Irritable Bowel Syndrum
People frequently ask us about the causes of irritable bowel syndrum and how to treat it. The truth is, doctors don't know for sure what causes irritable bowel syndrone. Some think it is caused by over-sensitivity to certain foods. Others think it is caused by an over-growth of candida, a yeast that lives in our intestines. Still others think it is caused by an inflammation of the digestive tract. The bottom line is, no one knows for sure.
Irritable bowel syndrum is sometimes referred to as colitis, spastic colon, or spastic bowel. It is a condition in which the bowel (the large intestine or colon) does not work properly. Symptoms include gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and/or constipation. There may also be excessive mucus in the stool.
Please note that blood in the stool is not a symptom of irritable bowel syndrone but may be a symptom of other serious problems. See a doctor right away if you notice blood in your stool.
There are a number of treatments available for irritable bowel syndrum, but first let's look at some ways to prevent it.
Diet is the most important component of a prevention plan. There are a number of foods that may contribute to symptoms of irritable bowel syndrone, including:
Everyone reacts differently, so keep a food diary to track your symptoms and determine which foods are triggers for your irritable bowel syndrum.
In addition to avoiding foods that trigger symptoms, eat a diet high in fiber to help the digestive tract work smoothly and to prevent constipation. Drinking eight to ten glasses of water each day will help, as well.
Managing your stress and exercising regularly will also help prevent symptoms.
Now let's look at some treatment options for irritable bowel syndrum.
Stool softeners are often recommended for people with irritable bowel syndrone. These make the stool softer and easier to pass.
Anti-spasmodic medications can be prescribed to treat the colon spasms that cause cramping and diarrhea. The problem with these medications is that they can lead to constipation, and in that way can even make symptoms of irritable bowel disease worse.
Anti-depressant medications are sometimes prescribed as well. Anti-depressants can be effective but can have a lot of side effects, including drowsiness, upset stomach and anxiety. Anti-depressants may also cause constipation. Some are habit-forming and have withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking them.
Over-the-counter medications such as laxatives may also be used to treat irritable bowel syndrone, but should be used only under the supervision of a doctor. They can have side effects too, and are also habit-forming and not safe to use long-term.
Because of the side effects and concerns about drugs being habit-forming, alternative (natural) treatments for irritable bowel syndrum are often the best choice. All-natural products don't have the side effects of traditional medications and are not habit-forming.
If you think you might have irritable bowel syndrum, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. If you have blood in your stool, see your doctor right away. Be sure to ask about natural treatments for irritable bowel syndrone.
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