WHAT IS IBS & WHAT CAN YOU DO TO TREAT IT?
IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition that requires long-term management. If you feel you might have IBS, you need to know what it is and how it is treated. Of course, you should visit a doctor to have this diagnosed.
What Exactly Is It?
IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder affecting the large intestine. IBS is believed to affect 1 in 5 people at some point. Most people will first develop this condition when they are between 20 and 30 years of age. Women are also twice as likely to suffer from IBS than men.
IBS is not a specific condition, but a range of intestinal symptoms that occur together. The symptoms felt with OBS will vary depending on the person with some people having more severe symptoms. The duration of these symptoms will also vary, but generally last around 3 months for 3 days per month.
IBS can cause intestinal damage in severe cases, but this is not common. The symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, cramping, constipation, bloating, diarrhoea, and gas. It is not uncommon for people suffering from this condition to have episodes of both diarrhoea and constipation. Bloating and gas symptoms will generally be alleviated by bowel movements.
The Treatment Of IBS
As the cause of IBS is unknown, the treatments will focus on relieving the symptoms you feel to ensure you can live as normally as possible. The treatment will be a long-term plan including changes to your diet. In certain cases, your doctor may prescribe mediation to help.
If you have mild symptoms with IBS, they can generally be controlled through stress management and diet or lifestyle changes. If you have more severe symptoms, your doctor may prescribe medication. Not many people will need medication and changes to lifestyle will work for most IBS cases.
AS IBS affects the intestine, changes to your diet will be where you should start. Many people have foods that trigger their IBS. If you are one of these people, you will need to avoid these foods. When you do, you will notice a reduction in IBS flareups.
You should also increase the high-fibre foods in your diet. This is something that you need to be careful with as more fibre helps with constipation, but it can worsen cramping. If you are going to increase your fibre intake, you will need to do this over several weeks. Natural fibre from fruits and vegetables are the best option instead of a supplement.
Other than trigger foods, there are other foods that you should reduce in your diet such as high-gas foods. This is particularly important if you suffer from bloating and gas with your IBS. Foods such as cabbage, cauliflower, and beverages such as soda and caffeine will need to be reduced.
Research has also found that gluten can cause problems for some IBS sufferers. This research found that people who reduced their gluten intake felt improvements in diarrhoea symptoms. The gluten you might want to reduce includes rye, wheat and barley.
While you need to be careful with what you eat, you also need to ensure you are getting enough fluids. When you feel the symptoms of IBS, you will need to check if you are drinking enough water. Increasing your water intake can help alleviate many of the symptoms of IBS.
IBS is a very common condition, but the cause of this is unknown. As this is the case, you will need to treat the symptoms instead of the condition. It is recommended that you talk to a doctor about the steps to take as you might need medication if the symptoms are severe.