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Fiber Supplements to Beat Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Fiber supplements can be tremendously beneficial for IBS sufferers. Although supplements such as Metamucil and Citrucel are generally marketed as laxatives, and are very useful for constipation sufferers, they can also be used to combat diarrhea because they add bulk to the diet and can make waste food more solid.


If a search is made of the available date on Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, what one finds is a repeat of the same information that has been available since the early 90's. It just gets hashed and rehashed in a slightly different manner, but with the same type of results. True there are some new drugs that have been released from clinical trials that are showing less then admirable results.


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 It will take a little while before you see the effects of the supplement, so don't give up if you don't feel better after a few days. Try taking a supplement for one or two weeks to really give it time to work.

It is important to make sure you find the fiber supplement that's right for you, as IBS sufferers often have very sensitive stomachs. Some people find that the psyllium fiber in supplements such as Metamucil can irritate their intestines, so if that happens to you try one of the methylcellulose products such as Citrucel, or other types of fiber such as acacia fiber.

Another point to be aware of is that some manufacturers use artificial sweeteners in their products, and these can sometimes cause problems for IBS sufferers. There should be a normal, sweetener-free version to choose instead, and the amount of sugar in a few spoonfuls should not have a huge impact on any diet you are on.

Because of the enormity of the effect that Irritable bowel syndrome has, and the vast number of people who suffer, the amount of potential money to be made could be an astronomical figure should a new development that leads to a cure or to the discovery of an actual cause be found

Flaxseed Watching your diet is sometimes not enough to completely control the symptoms, and natural or herbal supplements can help, as Marion discovered: 'After about six months of a horrendously restrictive diet (ultra low-fat vegan with no raw veggies or fruit except banana) and a lot of Metamucil, I managed to get it sort of under control. But if I deviated from the diet, the chronic diarrhea would come back. Someone I met told me that she had helped her IBS by taking a tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseed with a glass of water or juice every morning. I thought it was another crackpot cure, but eventually I decided to try it. She had told me that pre-ground flaxseed didn't work because flax seed starts to oxidize as soon as you grind it and that whole flax seeds are no good either, because they cannot be digested properly. After years of IBS, in about two weeks it just went away. I cannot believe that I now have perfectly normal, regular bowel movements.'

In case the colon muscles don't function at a proper pace for digestion or the coordination with muscles inside the pelvis or the rectum is interrupted, the colon contents would not move smoothly. Once the function of colon is interrupted, one can feel a lot of discomfort in the form of bloating, diarrhea, constipation and abdominal cramps.

??? Nervous stomach As far as the actual cause of irritable bowel syndrome is concerned, it is not known yet. Some people with irritable bowel syndrome tend to show signs of abnormal movements of the lower and greater part of the large intestine or the colon. The movements can either be too last or too slow.

It seems that the National institute of Health, which is under the National office of Health and Human Services, does indeed initiate large grants to universities and companies to conduct research. The reasons we may not be aware of these research projects might be due to privacy agreements adhered to by the government as well as those entities that apply for the grants to conduct the research. That may also be why these research projects never become media headlines. All the grant hearings and meetings take place behind closed doors. All the information that comes and goes is held in strict adherence to the guidelines as set forth by the Federal Advisory Committee. Their guidelines state that because those that might be involved in the research stand a risk of their private information being made public, grant applications and research project proposals, at least up front are handled behind closed doors.





About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for 14 years. She runs the IBS Tales
website at http://www.ibstales.com where you can read hundreds
of stories and tips from IBS sufferers.

Do check, though, that the supplement you choose is just made up of fiber and nothing more, as you will occasionally find one that has added chemical laxatives or other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a syndrome that relates to a group of symptoms. One of the most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome is abdominal pain. The discomfort faced by the patient is usually reported as cramping, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and/or constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome also tends to affect the colon. Colon is referred to as large bowel. It is a part of the digestive tract that stores stool.

