IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: Help Yourself with These Effective Natural Treatments
In general, there is no permanent remedy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but there are various treatments which focus on relieving individual symptoms in IBS patients. The relationship between the doctor and the patient with IBS is of essential importance because patients need to know all necessary data about their health condition so they can manage to control it during their live.
Eliminate the cause. The most common cause of IBS has known to be emotional stress. Therefore, it is very important for you to manage stress and reduce it to minimum. GI irritants are another major cause of IBS which means that you have to determine the specific type of food you consume leads to irritation.
Consume fiber. Regular consumption of fiber will improve your digestion and stimulate the bowel movement. Diet rich in fiber is not always effective in relieving IBS symptoms and it some cases it can even lead to bloating and gases. However, study results have shown that it has the ability to relieve constipation, alleviate abdominal pain, and help with diarrhea. You can find fiber in a number of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as in whole grains and bran cereals. Optionally, you can take fiber supplements which contain psyllium or methycellulose, which are easily available and you can find them in drugstores and supermarkets.
Try heat. Home heating pad can be very effective way of relieving abdominal pain for people with IBS because heat has the ability to relax cramping muscles. Another alternative is some warm caffeine-free tea, such as chamomile which can sooth pain.
Alternative and complementary methods of treating IBS
There are many natural methods which you can use to treat IBS, including herbal treatments and mediation. According to studies, certain stress-reduction methods taught by psychology medical experts have shown to be very effective in relieving IBS symptoms.
Probiotics and prebiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria which help support your digestive system and overall health. Prebiotics are non-living substances which stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria, helping produce digestive enzymes.
Namely, a number of yogurts, fruit juices, supplements and other products which contain probiotics and prebiotics are primarily produced for people with gastrointestinal problems, including IBS. However, according to the researchers of Massachusetts General Hospital and Tufts Medical Center, there is still no supported evidence which can prove the effectiveness of these substances in the treatment of IBS.
Safety concern is another problem. Generally, probiotics are live microorganisms which are safe for healthy people. The problem can occur in people with certain health issues, such as people who are at risk of invasive infections, people who suffer from gastrointestinal mucosa barrier abnormalities, people with central venous catheters, people suffering from auto-immune disease, children with short gut syndrome, and children with short bowel syndrome.
IBS symptoms are directly linked to stress and anxiety, and therefore positive way of thinking can significantly improve patient`s symptoms, and their quality of life in general. Furthermore, people who underwent cognitive behavioral therapy experienced amazing improvement in the severity of the symptoms in a period of six months, according to a study.
Relaxation response training and meditation
These are complementary methods which can decrease the activity of nervous system and help relax muscles. Complementary techniques include guides imagery, hypnosis, progressive muscle relaxation and biofeedback.
This is also an effective alternative to soothe IBS symptoms, as yoga has the ability to bring body and mind into balance.
A number of studies have showed evidence that hypnosis has the ability to relax the autonomic nervous system and can soothe the IBS symptoms.
This technique is frequently used in the treatment of IBS symptoms. However, the international Cochrane Collection states that the quality of the studies was not sufficient enough to prove the precise effects.
Biofeedback therapy involves a training of patients to control physiological processes such as muscle tension, blood pressure or their response to pain. This has been proved as very helpful for patients who intermittently lose control of their bowel movements as they managed to improve their control after using this technique.
Herbal remedies such as St. John’s wort, fish oils, flaxseed oil, aloe vera juice, chamomile tea, and a number of Chinese herbs have been used by many people for treating IBS. According to a study published in 2007, almost 75% of patients who took peppermint oil capsules for four weeks experienced a significant improvement in their IBS symptoms, in comparison with just 38% of those who took a placebo pill. Peppermint oil has the ability to block the calcium channels which relaxes the smooth muscles in the walls of the intestines.