IBS Treatment Includes Medication and Dietary Options

Irritable bowel syndrome–IBS–is a gastrointestinal condition associated with a broad range of symptoms including bloating, food intolerance, altered bowel habits, excessive gas, diarrhea, stomach pain and cramping. It is considered a functional disorder because the digestive system does not function properly when the condition is present. Previously, it was referred to as nervous colon, spastic colon or functional bowel disease. It was also sometimes erroneously referred to as mucous colitis, even though irritable bowel syndrome and colitis are two completely different conditions, each with their own specific symptoms. Treatment for IBS depends on a variety of factors, such as the severity of the disorder and age of the patient.

IBS Medication

Antidiarrheal medications such as Kaopectate and Imodium are often prescribed if diarrhea is one of the patient’s primary symptoms, while Amitizia is often the IBS medication of choice for those who primarily experience constipation. To decrease symptoms of pain and cramping, antispasmodics such as Bentyl and Reglan may be prescribed. In cases where small intestine bacterial overgrowth is suspected, antibiotics are usually given.

IBS Treatment Diet

Those wondering how to treat IBS should consider changing their diet. This is because there is a vast array of foods that are known to exacerbate irritable bowel syndrome symptoms or trigger an attack. Those suffering from the disorder should shun caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol, fatty foods, rich desserts and artificial sweeteners. Additionally, dairy products should be used sparingly, as they may also aggravate the digestive tract.

Natural Remedies

IBS natural treatment options appeal to many people who suffer from the disorder. For example, increasing fiber intake by eating foods such as oat bran, green leafy vegetables, bananas and pears may quell symptoms in certain individuals. Peppermint, whether taken as a supplement or in the form of tea, has a soothing effect on the intestinal tract and also helps to regulate peristalsis. Flaxseed and fennel seeds are also frequently used as natural remedies for irritable bowel syndrome. Patients are encouraged to drink approximately eight glasses of water on a daily basis as well, as dehydration can lead to constipation and set off a variety of IBS symptoms.

Fortunately, most individuals can find at least some level of relief from medication, dietary changes, IBS natural treatment options or a combination of all these approaches. Anyone suffering from this disorder should seek help from a medical professional to find the most appropriate treatment option.