Whatever type of fiber you choose, you must make sure to build the dosage up gradually. If you add masses of fiber to your diet all at once you will probably feel very gassy and bloated. Instead, try just a small spoon of fiber once a day and build up to the recommended dose on the label. Most supplements will recommend that you take the product with lots of water, and to make sure you are drinking enough water for the rest of the day as well.

For now there may be no easy answers, no magic pill and no set standards for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome but there is the hope of tomorrow. A fledgling website has been fostered by a few concerned contributors feeling the need of bringing to IBS sufferers the best information available on the subject. Its contributors, suffers themselves, give their time and efforts actively seeking out any and all information that has the possibility of giving even the smallest amount of relief for those that struggle with Irritable bowel Syndrome. IBS Help Site.com though in its infancy, is in hope of helping, with timely information and ideas all focused on the care and treatment of those that have IBS. Someday, the greatest thrill would be the ability to post, in big and bold letters, that a cure for IBS has been found. Visit http://ibshelpsite.com for more IBS information. For articles concerning Irritable Bowel Syndrome please visit http://ibshelpsite.com/articles/

If Irritable Bowel Syndrome has such a devastating affect, why then isn't more information on the research being done on Irritable bowel Syndrome available? If Irritable bowel Syndrome affects so many people and causes so many missed work days, then why isn't there more research being done to find the cause and extrapolate a cure? In actuality there is a large amount of research being done. The reasons for that information not being in the public lime light are probably due to privacy issues set down by the Federal Advisory Committee.

Sufferers often find that they have to deal with the symptoms themselves, through self-help methods and supplements, rather than by using conventional medicines. However, this does not mean that there is no hope of improvement. By sharing their experiences, sufferers can learn a lot about what really helps to ease IBS.

These supplements are not really medications ' most are simply fiber products with no added drugs or herbs, and so they can be taken long term on a daily basis without worrying about side effects. They're just the equivalent of adding lots of fruit and bran to your diet, but without having to eat daily apples or worry about bloating from the bran.

Irritable bowel syndrome is not to be classified as a disease. Doctors refer this disorder as functional. This means that the bowel ceases to work or function in correct order.

Kim, who also suffers from bad diarrhea, says: 'I tried taking digestive enzymes with acidophilus and found significant relief within three days. I am not afraid to eat now, but find that I still cannot eat very much refined sugar or high fibre vegetables. I have also added a cup or two per day of peppermint and chamomile tea. When I do have an episode it occurs late in the day and by the next morning I am feeling back to normal.'

Most people prefer to take one dose of fiber in the early morning, perhaps with their breakfast, and then another with dinner or just before their evening meal. You will need to experiment to find the right dosage for your symptoms and the best time to take the fiber, but if you can find a supplement and dose that works for you it will be well worth the effort, because you will have found a cheap, drug-free way to help keep your IBS under control.

Mina also found that dietary change helped control her symptoms, alongside traditional medication: 'I've made a number of changes to my diet. I've eliminated milk and mostly any dairy, fried foods, sugar for the most part, pop, alcohol, potato chips, spicy food, rice, pasta and bread. Most recently I'm eliminating flour. But my best friend for the last couple of years has been Imodium Quick Dissolve tablets. I don't ever leave home without them. I just have to make sure I don't overdo it. If I ever become immune to the wonder drug I am gonna be a real mess!'

That being said, one might think that a question of ethics needs to be addressed. Is it ethical for research that concerns public health in such a large fashion, to be guarded so closely? Or should the information be shared among research facilities in an attempt to bring about faster and possibly better results, giving a brighter hope of bringing about some type of relief to the millions who suffer? What is more important? For now, it would seem the money is.

Irritable bowel syndrome is also often referred to as the following: ??? Irritable colon ??? Spastic colon ??? Mucous colitis

An anonymous source inside a facility that conducts Irritable Bowel Syndrome research characterized the research by saying that it falls into a gray area of scientific study. Because the research lacks moral urgency, meaning the disease isn't killing people, or putting people in the hospital for long terms, it has the potential to be one of the best commercially viable research endeavourers in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Thus most of the information and research data of any value are closely guarded.

