibromyalgia, which is a chronic pain condition of the muscles. With most patients, the chronic muscle pain, which is obviously external of the GI tract, is actually developed due to IBS. IBS patients can develop other conditions where they will have other symptoms, and a patient who becomes more severe, they will tend to have more of these non-gastrointestinal symptoms, either related to a diagnosable medical condition like migraine headaches or fibromyalgia.

IBS is also associated with two other conditions: the leaky gut syndrome and gut dysbiosis, where it is manifested as a small intestine bacterial overgrowth or SIBO. There’s also connections between IBS and other environmental illnesses. IBS is frequently diagnosed in people who have also been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Gulf war syndrome (GWS) and autism. Up to date studies are now starting to identify the link between IBS and other chronic illnesses, and are looking into the possible causes for this connection.

One of the well studied links has been involvement of SIBO in most of these illnesses, especially CFS and fibromyalgia. Just as SIBO has been found to be common in IBS patients, recent research has also found this to be the case with fibromyalgia and CFS. Research indicates that SIBO I present in those suffering from either IBS or fibromyalgia.

An interesting angle found in the studies was that SIBO was more serious with fibromyalgia patients, and the gravity of the SIBO of each of the patients is in proportion to the degree of the pain felt. Based on this finding, would it be possible to make speculations that if an IBS patient experienced severe SIBO he would also be developing fibromyalgic pain? Only further research can answer that question.

How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treated?

Despite the fact that there appears to be no easy remedy for irritable bowel syndrome, there are treatments that can help decrease the symptoms.

For many individuals having IBS, a healthful lifestyle is the most effective way to improve symptoms. This can include the following

If your main symptom is diarrhea, you should try to avoid tea, coffee, alcohol, spicy foods and the artificial sweetener sorbitol, because all these can increase your symptoms.

If you tend to have constipation, you should try gradually adding more fibre-rich foods, such as bran, fruit and vegetables, in to your diet plan.

If bloating or wind is a problem, cutting out gas-producing foods, such as beans and green vegetables may help.

Some people find that certain foodstuff regularly cause symptoms, but it’s not always easy to discover. It is best not to miss out one food after another from your diet to see if it is causing your symptoms, as you may not be getting all the nutrients you need in your diet. Advice from a dietician can be beneficial.

If stress leads to your IBS, learning stress management or relaxation techniques can be useful. It can also be helpful to keep a diary, to track life events and your symptoms. If certain events are identified as triggers, it may be easier to deal with the stress of them.

Taking regular exercise assists you to to keep your bowel movements regular and reduce stress.

If you need to use painkillers, paracetamol is less likely than ibuprofen or aspirin to make your IBS worse.

Even though coping with irritable bowel syndrome yourself is not actively discouraged, you ought to consult a health practitioner if you don’t get any relief. Physicians will also go over your symptoms with you and help recognize the factors that could be causing them to flare up or get worse.

There are also some over-the-counter medications available for the treatment of IBS symptoms. Anti-diarrhea medicines, such as loperamide may help but you should only take them as you need them, not on a regular basis. For constipation, you may use laxatives such as bran or ispaghula husk, which are bulk-forming laxatives. However, some people find that bran makes their symptoms worse. Another option to bulk-forming medications is lactulose. It increases the amount of water absorbed in your large bowel but can cause wind. There are also other forms of laxative which are more concentrated and bowel-stimulating such as senna, but you need to get medical advice prior to using these agents. Antispasmodic medicines, such as mebeverine hydrochloride and peppermint oil capsules, may help with pain and wind. Harmless bacteria known as probiotics are sometimes used as an added ingredient in yoghurts. A few medical findings point to some bacterial strains as useful for IBS symptoms, but these studies are not conclusive as yet.

You can also go to your doctor for IBS medications. These medicines are simply prescription-only variations of the medications discussed in the preceding paragraph. The health practitioner could also prescribe a low dose antidepressants, which may well offer some relief even to those who are not suffering from depression.

Because psychological factors such as stress can result in IBS, talking remedies such as cognitive behavioural therapy or psychotherapy can be helpful for IBS symptoms, especially for people who have personal difficulties to cope with. Your medical professional can refer you to a suitable therapist.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome – How does stress affect it?

