Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders. People with irritable bowel syndrome often complain of pain in the abdomen, diarrhoea and, at times, constipation.
Medical professionals don't fully understand the cause of irritable bowel syndrome. However, the condition is known to start when the microorganisms that inhabit the gut are altered. This often leads permeability of the intestines.
If you have persistent abdominal pain accompanied by diarrhoea or constipation, it is advisable to see a doctor for tests and a proper diagnosis. Here are the treatment options available for irritable bowel syndrome and how they can help you manage the condition.
Change of Diet
One of the common treatment options that doctors usually recommend treating IBS is a complete change of diet. The usual recommendations are stress management and making healthy food choices.
Healthy eating habits include avoiding the foods that trigger your symptoms and looking for suitable replacements. The doctor could also recommend eating food that is high in fibre as it promotes digestion and reduces the possibility of getting constipated. Additionally, the doctor may recommend regular exercise and getting enough sleep.
This may seem like minor changes, but once implemented, they create massive differences in the patient's health.
Researchers have found a connection between stress, anxiety and the onset of irritable bowel syndrome. The neurons which control the intestines and control pain become more active when a person is anxious or stressed.
Typically, the doctor will recommend either Tricyclic or SSRI anti-depressants to manage the condition. Tricyclic anti-depressants work by inhibiting the activity of the neurons that lead to pain in the intestines. On the other hand, the SSRI anti-depressants work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin. High levels of serotonin flowing in your blood help relieve your stress and pain symptoms.
IBS Specific Medication
Diet recommendations and anti-depressants are recommended when you have early signs that you could be developing the syndrome. However, when you have already developed the condition, the doctor might recommend more aggressive treatment.
Some of the drugs work by relaxing the colon and slowing down bowel movements. Other treatments increase muscle tone in the rectum, while others reduce the growth of bacteria connected to the development of diarrhoea.
The best place to start dealing with irritable bowel syndrome is to see a doctor for a diagnosis. They will perform a colonoscopy, CT scan, stool tests or lactose intolerance tests to establish whether you have the syndrome. The earlier you start treatment, the better.
To learn more, contact a resource like the Diagnostic Endoscopy Centre.