 
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Yet little is heard in the open press about this seemingly devastating disorder, and the term devastating is in reference to its affect on GNP. There have been several sources that have stated that no other "disease" or disorder has had such an impact on the number of work days missed. Hendricks in her article states that "Only the common cold accounts for more sick days". Searching through archives at The National Center for Health Statistics no mention of IBS has could be found in any recent statistical data.

Soluble versus insoluble fiber Some nutritionists believe that IBS sufferers' intestines react differently to soluble and insoluble fiber, and this has been Stu's experience: 'After trying all kinds of drugs and healthy eating, my pains were still there. I found by accident that it wasn't so much what I ate but whether I ate it on a full stomach or not. My failsafe is pasta on an empty stomach, I get no reaction - it is soluble fibre that settles the colon apparently. I quickly searched on the internet for recipes high in soluble fibre and I have improved. Most significantly though I am on no medication and this puts me in control of the IBS, not the other way around. I think this is important as stress certainly can trigger the symptoms off. I don't avoid insoluble fibre as it is essential for the body, but I recommend that you eat it on a full stomach.'

Looking at your diet Laura describes how a close examination of her diet helped her IBS: 'I was placed on every kind of medication, and sometimes they worked in the short term, sometimes they didn't work at all. The doctor finally suggested trying to alter my diet in cycles, and we discovered that eating meat was my problem. I became a vegetarian and no longer have constant problems. Sometimes I even go years without any pain at all. It's worth all the effort you put into it when you finally feel better.'

According to a research, it has been proved that about 6% to 14% of all teenagers show signs of irritable bowel syndrome. The condition is more common in girls than guys. The good news is that this condition is not fatal. The condition also does not have a risk of permanent damage to the intestines.

Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common gastrointestinal disorder observed by doctors. Irritable bowel syndrome is also referred to as a multi-faceted condition. The condition is due to the disturbance in the interaction between many components of body. These components are the guts the intestines and the automatic nervous system of the body that's responsible for controlling voluntary muscles including the living as well as the components of the intestinal tract and the brain.

With no way to gauge results or even speculate on upcoming possibilities, the next big news break about Irritable bowel syndrome probably wont be until a some drug company takes a new wonder drug out of clinical trials and gets FDA approval to bring it to market leaving us all to wonder if any simpler, less lucrative measures of treating IBS have been passed over in pursuit of capital gain.

Stress and IBS Daniel believes that his symptoms are related to his emotions and stress: 'I thought that when I was stuck on the toilet, experiencing the most severe cramps, thinking I was about to pass out from the pain, feeling like I was about to throw up, I was the only one. I'm still trying to work it out but I believe it has a lot to do with my psychological state. I say this because although I don't get too stressed out at any one moment, I do have general worries about money and life. I tend to find when I'm not worrying about these things I don't get the pain as much, if at all. It's easier said than done of course, I can't just stop worrying about money or my future, but being aware of these things seems to help - being optimistic and knowing that everything is only temporary. I have been taking Colpermin (peppermint capsules) as a preventative which often helps and for a while I took painkillers which I think helped.'

If you have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you will know how difficult it is to treat. Doctors can be dismissive of IBS symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation and bloating, and when treatment is offered it may only help for a short while before the distressing symptoms return.

Are researchers treating IBS in a manner fitting the most reported gastrointestinal disorder, or is it taking a back seat while other maladies that have clinical validity get research funding? Where does the rubber meat the road? What is "clinical validity? As defined by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) clinical validity is a measurement of the accuracy with which a test or tool identifies or predicts a clinical condition. So does that mean because doctors and scientists can't identify what cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome, nor can they predict it in any measure, nor can they find any tool or test by which to measure it, does this mean that IBS has no clinical Validity?

