Having irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can take a toll on your life. You can have constant pain and pressure in your stomach that can make doing actives with loved ones nearly impossible. You can also experience the symptoms of constipation or diarrhea, depending on what type of IBS that you have. Getting treatment from a doctor is the best way to live your life to the fullest with IBS. Treatment for irritable bowel syndrome focuses on relieving the symptoms that people feel from the condition. This is because the exact cause of IBS is not known, and there is no known cure. Treatment will depend on the type of IBS you have along with the severity of your symptoms. You should never try to treat IBS yourself. Alternating between medicines can actually make the symptoms worse over time and your doctor will know how to treat your unique symptoms without causing them to become worse.
Your doctor will prescribe you medications if you have moderate to severe symptoms of IBS. It is important to take only the dosage that they give you and do not take any medications for your symptoms without consulting your doctor first. One common medication that doctors will prescribe if you have IBS with constipation is a fiber supplement. These supplements will help control the constipation and will not cause as much bloating as fiber rich foods do. There are also medications for people with IBS with diarrhea. The anti-diarrhea medications like Imodium can help control diarrhea. This can lessen the chance for an accident caused by IBS with diarrhea.
Many doctors will prescribe a low dose antidepressant to their IBS patients. This does not mean that you are depressed. These low doses of antidepressants can block signals of pain to the brain that are caused by the gastrointestinal nervous system. Doctors will usually recommend antidepressants like Tofranil and Pamelor. Some of the newer antidepressants like Paxil and Prozac can cause diarrhea. Be cautious of those if you have IBS. Many people do become depressed because of their condition. This is because IBS can be embarrassing and take a toll on a person’s quality of life. This is another reason for the antidepressants.
Other types of medication that are used in the treatment of IBS are called anticholinergic and antispasmodic medications. These medications are used to help relieve the pain from bowel spasms. They can also be used for people who have bouts of diarrhea. Some common medications are called Levsin and Bentyl. These may worsen constipation, so be careful with these medications if you have IBS with constipation.
One of the most common triggers for IBS symptoms is stress. It is important to manage your stress if you have IBS so you do not exacerbate these symptoms. You should talk to your doctor about behavioral therapy if that is a stress management route that you want to take. You can also reduce stress on your own by exercising, getting enough sleep, and having a balanced diet. You should also try spending a majority of your time doing activities that you and enjoy and that keep you relaxed.
Diet is essential when treating IBS. You can try eliminating high-gas foods and gluten from your diet. Some items to cut out include: carbonates beverages, wheat, rye, broccoli, raw fruits and fructose. Some vegetables like the ones listed above are high-gas foods. They also do provide essential nutrients. Talk to your doctor about getting proper nutrition if you have to cut out foods that usually provide the nutrients for you.
Living with IBS can be difficult and talking with your doctor about the symptoms that are occurring can be embarrassing. Even though it is difficult, there are many treatment options that are available that can help you live a normal life with IBS. Make sure to get medical help when symptoms start so your doctor can provide the right treatment regime for you.