Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder. One in every five men and women has IBS. Women are two times as likely to have the disorder. Half of all cases are diagnosed before age thirty-five.
Despite its high prevalence in the population, much is unknown about IBS. This is due in part because the area affected, the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, is so dynamic. The GI tract is comprised of the stomach, small intestine and colon (a.k.a. large intestine). It’s influenced by the immune and nervous systems, and contains hundreds of different types of bacteria that aid digestion.
- Mild or severe abdominal pain, discomfort or cramping that usually goes away after a bowl movement.
- Periods of diarrhoea or constipation or alternating between these two symptoms.
- Bloating , gassiness or a feeling or having a distended abdomen
- Mucus in bowel movements
- Feeling as though a bowel movement is incomplete
The cause is unknown, but environmental factors such as changes of routine, emotional stress, infection and diet can trigger an attack.
Certain factors have been found to trigger attacks in susceptible individual. They include:
- Infection: an episode of gastroenteritis will often result in persistent bowl symptoms, long after the offending bacteria or virus has been eliminated.
- Food intolerance: impaired absorption of the sugar lactose (found in diary and many processed foods) is the most common dietary trigger for IBS.
- General diet: Low fibre diets can exacerbate the constipation – predominant IBS. Some people find spicy or sugary foods cause problems.
- Emotional stress: Strong emotions, such as anxiety or stress can affect the nerves of the bowel in susceptible people.
- Medications: Certain drugs (such as antibiotics, antacids and painkiller) can lead to constipation or diarrhoea.
Because the intestines naturally react to stress, one of the best ways to prevent symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome is to manage stress effectively. A number of methods (e.g., formal counselling, medications, hypnosis, biofeedback, relaxation techniques, deep breathing, yoga, exercise) may be helpful.
In addition to the above.
- Eat a moderate amount of soluble fiber. It adds bulk to the colon and can help prevent spasms. Good sources are whole wheat breads, oats, barley, brown rice, pasta, the flesh of fruit (as opposed to the skin), and dried fruits.
- Don’t consume foods with extreme temperatures, such as ice-cold water and steaming hot soup, in the same meal.
- Stay away from broccoli, onions, and cabbage. They can cause gas, which can make diarrhoea sufferers feel worse.
- Eat smaller portions.
- Drink six to eight glasses of plain water a day, but drink the water an hour before or after meals, not with meals.
In some cases, simply taking time to enjoy life each day can reduce IBS symptoms.
As mentioned above, stress being the main cause for IBS, therefore while prescribing Homoeopathic Medicine, this has to be given maximum weight age. Along with this every patient of IBS will come with different symptoms.
The Homoeopathic doctor has to consider the symptoms along with physical and mental symptoms to come to a constitutional medicine.