what is functional bowel syndrome - Irritable Bowel Syndrome-causes, Symptoms, Treatment
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome-causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Irritable bowel syndrome* (IBS) is a "syndrome," meaning a group of symptoms. The most common symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain or discomfort often reported as cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and/or constipation. IBS affects the colon, or large bowel, which is the part of the digestive tract that stores stool.In gastroenterology, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder characterized by abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating relieved by defecation and alteration of bowel habits. Diarrhea or constipation may predominate, or they may alternate (classified as IBS-D, IBS-C or IBS-A, respectively). IBS may begin after an infection (post-infectious, IBS-PI) or a stressful life event. Other functional or pain disorders and certain psychological conditions are more common in those with IBS.


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Massage, Relaxation Techniques (Including Yoga, Meditation, and Biofeedback) All these therapies are beneficial. Herbal Medicine A soothing tea of camomile, peppermint, and fennel is recommended. Herbalists may prescribe cramp bark, golden seal, wild yam, and licorice.

Orthodox medical treatment has been largely unsuccessful in the treatment of IBS. Antispasmodic drugs are often recommended but in many cases they are ineffective. The best way of controlling the condition is by reducing and learning to cope with stress, and by eating a diet that does not exacerbate the condition.

What are the symptoms The symptoms may get worse when you're under stress, such as when you travel, attend social events or change your daily routine. Your symptoms may also get worse if you don't eat enough healthy foods or after you've eaten a big meal. Some people are bothered by certain foods. Women who have IBS may notice more frequent symptoms during their menstrual periods.

- Antispasmodic - these slow spasms that occur in the intestine (I.E. Imodium). Although, antidiarrheals are usually effective, they may not help other symptoms such as bloating or abdominal discomfort. Furthermore, prolonged use of antidiarrheals can result in dry mouth, constipation, and other symptoms.

Another medication that may be prescribed is Lotronex. This particular drug is designed to block the effect serotonin (chemical produced by the body) has on digestive system, and in so doing, soothes the colon and slows bowl movement frequency. Lotronex has been found to be successful at alleviating IBS symptoms including diarrhea, stomach discomfort and urgency.

Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome The severity of IBS will determine the method of treatment. In general, treatment is aimed first at relieving the gastrointestinal symptoms. In some cases, however, emotional or psychological factors are also targeted as part of the treatment plan. It is important to emphasize that no single regimen works for most people with IBS. Symptoms are quite variable and may change significantly over time, therefore therapy must be individualized.

Different food combinations can cause IBS symptoms in different individuals: keep a detailed record of everything you eat and drink, and of all bowel movements and their consistency.

Treatment Diet and Nutrition Research shows that eating more fiber, in the form of oats, dried beans, peas, fresh fruit and vegetables, can greatly reduce the symptoms of IBS, but improvement may take months rather than weeks. Also, bear in mind that wheat bran, often prescribed as the standard treatment for IBS, can actually make the condition worse for some sufferers. Eat plenty of natural, unsweetened live yogurt or take daily supplements of Lactobacillus acidophilus to boost the levels of healthy bacteria in the digestive system.

Your doctor may refer you to a Gastroenterologist for a rectal examination. This is where the Gastroenterologist inserts a flexible tube with a light inside it into your rectum. The allows the Gastroenterologist to see the lining of the bowel. The Gastroenterologist may examine part of the colon or the entire length [about 4 feet]. In addition the Gastroenterologist may take a sample of the bowel wall called a biopsy to make sure that the bowel is truly normal. This is one way for example to test for gluten intolerance.

The diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome [IBS] is made by your medical doctor mainly on the basis of what symptoms you are experiencing. Typical symptoms are bloating, abdominal pain/cramps, constipation and diarrhoea. Typical causes are a bad diet, food poisoning, a prolonged course of antibiotics or an operation around the pelvic area.

Aromatherapy

Essential oils of peppermint or sassafras help relaxation and reduce painful spasms.

Acupuncture This can be beneficial in helping to relieve IBS. Read out for herbal medicines. Check out herbal supplements and skin disorders

If you can, before you go to see your medical doctor, write out your questions beforehand, so that you have a better chance of leaving the doctor with your questions and concerns answered.

Consult a qualified practitioner/therapist for: Counseling and Hypnotherapy Both have been shown to be very effective in reducing the symptoms. Hypnotherapy has a particularly good record.

The following are 5 treatment options for relieving IBS related diarrhea: 1 - Diet Control Before resorting to medications or alternative remedies, you should always consider your diet first. Although diet changes may not entirely cure you from diarrhea, it may help reduce the frequency of attacks. Therefore, you should monitor your diet by keeping a food diary and recording the symptoms you feel after eating different foods to determine which ones cause diarrhea and which ones don't.

Note: Lotronex has only been approved for women who suffer from severe cases of diarrhea-predominant IBS ad have not responded to previous treatment methods.

4 - Alternative Therapy Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, probiotics and herbal remedies can effectively reduce and alleviate diarrhea and its related symptoms in some IBS sufferers. Each of these methods is designed to assist the body in healing itself by providing it with stimulation (acupuncture), healthy gut bacteria (probiotics), or herbs. All work to aid in normal digestion.

Constipation can be a difficult IBS symptom to deal with, but so can diarrhea. People who suffer from diarrhea-predominant IBS experience frequent bowel movements of watery and/or loose stool. Other diarrhea-related symptoms include abdominal pain or discomfort, cramping, bloating, gas, nausea and dehydration.

