ibs cramp relief - How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosed?
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How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome [IBS] is made by your medical doctor mainly on the basis of what symptoms you are experiencing. Typical symptoms are bloating, abdominal pain/cramps, constipation and diarrhoea. Typical causes are a bad diet, food poisoning, a prolonged course of antibiotics or an operation around the pelvic area.


If you are interested in learning about alternative treatments, talk to you health care provider first, and be sure to seek treatment from qualified practitioners.


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 And things can change. Just think about breast cancer, which is now regularly discussed on TV and radio, but 20 years ago was stuck behind a wall of silence where breasts were not to be mentioned, cancerous or not.

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.

If you constantly hear about diabetes sufferers and asthma sufferers but never hear a word about bowels then you begin to learn that your illness is far less important than these other worthy causes.

All in all it can take a while [months] to run through all the medical tests to confirm that there is nothing wrong with your bowel. Whatever you can do speed up this process should be suggested to the medical profession, for example if you can go private.

4). loss of weight when you are not trying to lose weight. If you have any of these symptoms then you need to see your medical doctor even if you have IBS.

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.

Whoever you are, whatever your gender or problems or pain, it is vital that you find someone with whom you can identify. If you watch TV and never see a reflection of yourself, if you are a black man and only ever see white faces on screen, then you will start to feel alienated ' and the same goes for people who are ill.

You should also ask your doctor to test you for lactose intolerance, as an inability to properly digest milk sugar can cause diarrhea. 2 - OTC Antidiarrheal Drugs

Note: Lotronex has only been approved for women who suffer from severe cases of diarrhea-predominant IBS ad have not responded to previous treatment methods.

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

The following are 5 treatment options for relieving IBS related diarrhea: 1 - Diet Control Before resorting to medications or alternative remedies, you should always consider your diet first. Although diet changes may not entirely cure you from diarrhea, it may help reduce the frequency of attacks. Therefore, you should monitor your diet by keeping a food diary and recording the symptoms you feel after eating different foods to determine which ones cause diarrhea and which ones don't.

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.

Another medication that may be prescribed is Lotronex. This particular drug is designed to block the effect serotonin (chemical produced by the body) has on digestive system, and in so doing, soothes the colon and slows bowl movement frequency. Lotronex has been found to be successful at alleviating IBS symptoms including diarrhea, stomach discomfort and urgency.

Constipation can be a difficult IBS symptom to deal with, but so can diarrhea. People who suffer from diarrhea-predominant IBS experience frequent bowel movements of watery and/or loose stool. Other diarrhea-related symptoms include abdominal pain or discomfort, cramping, bloating, gas, nausea and dehydration.

The doctor may also ask for blood tests to be taken. This could be to check for parasites, for example, Giardia. The purpose of these tests is reassurance and confirmation that nothing is wrong with the structure of the bowel. You are unlikely to get a tumour or cancer from IBS. IBS is an indication that the bowel is going into spasm. These days your medical doctor should be understanding and compassionate of your symptoms. I would hope that now the medical profession has moved on and agrees that IBS is a bona fide illness and is not just in our heads. I was lucky in that my medical doctor used to be a sufferer of IBS. I would research information and then go to him with what I'd found and we would both agree on the next course of action. I hope that you are fortunate enough to also have such an understanding medical doctor.

Don't suffer in silence But it's not just about how other people perceive us, and how we perceive ourselves. It's also about making sure that anyone who has bowel symptoms seeks help, and at the moment that just doesn't happen.

- Meditation exercises (I.E. Yoga)


- Relaxation therapy


- Hypnotherapy


- Cognitive behavioural therapy


It's also a good idea to distract yourself by taking part in regular activities you enjoy.

What Cybill Shepherd has done, though, is more than just draw attention to the fact that IBS sufferers need more help. Just by revealing that she is an IBS sufferer she has shown that IBS can affect anyone. Here is a glamorous, successful actress, someone who has kissed Bruce Willis and won three Golden Globes, saying that she has trouble with her bowels.

If you can, before you go to see your medical doctor, write out your questions beforehand, so that you have a better chance of leaving the doctor with your questions and concerns answered.

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.

We may identify less with her relief from one drug alone (although the new drugs Zelnorm and Lotronex have had a good success rate in America), but we could all benefit from talking more openly with our doctors and looking for more solutions rather than accepting that IBS will rule our lives.

She says: 'For years I have been battling recurring constipation, abdominal pain and bloating. Go ahead and laugh. We laugh because we're embarrassed. In order for us to get relief, we have to talk about our symptoms and stop suffering in silence. 'I have tried nearly everything: changing my diet and watching what I ate. I exercised regularly. I even tried taking fiber supplements and over-the-counter laxatives, but nothing helped with all of my symptoms.

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.

The power of celebrity In these celebrity-soaked times it can be easy to forget that famous people sometimes achieve genuinely selfless and compassionate things just by using their fame. The greatest power that they have is the ability to shine the light of their stardom on an issue which would otherwise have been ignored.

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.

Over-the-counter (OTC) antidiarrheal medications can be effective at providing diarrhea relief when used as short-term treatment. There are two types of antidiarrheal drugs.

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.

And I can't thing of a more untouchable issue than IBS, something that no-one in the public eye would readily admit to. Can you imagine Julia Roberts standing up and saying 'Diarrhea is the blight of my life and hemorrhoids have driven me to drink'? No, of course not, because anything remotely digestive is considered highly embarrassing and distinctly unglamorous.

