Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Research Digestive Disorders

Foods that commonly trigger IBS symptoms include: Dairy products Vegetables, like beans or broccoli, that cause gas Foods containing the sweeteners sorbitol and fructose Wheat cereals Alcohol Before changing your diet, take note over the course of several days which foods seem to cause problems. You may want to consult a dietitian to help you adhere to healthful eating strategies, such as: Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day, especially if you have diarrhea. Drinking carbonated beverages can increase discomfort from gas. Eating more fiber. Dietary fiber often helps reduce IBS symptoms in both patients who have constipation as well as those who have diarrhea. Whole-grain breads and cereals, fruits, and vegetables are good fiber sources. Starting a high-fiber diet may cause gas and bloating for a few weeks. Fiber supplements such as bran, psyllium derivatives, or polycarbophil (20 to 30 grams/day) may help relieve constipation and may also reduce diarrhea. Eating smaller meals more often or eating smaller portions. Large meals can cause cramping and diarrhea. Consuming probiotics, such as yogurt or acidophilus supplements. Some patients find they help reduce symptoms. Research suggests that adding “good” bacteria may help return the balance of the microflora in the bowel to normal or prevent disease-causing bacteria from attaching to the bowel wall. Alternative therapies Some people with irritable bowel syndrome have found help through alternative therapies: Herbs, including chamomile, ginger, and mint, have been found to be helpful in alleviating gastrointestinal pain. One particular Chinese remedy, Changjitai, reduced diarrhea symptoms in a small clinical trial with 45 patients.

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

My parents thought my cramps, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea were normal because they had similar symptoms. So I thought it was normal, too. As I grew up, I pretty much just coped with it. It was inconvenient, but I did my best. But three years ago, when I was 27, after having some minor surgery done, I had the worst symptoms… Read the Living with IBS: One Young Woman’s Story article > > IBS is not a life-threatening condition and it does not make a person more likely to develop other colon conditions, such as ulcerative colitis , Crohn’s disease , or colon cancer , or any diseases of the heart or nerves. Yet IBS can be a chronic problem that can significantly impair quality of life in those that have it. For example, people with IBS miss work three times more than people without IBS and the condition is associated with absenteeism from school, decreased participation in activities of daily living, alterations of one’s work setting (shifting to working at home, changing hours), or giving up work altogether. What Are the Symptoms of IBS? Among the symptoms associated with IBS are: Diarrhea (often described as violent episodes of diarrhea). Constipation. Constipation alternating with diarrhea. Abdominal pains or cramps, usually in the lower half of the abdomen that are aggravated by meals and relieved by having a bowel movement. Often the person has more frequent bowel movements when they have pain and the stools are looser. Excess gas or bloating.

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