Although the exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome is not yet known, a lot of physicians feel the condition has a relationship to the body’s immune system. Because tension can adversely impact the immune system it may also make the symptoms and episodes of IBS worse. In the event you suffer from IBS, strain can increase the frequency of symptom outbreaks, amplify the severity of those outbreaks and also conflict with the results of your irritable bowel syndrome treatment plan.

Stress can stimulate colon spasms in men and women with irritable bowel syndrome. Whenever your mind is burdened or overwhelmed by an occurrence or idea, it produces chemicals. These chemicals work on the nerves in the colon and cause the intestines to contract or spasm, too fast or too slow. Just like the heart and the lungs, the colon is partly controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which responds to tension. These nerves control the normal contractions in the colon and bring about abdominal discomfort at stressful times. Folks often experience cramps or “butterflies in their stomachs” when they are really stressed or troubled. In individuals with IBS, the colon could be excessively receptive to even minor conflict or tension. Stress tends to make the mind more aware of the feelings that occur in the colon, making the individual perceive those feelings as distressing.

In the event you eat a meal while feeling anxious those spasms could speed up or slow down your digestive process to the level where you begin getting symptoms associated with diarrhea or perhaps constipation. An overactive digestive system may also make excess gas when exposed to tension. This gassiness could lead to bloating, cramping and also perhaps serious abdominal pain.

Folks with a elevated requirement to achieve may also put themselves as well as their digestive system under undue pressure and usually are likely candidates for irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, there is some interesting study which suggests IBS sufferers have a tendency to fall into one of a couple of ‘types’: those who constantly put others before themselves and those who drive themselves extremely hard.

In an attempt to find effective treatments for the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, researchers have been investigating the different substances which have been released during the tension response. A single substance that seems to have major importance in the strain response is corticotrophin-releasing-factor (CRF). CRF is really a family of peptides, which are molecules that link amino acids that are found in both the brain and also the gut. Inside brain, CRF receptors are discovered inside the areas associated to digestion, emotions and also the autonomic nervous system. Inside gut, CRF acts within the colon to boost mucous and water secretion, affects the rate of colon contractions, and seems to be associated to the experience of abdominal pain. It is thought that a much better comprehension of the role of CRF will lead to refinements in the creation of medicines which aim at IBS symptoms.

Some data suggests that IBS is affected by the immune technique, which fights infection in the body. For just about all these reasons, strain management is an significant part of treatment method for IBS. Tension management options include:

tension reducing coaching and relaxation therapies including meditation
guidance and support
regular exercise including walking or yoga
alterations to the tense circumstances in your life
adequate sleep

Diagnosis of IBS

If you are, or you suspect you are experiencing Irritable Bowel Syndrome, it’s a really good idea to go see your doctor. To determine definitively that you have irritable bowel syndrome, your physician will do a complete medical work up on you which commonly includes interviewing you, the patient, with regard to symptoms in addition to the normal step of examining you.

To make the diagnosis, your doctor will ask you about your pain, when it comes onand what makes it better or worse. He or she may also ask about your bowel movements, with inquiries about how often you open your bowels and what your feces look like.

IBS does not have a diagnostic method, but a selection of lab tests might be done to be able to eliminate other potential issues. Taking a fecal sample for testing and performing a complete blood count panel are just two of the possible labs that may be performed. Your doctor will commonly perform a more invasive procedure, such as a colonoscopy, so they may get a picture of your colon.

This is done by inserting a small, flexible tube with a camera on the end of it through the anus. The camera then transfers the images of your colon onto a large screen for the doctor to see it better.

During these tests, a biopsy can be taken. The sample is removed from the colon wall and reviewed by the lab. This test helps to rule out more serious conditions such as ulcerative colitis.

Your doctor might determine that you have IBS having reviewed your stated issues, frequency of stomach discomfort over the last 12 months, the beginning and cessation of discomfort relative to bowel movements as well as how often your bowels move and whether your bowel has changed, if examining your colon comes back with no helpful information.

Like many illnesses, physicians match symptoms to a review of typical issues in order to determine whether a patient has IBS.

