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Irritable bowel syndrome

If you have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you will know how difficult it is to treat. Doctors can be dismissive of IBS symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation and bloating, and when treatment is offered it may only help for a short while before the distressing symptoms return.


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For female sufferers however, findings have suggested that many have worsened symptoms during their menstrual period. These are basically the commonly observed "supposed causes" of internal bowel movements. The scientific and the medical communities are continually working on resolving the causes so as to create feasible treatment options that would help ease out the condition.

It is also important to understand that there are likely to be foods that can further irritate your gastrointestinal (GI) tract and bring on IBS symptoms.

In addition, it is found that irritable bowel syndrome heightens once susceptibility over anxiety and stress which in return aggravate the condition. Similarly, many symptoms of IBS cause depression and anxiety.

Fiber, water and yoga Pam, who struggles with constipation, has developed a combination of things which work for her: 'I drink Metamucil (psyllium fibre) every day and try to relax, pray or meditate, even do a little yoga. The more I make myself relax and take time to de-stress the better I can manage my problem. I know time for yourself is very hard to come by sometimes but I have to if I'm going to manage this. I try to drink at least three bottles of water a day. This is also hard sometimes but I have to take care of me the best I can. I also take a mild anti-depressant. This has helped a bunch in my stress department and in turn has helped my IBS.'

Calcium tablets Linda, who suffers from severe diarrhea, says: 'What has helped me for more than two years is calcium carbonate, an over-the-counter supplement. I take three tablets a day, one at each meal. The most success has come from using any formula of calcium supplement that is like Caltrate 600 Plus with vitamin D and minerals. The only side effect is at the beginning of taking the calcium you may have some gas or indigestion, but this usually goes away after taking a regular dose for a few days.'

The third and final medication that may be prescribed is a muscle relaxant. These are usually prescribed instead of the first two because antispasmodics and antidepressants can cause dehydration, which may only lead to more problems with constipation.

It is likely they have already taken numerous over-the-counter remedies for several years before being formally diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

The second medication you may be prescribed is an antidepressant, which will help you to relax and thus potentially reduce some of the IBS triggers.

There are now many hundreds of hypnotherapists who offer what is called 'gut-directed hypnotherapy' for IBS, which takes the general techniques of hypnotherapy and applies them directly to the abdominal pain and digestive symptoms which IBS sufferers struggle with. This type of hypnotherapy has been clinically tested and found to be very helpful to many IBS patients.

One of these lifestyle changes includes reducing stress either through counseling or other methods. You should also make sure that you exercise regularly, one of the best methods for promoting good digestion and effective bowel function is simply walking.

All the self-help tips in this article have come from IBS sufferers who have found a way to control their irritable bowels. Before trying any form of self-help, please make sure that you have your doctor's approval, and do check that anything you try will not interfere with any medication you are taking.

While there is a common pattern for most patients, still the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome vary from patients to patients. Some may experience single symptoms, say constipation. Many people though report of having cramping or straining without any or minimal release of stool. These people experience mucus release along with their bowel too. Mucus is a fluid-form lubricant that helps moisten the digestive passages for easier release of digested materials.

Some hypnotherapists will record each session for you so that you can listen to them again between your appointments, and therefore increase the effectiveness of the therapy.

The IBS Audio Program, developed by the UK hypnotherapist Michael Mahoney, is the most widely used program for IBS sufferers, and is available on audio CD and cassette. The program is designed to be used over 100 days, and includes four CDs and a program booklet. The makers claim that around 80% of listeners experience a significant reduction of pain and bowel dysfunction.

Hypnotherapy is one of the best known and most widely used treatments for IBS, and can offer sufferers a drug-free solution to their symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain and bloating.

You will also need to maintain proper hydration and nutrition. This means that you will need to drink at least 64 ounces of water each day, which will help minimize your bouts with constipation.

Looking at your diet Laura describes how a close examination of her diet helped her IBS: 'I was placed on every kind of medication, and sometimes they worked in the short term, sometimes they didn't work at all. The doctor finally suggested trying to alter my diet in cycles, and we discovered that eating meat was my problem. I became a vegetarian and no longer have constant problems. Sometimes I even go years without any pain at all. It's worth all the effort you put into it when you finally feel better.'

