IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder of the gut with an unknown cause. Its symptoms can be a bit variable, including bloating, abdominal pain and at times, even bouts of either constipation or diarrhea. IBS symptoms usually come and go and while there might be no definitive cure for this condition, its conditions can be eased using some treatment options.
In this case, it is important for you to choose only soluble fibers or those that can dissolve in water which is effective in helping ease IBS symptoms. Good dietary sources of fiber include seeds and nuts, oats, ispaghula, some vegetables and fruits as well as pectins. There is also a fiber supplement known as ispaghula powder that you can find in health food shops and pharmacies.
Drinks, Foods and Lifestyle
It is important for everyone to follow a healthy diet, yet there are people suffering from IBS who find that some foods in their usual diet trigger IBS symptoms or make them worse. There are several things that you can do with your lifestyle that can help in easing IBS symptoms and these include the following:
- Avoid leaving long gaps between your meals and avoid missing them altogether.
- Take regular meals and make sure that you also take time in eating your food at leisurely pace.
- Restrict coffee and tea to 3 cups every day as caffeine is found to be a factor in triggering IBS for some people.
- Drink a minimum of 8 cups of fluid every day, particularly water or any non-caffeinated drinks like herbal teas. This will help in keeping your stools soft, allowing easy passage along your gut.
- Minimize the amount of your intake of fizzy drinks.
- Consider limiting your intake of foods high in fiber but note the ones mentioned above which are known for helping in some instances.
- Avoid excessive drinking of alcohol. There are people who claimed noticing an improvement in their IBS symptoms after cutting down their alcohol intake or quitting smoking, in the case of smokers.
- Limit eating fresh fruits to 3 portions of 80 grams each per day.
- In the event that you suffering from diarrhea, avoid taking sorbitol, a kind of artificial sweetner that can be found in sweets that are sugar free, which included chewing gum as well as in drinks and some slimming and diabetic products.
- In case you have bloating and a lot of wind, you can consider adding more oats to your diet and linseeds that you can buy from health food stores.
These are nutritional supplements containing good bacteria or the kind of bacteria normally living in your gut and are considered as beneficial. By taking probiotics, this increases your gut’s good bacteria that can help in warding off the bad bacteria which usually cause IBS symptoms. Probiotic capsules can be purchased in pharmacies. You might also want to try buying foods with probiotic bacteria, including certain yoghurts, frozen yoghurts, milk drinks, ice creams and cheeses.
These medicines help in relaxing the muscles in gut walls. Your physician might advise you taking one in case you are suffering from spasm-type of pains.
Antidepressant medicines that belong to the tricylic group are commonly used as IBS treatment. These tend to work at their best if diarrhea and pain are the primary symptoms of IBS. Unlike the antispasmodic ones that are taken only when experiencing bouts of pain, antidepressants needs to be taken regularly, which means that this is only advised for those whose symptoms are persistent or have frequent bad flare-ups that cannot be cured by other kinds of treatments.
Instances like work stress, family problems, recurring thoughts of past abuse, examinations and the like can all trigger the development of IBS symptoms in some people. Those who have anxious personalities might have some difficulties in controlling their symptoms.
There is a complex connection between the brain, mind, nervous impulses and the internal organs’ overactivity. There are people who have found that stress counseling, relaxation techniques, cognitive-behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy and similar types of therapies are useful when it comes to controlling IBS symptoms although there are still mixed evidences regarding the benefits of using these treatments.
As you can see, there are plenty of treatment options that you can try for relieving your IBS condition, all of which have certain effects in some persons but nothing will help all people with IBS. That is why if you have been advised of trying a certain treatment, it will be best for you to observe if it will give you some changes. If not, you always have the choice of checking out other options in order for you to find the one that will perfectly suit your specific case.