Indications that you might be experiencing IBS include stomach pain for a minimum of one week per month over the last year. These 12 weeks do not have to be consecutive.

Stomach discomfort will have 2 of three of the proceeding indicators:

1.Pain disappears once you vacate your bowels.

2.Frequency of defecation is altered when pain begins.

3.When it starts, there is a change in the form of the stool or the way it looks.

Other specific attributes must also be visible, like:

a change in frequency of bowel movements

Bowel movements look different

feelings of uncontrollable urgency to have a bowel movement

difficulty or inability to pass stool

mucus in bowel movementbloating

High temperature, loss of weight, bleeding and ongoing strong discomfort are not indications of IBS but may be signs of other issues such as inflamed bowels or, sometimes, cancer.

If you show the typical IBS symptoms and are under 50, you may not need any further tests.

If you are showing signs of weight loss or blood in your stools, additional tests may be required.

If bowel problems are in your family history, if you’re presenting symptoms of diarrhea-specific IBS or if you are more than 50 years old and this is the first time you are experiencing indications of IBS, you may be admitted to the hospital for additional testing. Your doctor would admit you because these symptoms are indicators of serious colon-related conditions such as colon cancer.

Is IBS helped by a change in diet?

For countless people after eating is the time they expect the symptoms of IBS to be worse. In some cases particular foods tend to make symptoms more severe.

Not everyone responds to the identical food the very same way – some foods may make symptoms flare in one person, but not another. Physicians do not advocate a particular diet to manage symptoms. But through trial and error, a lot of people find that they really feel better when they stop eating certain foodstuff. Those foods might worsen IBS symptoms, by producing intestinal contraction – this is specially true of sufferers whose main symptom is diarrhea.

A cautious eating plan can reduce symptoms for many I.B.S. sufferers. Prior to altering your diet regime, keep a diary noting the foods that seem to cause distress. Always discuss your results with your doctor. A registered dietitian can suggest how you could change your diet. Dairy, for example, is something you should eat less of if you find that it increases your symptoms. You may find that you can digest yogurt more easily because it contains a bacteria which helps to digest the sugar found in milk – lactose. Of course dairy is a good source of calcium, amongst other things. If you do find that you have to avoid dairy then it’s important to ensure you get plenty of nutrients in the rest of your food. You may even have to take a supplement.

In many cases, dietary fiber may lessen IBS symptoms, in particular constipation. However, it may not help with lowering pain or decreasing diarrhea. If you’re searching for a good source of fiber look to things like vegetables, whole grain foods (in particular bread and cereals) and fruits. High fiber diets keep the colon mildly distended, which may help prevent spasms. Some forms of fiber keep water in the stool, thereby preventing hard stools that are difficult to pass. Doctors usually recommend a diet with enough fiber to produce soft, painless bowel movements. For some people there is a side effect of gas and bloating, but it tends to go within a few weeks. Increasing fiber intake by 2 to 3 grams per day will help reduce the risk of increased gas and bloating.

Drinking six to eight glasses of plain water a day is important, especially if you have diarrhea. Sodas are not a substitute for water! Gassiness can also increase if you eat too quickly, or chew a lot of gum. That’s because you end up swallowing air, which has to escape somehow.

Large meals can cause cramping and diarrhea, so eating smaller meals more often, or eating smaller portions, may help IBS symptoms. Eating meals that are low in fat and high in carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, whole-grain breads and cereals, fruits, and vegetables may help.

Limit or eliminate foods that may make diarrhea worse, including caffeine, alcohol, foods high in sugar, fatty foods, gas producing foods such as beans, cabbage, and broccoli, and the artificial sweeteners sorbitol and xylitol often used in sugarless gum and sugarless candy.

Fats are pretty powerful stimulants to your G.I. tract – they can cause constipation and diarrhea. They do this by causing rapid spasm or contractions – similar to a ‘charley horse’ – in the colon and that’s why they can cause constipation or diarrhea. The major irritable bowel syndrome trigger foods such as red meats, dairy, egg yolks and fried foods are high in saturated fat. Meat, dairy, and egg yolks also have proteins that are very difficult for the body to digest.

Try to have your meals in peace and take your time – don’t rush your food. It’s much better for you to eat slowly.