Irritable bowel syndrome, or “IBS,” is a condition that causes belly pain and problems with bowel movements. Some people with the condition have frequent, watery bowel movements (diarrhoea). Others do not have enough bowel movements (constipation). Some patients switch back and forth between diarrhoea and constipation.
• Stomach pain and cramps, associated with a bowel movement
• Diarrhoea or constipation (some people switch back and forth between diarrhoea and constipation)
No, there’s no specific test. But your Gastroenterologist can determine if you’ve got IBS by asking you some questions, and by running tests to form sure you are doing not have something apart from IBS. Plenty of medical conditions can cause the same symptoms as IBS. So, the other is important that your Gastroenterologist checks the other possibilities.
• Start a diary to keep track of what you ate each day, what you did, and how you felt. That way, you’ll determine if anything you do or eat makes your symptoms better or worse.
• Stop eating foods that might be making your IBS worse. Start by jettisoning foods that provide you with gas, and then give up milk, ice cream, and other foods that have traces of milk for 2 weeks. Ask your Gastroenterologist for advice on which foods can make IBS worse.
• Eat more fiber, if you’ve got constipation. you’ll be able to do that by eating more fruits and vegetables. otherwise you can take fiber pills or powders. (If eating more fiber makes symptoms worse, reduce the fiber.)
• Exercise. Do something active for 20 to 60 minutes, 3 to 5 days every week. Studies show this helps improve IBS symptoms.
Medicines can ease the symptoms of IBS. But no treatment can cure the condition. Counselling may additionally help with IBS, because stress and worry can make the condition worse.
The medicines which will help with IBS symptoms include:
• Medicines to ease diarrhoea
• Medicines to ease constipation
• Antidepressants – These medicines work by blocking pain. When used to treat IBS, they’re given at a much lower dose than would normally be given to treat depression.
• Medicines called “antispasmodics”
• Antibiotics – These medicines sometimes help with bloating and diarrhoea in some people.
Most people with IBS have the condition for the rest of their life. Even so, the majority find ways to improve their symptoms. The key is to stay working with your Gastroenterologist until the 2 of you discover an approach that works.