There are many things you can do to manage IBS symptoms. Heat, tea, relaxation, keeping track of symptoms, and eating a low-FODMAP diet can all help. Importantly, working with a healthcare provider is the best way to develop a treatment plan that incorporates lifestyle changes, stress reduction, and medication.
The most common approaches are dietary changes — eliminating or reducing problem foods — and stress management techniques, such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Certain supplements and over-the-counter and prescription medications also can help.
Alosetron (Lotronex) or Lubiprostone (Amitiza) are two common IBS medications. Antispasmodics: These are designed to relax the smooth muscles of the colon to ease cramping and spasms. Two such medications are hyoscine (Levsin) and dicyclomine (Bentyl).
Include plenty of probiotic-rich foods like kimchi, kombucha, miso, or sauerkraut. Sometimes, you can also eat yogurt if you are not allergic to dairy. Try unsweetened sheep or goat yogurt. These are all foods that help your gut flora get and stay healthy.
Water intake might be associated with improvement of IBS through affecting GI function. Water intake might improve constipation among IBS-C patients. In addition, drinking water is a common suggestion for IBS-D patients to prevent diarrhea-induced dehydration.
But many people have worse IBS symptoms when they eat or drink certain foods or beverages. These include wheat, dairy products, citrus fruits, beans, cabbage, milk and carbonated drinks. Stress. Most people with IBS experience worse or more-frequent symptoms during periods of increased stress.
Sleep position and IBS
Sleeping on your back or left side can alleviate IBS symptoms by putting your gut in a better position to adequately digest food and do its job. Sleeping on the right side, on the other hand, can make IBS symptoms worse.
1 year after diagnosis, over 30% of people have long symptom-free periods; after 10 years, over 50% of people have lasting symptoms. IBS can be treated, as described below.
Some common at-home treatments for IBS include relaxation exercises, hypnotherapy, physical activity, dietary changes, applying heat, and consuming peppermint oil or other supplements (such as prebiotics and probiotics).
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicines
Your doctor may suggest trying OTC diarrhea medicines such as bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol) and loperamide (Imodium) for relief.
It is OK to rest with IBS
If you are in pain and have become a slave to the bathroom, take the time to give your body a day or 2 to regroup. If you are able, take the time to nap in the afternoon so that your body can repair.
Since sitting compresses the organs and blood flow is decreased, it is common for bowel function to suffer. In fact, a sedentary lifestyle has been positively linked with inflammatory bowel disease and other digestive problems.
While all you may feel like doing is curling up in bed when feeling the full effects of your IBS, new research suggests that simply just going for a walk can do wonders to relieve IBS symptoms. Walking, perhaps the easiest form of exercises, has been shown to drastically reduce the severity of IBS.
“Like IBS, people with IBD can suffer from diarrhoea and abdominal pain but the red flags we look out for are blood in the stool, unintentional weight loss, waking up in the middle of the night with pain or needing to go to the toilet urgently and unexplained mineral and vitamin deficiencies.
Even though dairy products are the major culprits of discomfort for some IBS sufferers, yogurt proves to be an exception. The live cultures in the yogurt break down the lactose, so it's less likely to cause gassy symptoms.
Unripe bananas are low in FODMAPS and therefore a better choice for people with IBS — although they're not as sweet or soft as ripe bananas. However, as bananas ripen, they accumulate a type of FODMAP called oligofructans. Therefore, ripe bananas are considered a high FODMAP food (6, 7 ).
But you may find it helpful to eat lean meats, eggs, fish that is rich with omega-3 fatty acids, nuts, homemade bone broth, carrots, bananas, and other low-FODMAP fruits and vegetables. Fermented foods are also good for your gut flora.
Mesalamine, a 5-aminosalicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory drug and extensively used for treating inflammatory bowel disease. The presence of low-grade inflammation and mucosal immune activation in IBS provides the rationale for using mesalamine in IBS patients.
Left untreated, long-term IBS can sometimes lead to other serious health issues. One such possibility is an impacted bowel, especially in cases where the IBS symptoms include chronic constipation. An impacted bowel occurs when stool builds up in the large intestine.
Probiotics may relieve symptoms of IBS
The American College of Gastroenterology conducted a meta-analysis of more than 30 studies, which found that probiotics may improve overall symptoms, as well as bloating and flatulence, in people with IBS.