A prevalent digestive disorder, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) currently affects millions of individuals in the country. This chronic condition causes abdominal pain and distress in the large intestine causing unusual bowel movements. The common symptoms of IBS include diarrhea, constipation, diarrhea with constipation, intestinal cramps post meals, bloating, etc. However, these symptoms can vary from person to person.
Interestingly, IBS is more common in women. However, the precise reason behind it is still not known. Although there is a combination of issues that can trigger IBS such as food allergies, pain sensitivity, bacterial infections, an imbalance in body chemicals, hereditary factors, psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, etc.
There are three types of IBS, i.e., IBS with diarrhea, IBS with constipation, and IBS mix (diarrhea with constipation). You can seek the help of your doctor for irritable bowel syndrome treatment, based on the type of your IBS distress.
To help you understand your options better, here are some of the common irritable bowel syndrome treatments implemented. The remedies mentioned below are a combination of medical assistance and personal initiatives to improve your IBS condition.
Medications – Under your doctor’s guidance, you can begin a course of prescription drugs. These may include antispasmodics, antidepressants, antibiotics, etc., which can assist in alleviating some of your symptoms. Your doctor will recommend any one of these or a combination of medications. For instance, antispasmodic medicines are for relieving spasms and abdominal pain. Moreover, antibiotics will be apt for an irritable bowel syndrome treatment for controlling bacterial infections. However, always remember you should not consume any medications without your doctor’s knowledge. Apart from prescription drugs, there are certain over-the-counter medications which can aid in decreasing your digestive woes.
Psychological assistance – If the onset of IBS has led to depression or anxiety, then you should visit a therapist who could counsel you about stress management. Mostly, such treatment comprises interpersonal and cognitive behavioral therapies. The former method gets you to acknowledge your feelings with regards to your condition. The latter, however, works on enhancing your thoughts and response. Apart from professional psychological help, meditation, yoga, etc. can reduce the impact of IBS on your life.
Changes in dietary habits – Making significant changes in the diet can help ease the discomfort caused by IBS. For this, you will need to observe the foods that trigger the condition of IBS meticulously. Some of the common ingredients that can possibly aggravate IBS are dairy products, refined sugars, caffeine, gluten, certain vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, beans, cauliflower, etc.). In simple words, try having foods containing whole grains, fiber, low fats, fresh fruits, and colorful vegetables. Although this may take some time to project actual results, changing your diet might work for you in the long run.
Probiotics – Known for its friendly intestinal bacteria, probiotics can ease your system by restoring balance in the digestive tract. Although there are probiotic supplements available in markets, you should depend on its natural sources like yogurt, kvass, pickles, kimchi, tempeh, kombucha, etc. Probiotics cannot only help your irritable bowel syndrome treatments but can also enhance the body’s overall immunity.
Exercise – Routine workout sessions are ideal for both, the body and mind. They can increase your metabolism as well as lower stress levels. A brisk morning walk or a run in the park can instantly elevate your body energy and moods. You can also try certain yoga poses which can relax your intestinal stress and facilitate smooth gut movement.
Alcohol and smoking – Both alcohol and smoking can weaken the body’s ability to fight bacterial infections and stress. Besides they also result in dehydration which can aggravate your IBS condition. Smoking specifically causes inflammation of the intestinal lining as well as gut pain. While seeking irritable bowel syndrome treatment, ensure to cut down or completely cease drinking and smoking.
Acupuncture – Some patients have gained a considerable amount of relief by using acupuncture for irritable bowel syndrome treatment. This ancient form of Chinese treatment aims to focus on the disharmony between different body parts. However, it must be noted that acupuncture may not work for all patients. The procedure of acupuncture might be used with a combination of Chinese herbs, tailored diets, and lifestyle alterations.
Herbs – You can try implementing herbal remedies to improve your IBS symptoms. Although, herbs rarely have any side-effects, at times they might be unsuitable for your body. So, run this idea by your doctor once to ensure safety. Peppermint oil, aloe vera juice, chamomile tea, fennel, etc. are some of the popular herbs used to alleviate the symptoms of IBS such as gut pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, etc.
Tackling a health condition like IBS takes patience and consistent effort. Which is why you must develop a disciplined approach which will help you target your problem areas accurately.