 
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And yes, the issue may sometimes be whatever cause is most fashionable at the time - 'Gay whales against racism' as one satirist put it ' or the one which helps the star more than the people (or whales) who are suffering. But sometimes there is no doubt that the celeb has really stuck their neck out to help others who are dealing with an issue that is considered untouchable.

Cybill Shepherd's admission, therefore, is to be applauded. Dare not speak its name Before Cybill Shepherd 'came out', the only famous person I knew of who had IBS was Kelsey Grammar's wife (Kelsey Grammar used to play Frasier in the eponymous sitcom and Cheers).

Cybill Shepherd says: 'My goal is to urge all women to get over their embarrassment, to stop suffering in silence the way I did, and to talk to their doctors. Although it may be uncomfortable, it is very important for you to be open and honest with your doctor about all your symptoms'.

Your doctor may refer you to a Gastroenterologist for a rectal examination. This is where the Gastroenterologist inserts a flexible tube with a light inside it into your rectum. The allows the Gastroenterologist to see the lining of the bowel. The Gastroenterologist may examine part of the colon or the entire length [about 4 feet]. In addition the Gastroenterologist may take a sample of the bowel wall called a biopsy to make sure that the bowel is truly normal. This is one way for example to test for gluten intolerance.

If we can just get a few more Cybill Shepherds to speak out for IBS then the celebrities of this world might start wearing ribbons for you and me, and leave the gay whales to fight for themselves.

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.

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.

'My doctor used to tell me it was all emotional and psychological. So I got a new doctor. And a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. It was a huge relief to find out that my IBS with constipation was not all in my head and that it was a treatable medical condition. My doctor prescribed Zelnorm and it has provided me with relief for all my symptoms. In a lot of ways, I feel like my old self again.'

The following is a list of symptoms that do not indicate IBS: 1). blood on the stool, 2). jet black stool that looks like tar, 3). vomiting or vomiting blood,

3 - Prescription Medications Low doses of tricyclic antidepressants are commonly prescribed to IBS patients for abdominal pain. These meds effectively block pain signals to the brain and don't cause diarrhea. However, they can cause other symptoms including constipation.

IBS often goes undiagnosed for years, and even when we pluck up the courage to visit the doctor we can be so tongue-tied that we don't properly describe our symptoms. If we could leave our embarrassment in the waiting room it would be so much better for our health.

Consult your doctor about OTC antidiarrheal meds for IBS treatment before taking anything. In addition, you shouldn't resort to antidiarrheals until at least 24 hours after experiencing diarrhea, as you don't want to stop your body from expelling toxins in the event your diarrhea is a result of bacteria such as food poisoning.

Your doctor may request that you take a Barium Meal which is swallowed or a Barium Enema which is taken via the rectum. Barium is a radioactive substance that shows up under X-rays.

Cybill Shepherd has revealed that she suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The star of Moonlighting and Taxi Driver says that she has struggled with her symptoms for many years, and is now hoping to raise awareness of IBS and encourage sufferers to talk more openly with their doctors.

4 - Alternative Therapy Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, probiotics and herbal remedies can effectively reduce and alleviate diarrhea and its related symptoms in some IBS sufferers. Each of these methods is designed to assist the body in healing itself by providing it with stimulation (acupuncture), healthy gut bacteria (probiotics), or herbs. All work to aid in normal digestion.

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.

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?

We need more people in the public eye standing up and saying 'Me too', so that everyone can start to realise just how widespread a problem this is.

There are still many people with bowel problems who are too ashamed or embarrassed to go to the doctor, and just soldier on through their lives when they could be receiving treatment. And there's always the risk, of course, that their symptoms could actually be the result of something other than IBS that may get progressively worse if it is left alone.

Following on from your story of your symptoms, the doctor may physically examine you. This may be an examination of the stomach area where the doctor will push along the large intestinal wall, to understand how tender the region is. Your doctor may also take your blood pressure or measure your heart rate.

- Antispasmodic - these slow spasms that occur in the intestine (I.E. Imodium). Although, antidiarrheals are usually effective, they may not help other symptoms such as bloating or abdominal discomfort. Furthermore, prolonged use of antidiarrheals can result in dry mouth, constipation, and other symptoms.

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.

5 - Behavioural therapy Stress can actually trigger your IBS symptoms and make diarrhea worse, by causing your stomach to tense, leading to cramping and overall stomach upset. You can help reduce the regular stress in your life, and the stress you feel towards your IBS condition by engaging in:

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.

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.

And good for her! I think that many IBS sufferers will identify with what she says: from embarrassing, unmentionable symptoms to doctors who insist that our bowel problems are really in our heads.

- Stool thickeners -these contain fruit pectin and clay which absorb toxins and bacteria in the intestine to help thicken stool (I.E. Kaopectate)

For instance, avoiding/limiting foods high in refined, artificial or natural sugar can help alleviate diarrhea symptoms. This doesn't only include chocolate, caffeine, alcohol and sweets. It also means foods containing fructose such as honey and a variety of fruits. Foods high in sugar can act like a laxative to your body, especially for an IBS sufferer who already has a sensitive stomach.

About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for 15 years and runs the Irritable Bowel
Syndrome Treatment website at
http://www.irritable-bowel-syndrome.ws where you can read about
all kinds of different IBS treatments.


 
 
     
 
 





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