Simply put, IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a set of symptoms that can comprise bloating, abdominal pain, cramping, and other changes to bowel movements. It can indicate having constipation, diarrhea, or a blend of both. Simply put, IBS is very common. Today, close to 12% of people in the United States suffer from this disease.
Even though IBS does not cause any harm to the intestines, it can lead to significant discomfort. But today, you have suitable treatments available, which comprise lifestyle changes, diet, and other methods to manage the symptoms.
The dietary changes
Abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea can respond to dietary modification. For instance, fatty foods and caffeine can stimulate chronic colonic contractions. Hence, when a person has diarrhea and IBS, they will notice vast improvements in their symptoms by reducing their caffeine intake. Those who undergo abdominal discomfort and bloating can also reduce their carbohydrate intake as it doesn’t get well digested by the small intestine. Also, consuming vast amounts of fructose, lactose, and sorbitol can also lead to intestinal gas generation. It can also trigger increased bloating, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea.
Today there are many kinds of medicines used for treating IBS. Some of the medication that gets used include:
- Smooth muscle relaxants can help in preventing and relieving intestinal cramping.
- The laxatives are for patients who suffer from constipation permanently.
- Antidiarrheal medication is essential for those who suffer from diarrhea. It helps in bringing down the frequency of bowel movement and enhances stool consistency.
- Antibiotics can help alter the entire composition of the whole gut flora, which is accountable for fermenting the carbohydrates that get digested poorly.
- The low-dose antidepressants can be of help if diarrhea and pain can be your predominant symptom. You can get relief in the medications that work on the gut’s nervous system to be less reactive to the foods you consume.
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The colonic function and nervous system have a connection. And stress plays a crucial role in the severity and frequency of the symptoms that IBS patients face. If the patient has witnessed increased stress, it can usually precede IBS. Also, a few patients who have lost their loved ones can witness the symptoms right after the loss. Few others come with depression and notice their symptoms worsen when they are depressed. At times, anxiety can also trigger the symptoms.
Just in case your symptoms get triggered by emotional stress, many psychological interventions can get used. For instance, in the recent past, cognitive behavioral therapy has proven to be helpful in treating IBS. This treatment gets provided by expert mental health professionals. Hypnotherapy is also useful for managing IBS symptoms.
These are some of how IBS patients can get relief and improve their symptoms. It’s best to talk with one’s doctor to arrive at the best treatment route.