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome may vary from person to person. Some people may feel discomfort in the form of pain and cramping inside the abdominal area of the bowel movements or irregular and painful periods of diarrhea and constipation. However, the most common conditions are either diarrhea or constipation. In some cases, people may show signs of both.

Fiber, water and yoga Pam, who struggles with constipation, has developed a combination of things which work for her: 'I drink Metamucil (psyllium fibre) every day and try to relax, pray or meditate, even do a little yoga. The more I make myself relax and take time to de-stress the better I can manage my problem. I know time for yourself is very hard to come by sometimes but I have to if I'm going to manage this. I try to drink at least three bottles of water a day. This is also hard sometimes but I have to take care of me the best I can. I also take a mild anti-depressant. This has helped a bunch in my stress department and in turn has helped my IBS.'





About the author:
Sophie Lee has suffered from IBS for more than 15 years. She
runs IBS Tales http://www.ibstales.com where you can read
hundreds of personal stories of IBS sufferers and a range of
self-help tips.

If that is true, then one could easily assume that no large government grants will be forth coming to fund any large scale study of what many in high Places of knowledge specify as the most reported GI disorder. To quote some figures, in 1997 John's Hopkins Magazine published an article by Melissa Hendricks, the magazine's senior science writer at the time; with the title "Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the least understood gastrointestinal illnesses". In that article Hendricks states that "from 8 to 17 percent of the population has IBS". She goes on to declare a figure of 35 Million, that's roughly 10% of the United States Population. And those figures are going on ten years old; one can only imagine what they must be now.

The National Institutes of Health has two easily accessible documents published. The first, publication No. 03--4686 April 2003, which does little more then give lip service to the disorder, then early this year the institute released a new or what might be called a revised publication No. 06--693 February 2006 with more detail of what the disease is. Most of the facts in the new publication have been known for 10 to 15 years. There are a few extended statements of what is known to not be true about the disease, but not much more.

These days there are many different ways to take fiber supplements. You can buy the traditional powder form, which is swallowed with water or soft food, or you can buy wafers, tablets or capsules, which can be very handy if you need to travel and don't want to carry a whole can of fiber with you.

Calcium tablets Linda, who suffers from severe diarrhea, says: 'What has helped me for more than two years is calcium carbonate, an over-the-counter supplement. I take three tablets a day, one at each meal. The most success has come from using any formula of calcium supplement that is like Caltrate 600 Plus with vitamin D and minerals. The only side effect is at the beginning of taking the calcium you may have some gas or indigestion, but this usually goes away after taking a regular dose for a few days.'

But why are the findings of Federally Funded research on Irritable bowel syndrome never made public? Why don't we hear about new developments and how the research is being developed? Why is it no new information of consequence seems to have been released about IBS in over a decade? Is it because all the research has been a "bust"? Is it possible that there are no new findings? Is the scientific community so baffled and befuddled by Irritable Bowel syndrome that no new head way has been made? Not likely, and the answer to those "why" questions might be simply answer with one word "Money".

All the self-help tips in this article have come from IBS sufferers who have found a way to control their irritable bowels. Before trying any form of self-help, please make sure that you have your doctor's approval, and do check that anything you try will not interfere with any medication you are taking.

A final word Lastly, please do make sure that you have been officially diagnosed with IBS and had your symptoms fully investigated before trying any self-help methods. As Joe found out, bowel symptoms can be due something other than IBS: 'I was diagnosed with IBS, but I went to get a second opinion. They did an ultrasound followed by a barium follow-through which showed major inflammation and blockage of my small intestine. The final diagnosis is Crohn's disease. It's a pity they didn't catch it before I was seriously ill, instead of fobbing me off with excuses of 'It's IBS, there's no cure so live with it!''

About the Author Scott Best is a freelance author for many sites, and also an IBS sufferer. He has graciously agreed to be an occasional contributor and editor for IBS Help Site at http://ibshelpsite.com


Nancy D. Pace

 
 
     
 
 





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