Struggling with IBS Symptoms


Q: I have IBS, and I and trying to find some relief from the symptoms that flared up from the end of last month. For the first time since I was diagnosed with IBS at the age of 20, I have been suffering from constipation and bad colon cramps, and IBS capsules haven't helped. The only relief I have found so far is heat, walking around until I pass wind, and trying to have a bowel movement. Do you have any advice? Thanks


A:   Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects your large intestine and causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea or constipation. Most people with IBS find that symptoms improve as they learn to control their condition. Since medication in not helping, you should identify the kinds of food that usually triggers it and avoid these. Coffee is a common culprit. Stress can sometimes aggravate symptoms of IBS so try keeping it at a minimum and do some stress-releasing exercises (e.g. yoga). A high fiber diet is helpful in IBS; eat more of green leafy vegetables. If these measures and the medications you are taking would still not work, then you may have a severe case of IBS. Antidepressants (SSRIs) are effective in some patients but its efficacy still needs further validation. Hypnotherapy and psychotherapy are other options. You can ask your doctor about these and you can both decide which one is best for you.  I do hope I have appeased your concern and take care always.

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