Tags: Digestive Problems | ibs | irritable | bowel | treatments

How Should I Treat My IBS?

By    |   Thursday, 26 February 2015 11:00 AM

Question: What do you suggest I take for IBS and diarrhea?

Dr. Hibberd's answer: 
IBS is the common abbreviation for irritable bowel syndrome. This tends to be a catch all diagnosis for bowel symptoms (such as abdominal cramps, gas and bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or both). It is usually diagnosed after an assessment has ruled out such causes as infection, cancer, kidney stones, diverticulitis, ulcer disease, pancreatitis, inflammation (such as enteritis or colitis or Crohn’s disease), drug reactions, or other causes.

Many patients with symptoms of IBS require only a simple evaluation by their physician, and if they are determined to be at low risk for co-existing conditions, they may be prescribed treatments for symptoms. While there is no cure for IBS, it often goes away on its own. Fortunately many patients with IBS-like symptoms after an infection or a stressful event have a variety that is short-lived, and usually require little if any long-term therapy.

Such cases most often involve people who are under 50 years of age, have no family history of colitis, no blood in the stool, have not experienced sudden weight loss, and have not signs of infection, fever, vomiting, or inflammation. Treatment of symptoms often includes the following strategies:
  • Eliminate foods known to cause symptoms. Try cutting back on simple carbohydrates and sugars (such as glucose, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, lactose) and reduce your intake of polysaccharides (starch and breads). Some patients can’t tolerate certain foods, such as tomatoes (or perhaps the pesticide residues that remain on the skin), spices, food colorings, and additives. Eliminating them from the diet can solve the problem.
  • Go for organic vegetables and foods free of artificial additives, hormones, pesticides and growth stimulants. Remember to consider these in milk and eggs. Yogurt contains active cultures that may be useful to repopulate a colon that has been recently stressed with antibiotic use or infection.
  • Add fiber to your diet. Doing so normalizes bowel movements, and can ease cramps and bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Aim for a fiber intake of at least 20 grams per day with 40 grams being an optimal target to try to attain. Soluble fiber is best as this will also lower your cholesterol, while insoluble fiber will help normalize bowel movements but does not reduce cholesterol. Most fruits and many vegetables are rich in fiber, so enrich your diet with fibrous food before reaching for fiber supplements.
  • Consider medication. In some cases your doctor may advise you use to oral medications to help with your IBS. Prescription medications include antispasmodics, laxatives, certain antidepressants and combination agents.
Be careful with drugs not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Some online pharmacies distribute unregulated drugs as well as drugs that are not manufactured under FDA oversight that may have significant dose and/or purity problems, including contamination with other chemicals or drugs 

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IBS is the common abbreviation for irritable bowel syndrome and can be treated in a variety of ways.
ibs, irritable, bowel, treatments
Thursday, 26 February 2015 11:00 AM
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