Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

Many people suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.  This disorder may cause abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, diarrhea or constipation.  Sufferers may also notice mucous in the stool or a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bowels. 

People with irritable bowel syndrome never know when they wake up in the morning whether it is going to be a good day or a bad day.  A bad day is referred to as a flare or an outbreak and can be very distressing.  Flares may be triggered by the food you eat, hormone changes or imbalances, increased stress levels, and antibiotic treatment. 

A diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome is made by your medical professional based on information related to you and on tests.  Tests for irritable bowel syndrome may include a colonoscopy or a stool analysis to rule out other conditions of the bowel that may be causing your symptoms. 

What you eat and drink can affect your irritable bowel syndrome.  Knowing what triggers a problem and avoiding it can help lessen the number of days you encounter flares. 

When you have irritable bowel syndrome you want to avoid some foods that stimulate your intestines into action.  Foods that cause excess gas and bloating include cabbage, baked beans, broccoli and cauliflower.  You want to avoid a problem with excess gas so limit or avoid these foods. 

If your irritable bowel syndrome is caused by an intolerance to some food or to an allergy, it is best to avoid the foods or drinks or whatever triggers your allergic reaction. 

If you are lactose intolerant, try changing to soy or rice milk which will have as many benefits as dairy milk but will not trigger the irritable bowel problems associated with lactose. 

If your irritable bowel problem is diarrhea steer clear of caffeinated beverages and alcohol.  These products have a drying effect and can increase your chances of becoming dehydrated.  Be sure to drink the recommended amount of water each day. 

Drinking carbonated beverages like sparkling water and soft drinks may cause an uncomfortable bloated feeling so its best to steer clear from them. 

Eating several small meals throughout the day may lessen the impact of the food on your digestive tract. 

Stress can also trigger a flare.  When you can eliminate as much stress as possible from your life you can cut back on the number of outbreaks and improve your overall health.  Its been proven that too much stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure as well.  When you find ways to cut down on some of your stress you will not only alleviate your irritable bowel symptoms, you will improve our overall health 

Some people with irritable bowel syndrome has found relief by using hot baths or heating pads to relieve some of the cramping that comes with an outbreak.  Yoga and meditation can help you relax and some people have found relief from their IBS symptoms. 

If your symptoms include diarrhea you may get some relief from over the counter anti diarrheal medicines.  If you suffer from constipation you’ll need laxatives to help provide some relief.  These over the counter remedies may work for the short term, but if your problems continue you need to seek medical attention.  Your health professional can diagnose you and prescribe medications that can help bring some relief from your irritable bowel syndrome.  It may take some time before the right combination of treatment is reached to successfully treat your IBS problem and give you relief.