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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Signs and Symptoms

Because irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms may include diarrhea, constipation or a combination of both, the recommended prescriptions and over the counter medications for irritable bowel syndrome vary depending on the individual. For example, Zelnorm is used to treat IBS with constipation, but it should not be used by those who suffer from IBS with diarrhea.


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

Irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms typically include abdominal (stomach) pain that is relieved by a bowel movement. It is believed that the pain may be caused by muscle spasms, so anti-spasmodic medications for irritable bowel syndrome are sometimes prescribed. The idea being that reducing the muscle spasms or contractions may relieve the pain, relax the intestines and possibly prevent diarrhea. Anti-spasmodic medications, like most prescription drugs, are not intended for long term use, so a complete treatment program which includes dietary changes and other therapies may be recommended as well.

Patsy Hamilton has over twenty years experience as a health care professional and currently writes informational articles for the Digestive Disorders Guide. Read more at http://www.digestive-disorders-guide.com.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

For more information about irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive problems, visit www.digestive-disorders-guide.com.

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.

If your stool is frequent and loose then it might be an idea to take a break from food and just drink fluids [not tea or coffee] for a day. It is thought that over cooking white or brown rice until it is a pulp is also easy on the digestion. Rice is a very mild food on the bowel, which is why you will find that on any exclusion diet, rice is still allowed. Linseed is also useful in reducing diarrhoea as it acts as sponge by absorbing excess fluid in the bowel.

Anti-depressants are sometimes prescribed for IBS. Depression is not commonly one of the irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms, but studies have shown anti-depressants may block pain receptors in the brain. Most prescribed medications for irritable bowel syndrome target pain relief. Stress and anxiety sometimes accompany irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms and anti-depressants may help relieve these, as well as the pain.

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?

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.

One symptom of bowel dysfunction is constipation. Constipation is the irregular or the incomplete emptying of the bowel. In these days of diet and nutritional awareness, most people would probably increase their fibre intake to remedy a sluggish bowel. Most people are aware that wholemeal bread contains more fibre than white bread. This type of fibre is called insoluble fibre. Whilst reducing the effects of constipation, it is thought that insoluble fibre may irritate the intestinal lining. With this in mind, it may be worth balancing your consumption of bread with eating grains e.g. Porridge oats, which are classified as soluble fibre.

Diarrhoea may also occur when you are tense or scared. Ancient man was born with a flight or fight response. What this means is that when ancient man faced dangers that could kill him, the body produced adrenaline which either helped man run away or have the courage to face the danger. Humans today still have this defence response. These days it is stress, pace of life and the like that causes us to produce adrenaline rather than facing Woolly Mammoths. The effect of adrenaline on the body is to speed up bodily functions including the gut; remember exam time or your driving test? You may also notice that your breathing is quicker, that you can't relax as easily as you used to or that you're more rushed to fit everything in. If your bowel is reacting to stress then you need more than a change in diet. You would need to relax more. This could mean taking up yoga, meditation, hypnosis or a more physical activity such as running.

If you suffer alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhoea then seek a cure for the constipation first as the diarrhoea maybe a by product of constipation. The lining of a constipated bowel maybe contaminated with toxins such that the body uses watery stools to flush the toxins away.

Turning to medicines should be a last resort. Medicines have their place in the treatment of illnesses but an eastern philosophy is useful to adopt here which is cure the cause not the symptom. If you are suffering diarrhoea, then your body is telling you that it is using diarrhoea to heal itself. Taking medicines now, like Imodium, may block the healing process. In addition it is possible that by taking a drug that prevents diarrhoea you end up with constipation.

 
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One thing to point out is to avoid becoming dependent on laxatives. They may offer short term relief from constipation, but the theory is that in the longer term you're encouraging your bowel to become lazy. I was talking to my Medical Doctor this week about laxatives and she said that the over the counter medicines can be aggressive on the digestive whereas some of the prescription laxatives may be milder. As ever what affects one person in one way may not affect another in the same way.

Irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of other more serious conditions such as colitis and Crohn's disease. If you have some or many irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms, it is important to consult your doctor. A complete physical exam or other tests may be necessary to learn what is causing your pain. Your doctor can also help you decide if over the counter or prescription medications for irritable bowel syndrome or other therapies are right for you.

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.

If your bowel symptoms persist, you must see your medical doctor. Do not self diagnose as your pain may be a sign something more dangerous.

Another approach to preventing constipation is to drink more water. The figures say that we ought to drink about 8 glasses. This equates to a minimum of 2 litres, if you not doing any exercise. If you are on an exercise programme then you will need to increase your intake of water to more than 2 litres. Notice that this is an intake of water rather than fluids. So caffeine and alcohol intake has to be monitored as they are both diuretics i.e. they force water out of the body.

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.

There are supplements that can be taken to restore bowel movement to a more regular cycle. Ispaghula or Psyllium Husks are bulking agents that surround the stool making them softer and more able to pass through the intestine. Ispaghula or Psyllium Husk are both available in powder form. Psyllium Husk is more likely to be available without any artificial sweeteners whereas in my experience I've only ever taken Ispaghula Husk with Aspartame. Psyllium Husk in particular, because it is not sweet, is not the nicest tasting substance.

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.

If you eat food with a high water content e.g. fruit and vegetables then this will add to your daily water intake as will all foods to some degree. There seems to be a popular school of thought of not to drink water with your meal as it may hamper the digestion process. So you could either drink water before your meal or after your meal. Take care not to overdo the water consumption, spread it out over the day. Drinking too much water in a short space of time is not good for the body; remember you also need to replace salts as well during the day.

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.

Irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms may include excessive gas, bloating or feeling that the stomach is swollen. If these symptoms are present, recommended over the counter medications for irritable bowel syndrome may include Gas-X or other anti-gas products. Herbs and botanicals designed to prevent or relieve gas are also available.

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.

One symptom of bowel dysfunction is diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is when food passes through and out of the bowel very quickly. When does diarrhoea occur? Diarrhoea is usually a reaction to food poisoning. You have eaten food which is full of bugs; the body's defence mechanism is engaged and the food is expelled from the body as fast as possible.

Over the counter medications for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea include Kaopectate, Imodium and other anti-diarrhea products. But though they may be effective for slowing diarrhea, they will not help to relieve the other irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms. Herbal and botanical remedies may be effective for the relief and control of IBS with diarrhea or constipation, but there is no conclusive evidence that they work. There are only user testimonials. What works for one may not work for everyone and natural does not always mean safe. Herbs and botanicals should only be purchased from reliable companies. Doctor consultation is often recommended, but most doctors know very little about herbal and botanical treatment. A better source for information may be an herbalist or doctor of naturopathic medicine.

If your bowel symptoms persist, you must see your medical doctor. Do not self diagnose as your pain may be a sign something more dangerous.


 
 
     
 
 





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