Irritable bowel syndrome is a rather common medical condition which afflicts the colon or the large intestine. IBS causes abdominal pain, cramps, bloating and abdominal distension, and diarrhea alternating with constipation. However, irritable bowel syndrome does not cause any lasting damage to the colon.
What’s more, it is possible to manage the symptoms effectively by making certain changes and modifications in your diet. People find that their IBS symptoms ameliorate as they learn to control their condition. Very few people diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome have hindering signs and symptoms. Dietary modifications along with appropriate stress management can help treat the condition well.
What Causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome is not yet known. The wall of the colon is lined with muscle which contracts and relaxes as it helps propel the food from the stomach in to the rectum. In case of IBS, the contractions are protracted and stronger than normal. Food gets pushed through the colon rapidly, thereby, resulting in bloating and diarrhea.
In some individuals, the passage of food is very slow, and stools become hard and difficult to pass.
Certain triggers are also associated with IBS, these include:
- Foods: certain foods, such as, milk, chocolate, aerated drinks, and alcohol greatly aggravate the symptoms of IBS.
- Stress: stressful events, emotional upheavals, change in your daily routine, etc, are known to trigger the features of IBS. Stress aggravates the symptoms, it does not cause them.
- Hormones: women find that the symptoms worsen during their periods.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms
Common clinical features of IBS include:
- Abdominal cramps.
- Flatulence, bloating, abdominal distension.
- Diarrhea alternating with constipation.
- Mucus in the feces.
Natural Remedies For Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Include fiber into the daily diet. However, ensure that you gradually increase the quantity of fiber in your diet; do not incorporate too much at once. Consume plenty of beans, whole cereals, salads and fresh fruits.
- Avoid trigger foods like alcohol, aerated beverages, chocolate, and caffeinated drinks.
- Eat small, frequent meals. Steer clear of heavy, greasy meals.
- Be careful when consuming dairy products. Talk to a nutritionist, she will help you evaluate what you’re eating to ensure that you’re getting ample nutrition.
- Drink lots of fluids.
- Exercise regularly, at least thrice a week. It will significantly lessen stress, stimulate normal contractions of the colon and help you feel better.
- Acupuncture has proved to be effective in a large number of IBS patients. Acupuncture helps relax muscle spasms and improves the functioning of the colon.
- Have one glass of peppermint tea every day. Peppermint is a powerful anti spasmodic which helps relax the smooth muscles of the bowels. It provides considerable relief from the symptoms of IBS.
- Ginger is another excellent remedy for irritable bowel syndrome. Boil about 1 inch of grated ginger in a bowl of water. Boil for about 15 to 20 minutes, add a dollop of honey and consume every morning.
- Good bacteria normally live in the colon; and are found in yogurt and dietary supplements. Adding pro-biotics to your diet will ease the IBS symptoms appreciably.
- Yoga, Pranayama, meditation and massage offer benefits as well. These relieve stress and fight the most important IBS trigger.