Irritable bowel syndrome, which is also known with its abbreviated form IBS refers to a colon disorder or the large intestine disorder. Being a chronic disorder, it can affect the normal lifestyle of patients to a great extent. Though the symptoms often vary from one patient to other, the common signs experienced by patients are constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, abdominal pain and cramping. Even if the signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are quite distressing, it does not increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Apart from a few exceptional cases, the signs and symptom of irritable bowel syndrome can be easily controlled with certain irritable syndrome medication as well as lifestyle changes.
Medication to treat irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is generally treated depending on the symptoms experienced by patients, as the causes often vary from one individual to other. Apart from lifestyle and dietary changes, doctors recommend two types of irritable bowel syndrome medications for treating the condition, viz. Alosetron and Lubiprostone.
Alosetron works by relaxing the colon and controlling the waste movement by lowering bowel. Though this is an effective medicine for Irritable bowel syndrome, it is seldom prescribed owing to some side-effects related to it. Doctors prescribe it when other medications fail to control diarrhea or improve the symptoms of IBS.
Lubiprostone is an effective medication for women, who have attained the age of 18 years and are seldom used for men. It increases the fluid secretion in the small intestine, which in turn helps the stool to pass easily. Patients taking this medicine often complain of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea.
Supplements and symptomatic medication for irritable bowel syndrome
Antispasmodic and anticholinergic medication- Patients complaining of painful bowel spasm or diarrhea are generally prescribed this irritable syndrome medication to control bowel movement. However, some may get constipated or face difficulty in urinating after taking this medication. Antispasmodic and anticholinergic medicines should be treated as a prescription drug and not as an over-the-counter pill.
Anti-diarrheal medicines- In case of diarrhea-related problems, patients can take anti-diarrheal medicines available over the counter. Colesevelam, colestipol, cholestyramine, and loperamide are some of the common anti-diarrheal medications recommended by health experts.
Antidepressant medicines– Patients who complain of depression or pain are prescribed tricyclic antidepressant medicines for relieving the condition. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor is also prescribed in some places. The dosage of medicines generally varies depending on the severity of the condition, and it is unsafe to treat these as an over-the-counter medicine.
Antibiotics- Bacterial overgrowth may also lead to symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and in these cases, doctors recommended antibiotic treatment to heal the condition. Rifaximin is mostly recommended as antibiotics to deal with irritable bowel syndrome.
Fiber Supplements– In many cases, patients do not require any medication to treat the problem and are generally cured of the symptoms by adding some fiber supplements to their diet. Methylcellulose and psyllium supplements are recommended for patients, who get constipation due to irritable bowel syndrome. However, patients who fail to get any significant relief from fiber supplements are recommended osmotic laxatives like polyethylene glycol or milk of magnesia.
Counseling- Though this is not a proven remedy to cure irritable bowel syndrome, it can help in dealing the condition successfully in many patients. Patients who get this as a chronic condition are advised counseling to treat stress and depression related to the disease.
Home remedies to treat irritable bowel syndrome
Though medications are available to treat irritable bowel syndrome, patients can also opt for home remedies.
Yogurt- Yogurt is one of the best home remedies to treat diarrhea caused by this colon disorder. The live bacteria present in yogurt help in treating the condition by offering a protective layer on the intestine. It also boosts the formation of lactic acid, which in turn washes out bacteria related germs from the body.
Ginger- Found in almost every kitchen, ginger is recommended for treating gas and bloating related to IBS. This can also help in checking the inflammation and relaxing the muscles of the intestine. Yet, it is not a very good choice for patients with high blood pressure.
Peppermint– Patients experiencing symptoms like diarrhea, bloating and cramping of the stomach can give a try to peppermint. Studies have proven the fact that peppermint oil can help in reducing IBS symptoms to some significant level. Menthol oil present in peppermint acts as an antispasmodic, which in turn relieves the pain by smoothening digestive tract muscles of the patient.
Irritable bowel syndrome medications and supplements are necessary for treating of irritable bowel syndrome, yet making lifestyle changes is also important. Increase fluid content in your diet, especially water and avoid oily or spicy food, as these aggravate the condition. Also, eat on time and practice a healthy lifestyle. Practicing some physical workouts is also recommended to control irritable bowel syndrome. Consuming alcoholic beverages can adversely affect the colon and should be avoided strictly.