Flaxseed Watching your diet is sometimes not enough to completely control the symptoms, and natural or herbal supplements can help, as Marion discovered: 'After about six months of a horrendously restrictive diet (ultra low-fat vegan with no raw veggies or fruit except banana) and a lot of Metamucil, I managed to get it sort of under control. But if I deviated from the diet, the chronic diarrhea would come back. Someone I met told me that she had helped her IBS by taking a tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseed with a glass of water or juice every morning. I thought it was another crackpot cure, but eventually I decided to try it. She had told me that pre-ground flaxseed didn't work because flax seed starts to oxidize as soon as you grind it and that whole flax seeds are no good either, because they cannot be digested properly. After years of IBS, in about two weeks it just went away. I cannot believe that I now have perfectly normal, regular bowel movements.'

This diary system has helped thousands of IBS sufferers pinpoint the foods that leads to symptoms like constipation. There are some common foods that IBS sufferers seem to be more sensitive to, these tend to be diary products, chocolate, soda and carbonated drinks, caffeinated drinks including coffee, and foods high in fat, like french fries. So it is really worth keeping a close track on these foods when consumed to see if they are the ones causing IBS symptoms in you.

Stress and IBS Daniel believes that his symptoms are related to his emotions and stress: 'I thought that when I was stuck on the toilet, experiencing the most severe cramps, thinking I was about to pass out from the pain, feeling like I was about to throw up, I was the only one. I'm still trying to work it out but I believe it has a lot to do with my psychological state. I say this because although I don't get too stressed out at any one moment, I do have general worries about money and life. I tend to find when I'm not worrying about these things I don't get the pain as much, if at all. It's easier said than done of course, I can't just stop worrying about money or my future, but being aware of these things seems to help - being optimistic and knowing that everything is only temporary. I have been taking Colpermin (peppermint capsules) as a preventative which often helps and for a while I took painkillers which I think helped.'

Mina also found that dietary change helped control her symptoms, alongside traditional medication: 'I've made a number of changes to my diet. I've eliminated milk and mostly any dairy, fried foods, sugar for the most part, pop, alcohol, potato chips, spicy food, rice, pasta and bread. Most recently I'm eliminating flour. But my best friend for the last couple of years has been Imodium Quick Dissolve tablets. I don't ever leave home without them. I just have to make sure I don't overdo it. If I ever become immune to the wonder drug I am gonna be a real mess!'

IBS is frequently linked with bacterial infection found in the gastrointestinal tract. Researchers observed that people who have developed gastroenteritis have greater likelihood of also developing IBS.

Self-hypnosis If you don't have the time or the resources to visit a qualified hypnotherapist, you might find some relief in one of the self-hypnosis CDs available, which can be listened to in the comfort of your own home.

Soluble versus insoluble fiber Some nutritionists believe that IBS sufferers' intestines react differently to soluble and insoluble fiber, and this has been Stu's experience: 'After trying all kinds of drugs and healthy eating, my pains were still there. I found by accident that it wasn't so much what I ate but whether I ate it on a full stomach or not. My failsafe is pasta on an empty stomach, I get no reaction - it is soluble fibre that settles the colon apparently. I quickly searched on the internet for recipes high in soluble fibre and I have improved. Most significantly though I am on no medication and this puts me in control of the IBS, not the other way around. I think this is important as stress certainly can trigger the symptoms off. I don't avoid insoluble fibre as it is essential for the body, but I recommend that you eat it on a full stomach.'

 
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Sufferers often find that they have to deal with the symptoms themselves, through self-help methods and supplements, rather than by using conventional medicines. However, this does not mean that there is no hope of improvement. By sharing their experiences, sufferers can learn a lot about what really helps to ease IBS.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that is relatively prevalent among people aged 20 years and above. It is one of the most commonly diagnosed syndromes yet one of the issues that people tend not to talk about.

If you suffer from constipation rather than diarrhea, you could try magnesium supplements instead, as these can have a slight laxative effect. Digestive enzymes and probiotics

Some patients, on the other hand, undergo diarrhea, which is characterized with frequent release of uncontrollable watery stools. But some endure alternate constipation and diarrhea.

There are natural alternatives to these medications, which you can find out about by signing up to our free newsletter below. Please ensure that you consult your doctor, nutritionist or dietician if you are going to make considerable changes to your diet, as although the changes may be beneficial in the long run, changing your diet too quickly can actually bring on IBS symptoms.

When a person suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome they will more than likely find themselves caught in 1 of 2 extreme situations: loose bowels or constipation.

Others argue that this is largely affected by the efficiency of the immune system. Persons with this condition are known to have irregular motility or movement of the large colon. This is termed to as spasmodic but other patients display temporary cessation of intestinal movement.





About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for 14 years. She runs the IBS Tales
website at http://www.ibstales.com where you can read hundreds
of stories and tips from IBS sufferers.

While you will not get an individual treatment program from a ready-made CD, you will be able to benefit from the general hypnosis approach, and you can choose to listen to the CDs whenever you have the time.

