04 April, 2017
April Is IBS Awareness Month
Irritable Bowel Syndrome currently affects one in ten people and without a known cure, the management of IBS can be difficult.
There is not one single approach to treating symptoms but individuals can manage the condition and improve symptoms to feel better. Whether mild, moderate, or severe, all IBS treatment should begin with education about the nature of the disorder. If you have signs of IBS, get an accurate diagnosis, work with your doctor, and be proactive in your own health maintenance.
IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, is a long-term disorder in which abdominal pain or discomfort is associated with a change in bowel habit (diarrhea, constipation, or alternating episodes of both). Other symptoms may also be present.
Many people remain undiagnosed and unaware that their symptoms indicate a medically recognized disorder.
Managing the condition using complimentary treatments
Whether you choose Peppermint oil, digestive enzymes or probiotics it is important to log your symptoms to see how your condition is affected.
Peppermint oil has been studied for use in both IBS and functional dyspepsia in capsule form. It is thought to act by decreasing muscle spasm in the gastrointestinal tract. Several small trials have shown that it is better than placebo in improving abdominal discomfort, bloating, or overall symptoms.
Ginger is another common food product often used for gastrointestinal symptoms. Studies in IBS or dyspepsia have not been performed, but practitioners, as well as many home remedies, often employ ginger. Ginger extract is thought to be anti-inflammatory, to strengthen the gastric lining, and to stimulate motility of the intestines. It has been shown to decrease nausea in several trials.
Probiotics are substances or organisms that contribute to the balance of bacteria in the intestines. Probiotics are readily available in health food stores, and usually contain beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus or bifidobacterium. The best evidence relates to a particular organism, Bifidobacterium infantis 35624. Studies have shown this strain to be superior to placebo in relieving the main symptoms of the irritable bowel syndrome (abdominal pain/discomfort, distension/bloating and difficult defecation).
There is some evidence that certain probiotics may help improve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. Probiotics can regulate bowel function including motility, sensation, and immune function. They come in many different forms, such as liquid or pills, and can be single or in combination. In some people, changing the kind of gut bacteria with probiotics may make symptoms of IBS better.