There are millions of people who develop abnormal gut conditions every year. One of such conditions is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This disorder in the functioning of gut is common. It is characterized by abdominal pain, alternations in bowel habits, discomfort and bloating.
IBS is not a serious condition. And its causes are unknown as well. IBS is thought to be associated with poor immune system and stress as well. According to a hypothesis, its risk increases with gastro-intestinal infections. Some people may experience bouts of diarrhea alternating with bouts of constipation regarding the symptoms of IBS. Some people may also experience fever and infection-like illness along with nausea and vomiting.
Treatments Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Chronic abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, bloating, etc. these symptoms can distress a healthy person quite easily. Moreover, IBS is also found to have psychological effects such as anxiety and depression. There are certain medications meant for relieving the physiological and psychological effects of IBS but what helps mainly is the change in diet intake and lifestyle. Hence, we start from the diet and lifestyle changes for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and then proceed to the medications.
Changes In Diet Intake
High fiber intake in diet is recommended to IBS patients as it improves digestion as well as improves the symptoms of IBS. However, this thing is controversial as recent studies claim that high fiber intake may worsen the symptoms in some cases of IBS.
Foods containing caffeine, high fats or carbonated drinks must be avoided by the IBS patients. There are some tips that can help improve the conditions such as drinking lots of water, having regular meals, avoid sorbitol in case of diarrhea and avoid alcoholic drinks.
Some people find exercising as helpful in relieving the symptoms of IBS. Moreover, avoid and manage stress. Also, keep a check on your diet intake.
Following is given a description of certain medications which are used to relieve the symptoms of IBS. But they must not be taken without consulting a doctor.
The medicines that relax the muscles and relieve the spasm are known as anti-spasmodic drugs. These drugs are also used to treat the pain symptom of the disorder.
There are two types of anti-spasmodic drugs. Anti-muscarinics such as dicycloverine, hysocine; and the other type is smooth muscle relaxants such as alverine and peppermint oil.
These drugs, as the name indicates, are used to relieve diarrhea. An example of such drugs is loperamide (available without prescription) and diphenoxylate (not available without prescription). But these drugs must not be used if one has an inflamed colon, fever or blood in stools.
Some anti-depressants can worsen the symptoms of IBS and hence one must be careful regarding its use. The tricyclic anti-depressants can cause constipation and selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may cause diarrhea thus, worsen the symptoms.
And so these drugs are not advisable to treat depression if one is already suffering from this gut disorder. However, it is said that low doses of tricyclic anti-depressants help relieve the symptoms of IBS.