Does your IBS ruin Your Day?
Did you know that April is International Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder in which abdominal discomfort or pain is associated with a range of symptoms. IBS effects about one in five Australians at some time (women more commonly than men). The cause of IBS is currently unknown but environmental factors such as changes in routine, emotional stress, infection and diet can trigger an attack. Serotonin (a neurotransmitter) may be another factor.
Common signs and symptoms of IBS include:
- abdominal pain or cramping that is often relieved by passing wind or faeces
- alternating diarrhoea and constipation
- a sensation that the bowels are not fully emptied after passing a motion
- abdominal bloating
- mucus present in the stools
Always remember that these symptoms may be related to other diseases, so it is important to consult your health care professional if these symptoms are new for you.
If You regularly experience any of these symptoms, book an appointment with our naturopath to help ease Your discomfort!
Trickily, there is no one treatment for sufferers of IBS. The best plan is to figure out your own personal triggers and avoid them as much as possible.
Treatment options may include:
- a modest increase in dietary fibre, together with plenty of clear fluids
- reducing or eliminating common gas-producing foods, such as beans and cabbage
- reducing or eliminating dairy foods, if lactose intolerance is a trigger
- antidiarrhoea medication, such as imodium or lomotil – these can be an essential part of management in those with diarrhoea-predominant IBS
- pain-relieving medication – opiates such as codeine can provide effective pain relief. One of their most common side effects, constipation, may also relieve the diarrhoea of diarrhoea-predominant IBS
- treatments to treat constipation
- antispasmodic drugs, which may ease cramping – examples include mebeverine, belladonna, hyoscine and peppermint oil capsules
- tricyclic antidepressants – these can be effective in treating the pain of IBS, but are best prescribed for a trial period with monitoring of symptoms. Use of these medications does not mean that IBS is caused by depression
- stress management, if stress seems to be triggering the attacks
- establishing eating routines and avoiding sudden changes of routine.
- Consult our naturopaths for help establishing dietary triggers and for herbal remedies to assist with your symptom management.
Naturopathy considers the Digestive System the corner-stone to Good Health! If your gut is not healthy, it is much harder for you to be healthy!