The most common treatments for constipation with Irritable Bowel Syndrome are fiber supplements and taking a laxative, but do these options offer the best approach?

Kim, who also suffers from bad diarrhea, says: 'I tried taking digestive enzymes with acidophilus and found significant relief within three days. I am not afraid to eat now, but find that I still cannot eat very much refined sugar or high fibre vegetables. I have also added a cup or two per day of peppermint and chamomile tea. When I do have an episode it occurs late in the day and by the next morning I am feeling back to normal.'

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by frequent cramping of the stomach, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation. These cause a great deal of distress and discomfort but will never lead to more aggravated condition since it does not cause permanent harm on the sufferer.

A much better approach that can get to the cause of IBS misery is to make changes to your diet, lifestyle and exercise patterns. Many people have seen improvements to their IBS symptoms by making lifestyle changes. In fact there are a number of studies that suggest it is the lifestyle of the person that can often be the original cause for the condition in the first place.

A final word Lastly, please do make sure that you have been officially diagnosed with IBS and had your symptoms fully investigated before trying any self-help methods. As Joe found out, bowel symptoms can be due something other than IBS: 'I was diagnosed with IBS, but I went to get a second opinion. They did an ultrasound followed by a barium follow-through which showed major inflammation and blockage of my small intestine. The final diagnosis is Crohn's disease. It's a pity they didn't catch it before I was seriously ill, instead of fobbing me off with excuses of 'It's IBS, there's no cure so live with it!''

The ceasing of symptoms does not imply the stoppage of the syndrome all together though. Many people find it more difficult to deal with irritable bowel syndrome after a few months of subsided syndromes.

What hypnotherapy involves Hypnotherapy in a medical setting bears no relation to the kind of stage hypnosis where volunteers are made to do ridiculous things in the name of entertainment. In fact, patients remain entirely in control of their own actions, and are simply coaxed into a kind of deep relaxation state.

The program consists of three therapeutic session CDs, with an introduction and five different hypnotherapy sessions. It also includes a bonus fourth CD (the IBS Companion), which explains IBS to non-sufferers.

However, over the counter treatments are usually not effective in clearing up the problem, as they tend to treat the symptoms of IBS, rather than the cause of the condition.

Other patients projected links with irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease, which is the inability of a person to digest gluten. Gluten is the substance found in wheat, barley, eye and flour that basically help in the coagulation of the bread. Patients of celiac disease have immune systems that respond to gluten by damaging the small intestine. The presence of celiac disease along with IBS can be checked through blood tests.

While the patients is in this state the therapist will talk to you and make positive suggestions ' one typical method for IBS is to ask you to place your hand over your abdomen and imagine that a healing warmth is flowing from your hand to your stomach.

There are also 3 different medications that your doctor may prescribe. The first is an antispasmodic, which will reduce colon spasms and pain. These spasms can also upset the balance of your digestive tract and lead to additional health issues.

About the author:
Sophie Lee has suffered from IBS for more than 15 years. She
runs the website Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment
http://www.irritable-bowel-syndrome.ws where you can read
reviews of all the treatments available for IBS.

Researchers are working to develop combination medications that will treat constipation with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However, they have not been able to determine what causes this disorder yet. Until they figure this out, doctors can only treat you for the symptoms that you have.

One of the first studies of hypnotherapy for IBS was conducted by Dr Peter Whorwell, a leading expert on IBS and hypnotherapy in the UK. A trial he conducted in the 1980s found that a group of IBS sufferers who had failed to respond to other treatments showed dramatic improvements when treated with gut-directed hypnotherapy. Since then, other therapists have shown similar results.

In order to figure out what foods you are going to need to avoid try maintaining a food diary. It is a useful way to keep track of the food you eat, the quantity, what time the food was eaten and if there where any symptoms that followed.

While many cases of this syndrome are regularly reported worldwide, there are still no known causes that would determine the proper treatments. Many researchers agree that this may have a relation on the colon or the large bowel that is especially reactive to specific stresses and food elements.

Nevertheless, people have already practiced a number of things to help provide temporary treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. Many of which entail the avoidance towards foods that normally cause the symptoms to reappear. Many activities are also suggested to be avoided to limit the appearance of the symptoms. Such include large meals, caffeine from teas, colas and chocolates and abstention from alcohol and wheat-based products. Dr. Joseph K. Egbebike is an expert in Healthcare Affiliate Marketing. For additional information about Natural Irritable Bowel Syndrome Relief, go to Natural Irritable Bowel Syndrome Remedy


 
 
     
 
 





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