Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. Signs and symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. IBS is a chronic condition that you’ll need to manage long term.
Only a small number of people with IBS have severe signs and symptoms. Some people can control their symptoms by managing diet, lifestyle and stress. More-severe symptoms can be treated with medication and counseling.
IBS doesn’t cause changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer.
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Many people have occasional signs and symptoms of IBS. But you’re more likely to have the syndrome if you:
- Are young
- Have a mental health problem
- Have a family history of IBS
- Are female
- Inflammation in the intestines
- Nervous system
- Severe infection
- Muscle contractions in the intestine
The signs and symptoms of IBS vary. The most common include:
- Abdominal pain, cramping or bloating that is typically relieved or partially relieved by passing a bowel movement
- Excess gas
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Mucus in the stool
NATURAL REMEDY FOR IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS)
1. Eat at regular times:
Don’t skip meals, and try to eat about the same time each day to help regulate bowel function. If you have diarrhea, you may find that eating small, frequent meals makes you feel better.
But if you’re constipated, eating larger amounts of high-fiber foods may help move food through your intestines.
2. Take care with dairy products:
If you’re lactose intolerant, try substituting yogurt for milk. Or use an enzyme product to help break down lactose. Consuming small amounts of milk products or combining them with other foods also may help.
In some cases, though, you may need to stop eating dairy foods completely. If so, be sure to get enough protein, calcium and B vitamins from other sources.
3. Avoid problem foods:
If certain foods make your signs and symptoms worse, don’t eat them. These may include alcohol, chocolate, caffeinated beverages such as coffee and sodas, medications that contain caffeine, dairy products, and sugar-free sweeteners such as sorbitol or mannitol.If gas is a problem for you, foods that might make symptoms worse include beans, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli.
Fatty foods also may be a problem for some people. Chewing gum or drinking through a straw can lead to swallowing air, causing more gas.
4. Drink plenty of liquids:
Try to drink plenty of fluids every day. Water is best. Alcohol and beverages that contain caffeine stimulate your intestines and can make diarrhea worse, and carbonated drinks can produce gas.
5. Exercise regularly:
Exercise helps relieve depression and stress, stimulates normal contractions of your intestines, and can help you feel better about yourself. If you’ve been inactive, start slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you exercise. If you have other medical problems, check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
6. Use anti-diarrheal medications and laxatives with caution:
If you try over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications, such as Imodium or Kaopectate, use the lowest dose that helps.
Imodium may be helpful if taken 20 to 30 minutes before eating, especially if you know that the food planned for your meal is likely to cause diarrhea.In the long run, these medications can cause problems if you don’t use them correctly. The same is true of laxatives.
If you have any questions about them, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
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