You should also ask your doctor to test you for lactose intolerance, as an inability to properly digest milk sugar can cause diarrhea. 2 - OTC Antidiarrheal Drugs

If you are interested in learning about alternative treatments, talk to you health care provider first, and be sure to seek treatment from qualified practitioners.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is also known as irritable or spastic colon, and there is no real understanding of why it exists, although it seems to occur when the muscles that line the walls of the intestines and the colon, go into spasm. The muscles contract for no apparent reason, causing pain and diarrhea alternating with constipation. Other symptoms include a cramping pain in the abdomen, swelling, general malaise and lethargy, back pain, and often, excessive wind. Symptoms can subside and even disappear for long periods of time, but many sufferers continue to experience symptoms recurrently throughout their lives. It is a chronic, irritating, and uncomfortable condition, but it is not life-threatening and the symptoms can be reduced in many cases by proper treatment.

 
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Consult your doctor about OTC antidiarrheal meds for IBS treatment before taking anything. In addition, you shouldn't resort to antidiarrheals until at least 24 hours after experiencing diarrhea, as you don't want to stop your body from expelling toxins in the event your diarrhea is a result of bacteria such as food poisoning.

Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome No one knows exactly what causes irritable bowel syndrome. The walls of the intestines are lined with layers of muscle that contract and relax as they move food from your stomach through your intestinal tract to your rectum. Normally, these muscles contract and relax in a coordinated rhythm. But if you have irritable bowel syndrome, the contractions may be stronger and last longer than normal.

- Stool thickeners -these contain fruit pectin and clay which absorb toxins and bacteria in the intestine to help thicken stool (I.E. Kaopectate)

5 - Behavioural therapy Stress can actually trigger your IBS symptoms and make diarrhea worse, by causing your stomach to tense, leading to cramping and overall stomach upset. You can help reduce the regular stress in your life, and the stress you feel towards your IBS condition by engaging in:

For instance, avoiding/limiting foods high in refined, artificial or natural sugar can help alleviate diarrhea symptoms. This doesn't only include chocolate, caffeine, alcohol and sweets. It also means foods containing fructose such as honey and a variety of fruits. Foods high in sugar can act like a laxative to your body, especially for an IBS sufferer who already has a sensitive stomach.

4). loss of weight when you are not trying to lose weight. If you have any of these symptoms then you need to see your medical doctor even if you have IBS.

IBS is a non-life threatening illness. It does not progress or increase your risk of developing Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Cancer. Treatment focuses on the relief of symptoms so you can live your life as normally as possible.

The following is a list of symptoms that do not indicate IBS: 1). blood on the stool, 2). jet black stool that looks like tar, 3). vomiting or vomiting blood,

All in all it can take a while [months] to run through all the medical tests to confirm that there is nothing wrong with your bowel. Whatever you can do speed up this process should be suggested to the medical profession, for example if you can go private.

Over-the-counter (OTC) antidiarrheal medications can be effective at providing diarrhea relief when used as short-term treatment. There are two types of antidiarrheal drugs.

Like many people, you may have only mild signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes these problems can be disabling, however. In some cases, you may have severe signs and symptoms that don't respond well to medical treatment. Because symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can be present with other diseases, it's best to discuss these symptoms with your doctor.pain or discomfort that is accompanied by changes in the way a person's stool (poop) normally looks. Some people become constipated and their stools become hard (and difficult to pass); other people develop diarrhea.

The cause of irritable bowel syndrome is currently unknown. IBS is thought to result from an interplay of abnormal gastrointestinal (GI) tract movements, increased awareness of normal bodily functions, and a change in the nervous system communication between the brain and the GI tract.

Your doctor may request that you take a Barium Meal which is swallowed or a Barium Enema which is taken via the rectum. Barium is a radioactive substance that shows up under X-rays.

The doctor may also ask for blood tests to be taken. This could be to check for parasites, for example, Giardia. The purpose of these tests is reassurance and confirmation that nothing is wrong with the structure of the bowel. You are unlikely to get a tumour or cancer from IBS. IBS is an indication that the bowel is going into spasm. These days your medical doctor should be understanding and compassionate of your symptoms. I would hope that now the medical profession has moved on and agrees that IBS is a bona fide illness and is not just in our heads. I was lucky in that my medical doctor used to be a sufferer of IBS. I would research information and then go to him with what I'd found and we would both agree on the next course of action. I hope that you are fortunate enough to also have such an understanding medical doctor.

Following on from your story of your symptoms, the doctor may physically examine you. This may be an examination of the stomach area where the doctor will push along the large intestinal wall, to understand how tender the region is. Your doctor may also take your blood pressure or measure your heart rate.

Alosetron hydrochloride (Lotronex) can be used for women with severe IBS who have not responded to conventional therapy and whose primary symptom is diarrhea. However, even in these patients, it should be used with caution because it can have serious side effects, such as severe constipation or decreased blood flow to the colon.

It is estimated that about 30 percent of people in the West has suffered from IBS at some stage, and 13 percent of those do so regularly. IBS appears to be brought on and exacerbated by anxiety, stress, and nervous problems. Symptoms often appear worse during menstruation. Other causal factors include food intolerance.

3 - Prescription Medications Low doses of tricyclic antidepressants are commonly prescribed to IBS patients for abdominal pain. These meds effectively block pain signals to the brain and don't cause diarrhea. However, they can cause other symptoms including constipation.


- Meditation exercises (I.E. Yoga)


- Relaxation therapy


- Hypnotherapy


- Cognitive behavioural therapy


It's also a good idea to distract yourself by taking part in regular activities you enjoy.


Nancy D. Pace

 
 
     
 
 





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