Is There a Cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
There isn’t really any cure for irritable bowel syndrome.
In most of the cases, making simple changes in your lifestyle and diet can alleviate you from irritable bowel syndrome. However, you must know that your body will not immediately respond to those changes. Your goal must be to find long-term solutions, not temporary.
- Experiment with fiber. If you are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, fiber can be of a little help. It does help in reducing constipation but it has the ability to make the cramping and gas worse. The best approach to this is slowly increasing the amount of fiber in your diet over a period of time. Fiber-containing foods include beans, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. If your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms do not seem to improve or get worse, immediately call your doctor. You should also talk to your dietitian. Some make better changes by limiting the dietary fiber; they instead take fiber supplement which does not cause much bloating and inflammation. If you want to take fiber supplement go for Citrucel or Metamucil. But ensure that you drink plenty of water and intake the medicine slowly to lessen the gas, constipation and bloating. If you notice that fiber intake is helping eliminate your irritable bowel syndrome, use it regularly for best results.
- Avoid problem foods. If certain foods are making your irritable bowel syndrome trouble worse, stop eating them. These foods could be sugar-free sweeteners like mannitol or sorbitol, dairy products, caffeinated medicines, caffeinated beverages like sodas and coffee, chocolates and alcohol. Foods that cause gas include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and beans; avoid these foods for unnecessary acidity. Some people also have irritable bowel syndrome because of fatty foods. Some other reasons of gas could be chewing gum or drinking any liquid using a straw which leads to swallowing air.
- Eat regularly and avoid skipping meals. For regulating bowel functioning, try eating at the same time every day. If you are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome diarrhea, eating small and frequent meals would make you feel better. But if you have constipation, eating more quantity of high-fiber food would help in moving food through intestines.
- Be careful with dairy products if you have irritable bowel syndrome. If you are lactose intolerant, instead of milk, eat yogurt. You can also use enzyme products which will help you break down the lactose. If you consume small amounts of milk products or combine these products with other foods, it will help you with your lactose intolerance. Although, in some cases, it becomes necessary to stop consuming dairy products completely. And if you do so, ensure that you get enough Vitamin B, calcium and protein from other sources.
- Intake a lot of liquids. Ensure that you drink a lot of liquids every day. Water works the best. Beverages containing caffeine and alcohol stimulate intestines and worsen irritable bowel syndrome diarrhea while carbonated beverages can produce gas. Avoid drinking such liquids; fruit and vegetable juices would be beneficial though.
- Exercising regularly helps in relieving stress and depression as well as stimulates normal contractions of the intestine in irritable bowel syndrome. This would help you feel better about yourself. If you have been inactive for a long time, gradually start exercising and then slowly increase the amount of exercise that you have been doing. If you are suffering from any other medical problem, consult your doctor before any workout session.
- Take caution while using anti-diarrheal laxatives and medications when you have irritable bowel syndrome. If you consume anti-diarrheal medications like Kaopectate or Imodium, use the lowest dose. These medicines would be helpful if you take 20-30 minutes before eating. In long run, these medications can cause trouble if you consume them incorrectly. Even in the case of laxatives, you have to keep in mind to intake it correctly. If you have any queries about using the same, check with your pharmacist or your doctor.
- Mayo Clinic – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360016
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) – Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/treatment
- International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) – Diet, Eating, & IBS: https://www.aboutibs.org/ibs-diet.html
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