Irritable Bowel Symdrom
Irritable bowel symdrom (IBS) is a condition affecting the large intestine, otherwise known as the colon or bowel. Irritable bowel syndrom is called a functional disorder because with IBS, the bowel does not function properly.
Symptoms of irritable bowel symdrom include constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, gas, and bloating. In severe cases, weight loss and dehydration can occur due to diarrhea. In addition to the physical problems caused by irritable bowel syndrom, the condition can have a significant emotional impact. People with IBS may be uncomfortable in social situations and may have to curtail their daily activities due to their symptoms.
Doctors are not certain what causes irritable bowel symdrom. Some think it is caused by a yeast infection called candida. Some think it is caused by an over-sensitivity to certain foods. Others think it is caused by an inflammation of the intestines.
There is no real cure for irritable bowel syndrom, but there are ways to prevent symptoms and to treat symptoms when they do occur.
Prevention is the best way to deal with irritable bowel syndrom. There are a number of things you can do to prevent symptoms from occurring.
First and foremost is diet. There are a number of foods that may trigger a flare-up of irritable bowel symdrom. Possible culprits include dairy products, greasy foods, fatty foods, chocolate, caffeine, carbonated beverages like sodas, and alcohol. Doctors often recommend keeping a food diary to identify what foods cause problems in your case.
Eat lots of fiber and drink plenty of water to help prevent constipation. Sometimes a daily fiber supplement is also recommended.
Stress can aggravate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrom. Any stress-relieving techniques can help prevent flare-ups. Try to plan time for relaxation daily. Sometimes seeing a counselor can help to reduce stress.
Regular exercise such as walking also helps the bowel to function normally and is another important component of a prevention plan. It also helps to relieve stress.
Finally, stool softeners may be recommended to prevent constipation.
Prevention is the best treatment, but there are a number of treatment options when symptoms of irritable bowel symdrom do occur.
Laxatives can be used to treat constipation, but should be used with care because they can become habit-forming. Check with your doctor before using over-the-counter laxatives.
Anti-spasmodic drugs can be used to treat diarrhea and cramping, but can sometimes lead to constipation. This, of course, just requires more treatment.
Anti-depressant drugs have been found effective for irritable bowel syndrom in some cases, but these can have a number of unpleasant side effects, including upset stomach, drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation, and more. Some anti-depressants can cause withdrawal if you stop taking them.
If it is suspected that a candida infection is causing the condition, anti-fungal medications may be prescribed.
Many people prefer to use natural treatments in order to avoid the side effects and other risks associated with traditional medications. There are a number of natural treatments available for irritable bowel symdrom that can both prevent and relieve the symptoms of IBS. Natural products often carry other health-related benefits, as well.
If you think you might have irritable bowel symdrom, see your doctor to discuss treatment options. Ask your doctor about the advantages of natural treatments.
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