Top 10 Remedies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome
(IBS) is a chronic, functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract
characterized by lower abdominal pain (often severe), gas, bloating, vomiting,
diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of both, typically over months or
Treatments for IBS include
changes to diet, anti-spasmodic medications, muscle relaxants, and
considered a low cost, non-invasive, and comfortable method of treatment.
Gut Directed Hypnotherapy (GDH)
was developed specifically for IBS patients and has been proven to reduce
symptoms in 80% of cases. Patients with typical symptoms of IBS have realized
the highest success rates for GDH. These symptoms are abdominal pain, bloating,
diarrhea and/or constipation. Dr. P.J. Whorwell first introduced it in 1984 at
the University Hospital of South Manchester. Dr. Whorwell studied thirty
patients in two groups of 15. One group was given a sugar pill and
psychotherapy. The other group was given GDH. The psychotherapy group had some
small improvements. The hypnotherapy group had dramatic improvements that lasted
past the completion of treatment.
The first session may be devoted
to taking a history of the patient's IBS symptoms. Thereafter, each session is
tape-recorded, and the patient is instructed to listen to the tape once each day
until the next appointment. There may be other tasks assigned to the patient
that should be undertaken between sessions. The success of hypnotherapy can be
directly related to the commitment of the patient. Attending all the sessions
and completing all extra assignments outside of sessions is absolutely
necessary. GDH is not intended as a cure for IBS, but it can help provide a
structure in which the patient can assert some measure of control over IBS
Colon therapy promotes
healthy colon function and can ease a range of problems from headache and
backache to arthritis and
hydrotherapy sessions are used to cleanse the colon for medical procedures such
as colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, surgery, and barium enemas.
The colon, along with the skin, kidneys, and lungs, is a major organ for
eliminating bodily waste. If bowel movements are not consistent, waste products
and toxins are not eliminated in a regular manner, and health can be
compromised. Colon hydrotherapy is a gentle purified water washing of the large
intestine to clean, detoxify and aid in the reconstitution of intestinal flora.
The client lies on a massage table and with a colon hydrotherapy machine, water
is run very slowly into the colon. When slight pressure builds up in the colon,
the water is released. As the water is flowing out through an illuminated glass
viewing tube, the abdominal area is thoroughly massaged. To insure maximum
sanitation, a disposable water and waste line and applicator are used. With
colonic therapy, the condition of the blood is improved as well. The toxic load
in the blood stream seems to be reduced whenever the colon and abdominal
lymphatics are cleared.
Benefits of colonic therapy.
The water removes the
material that may be lodged in the colon.
Some of the water is
absorbed into the colon wall, and this promotes a cleansing of the colon
itself, leading to greater organ strength and health.
Some of this clean water
is absorbed through the colon into the lymphatic system, where it can
begin to dissolve the thick or crystallized accumulations of waste that
Cayce called “drosses.”
If the therapist is trained
in the technique, they may also be able to manipulate water pressure and
temperature to exercise the colon, and thereby stimulate in a weak,
inactive colon an ability for stronger bowel movements.
Medications are an important part of relieving IBS
symptoms. Lotronex has been re-approved by
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for women with severe Irritable
Bowel Syndrome who have not responded to conventional therapy and whose primary
symptom is diarrhea. However, even in these patients, it should be used with
caution because it can have serious side effects, such as severe constipation or
decreased blood flow to the colon.
You MUST do 3 things if you are
going to take Lotronex:
Understand that Lotronex has
Sign a Patient-Physician
Agreement with your doctor.
Follow the directions in this
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Antidiarrheals such as loperamide
(Immodium) are quite effective for diarrhea, and may be prescribed to help with
loose, frequent stools. If you use an over-the-counter medication, follow the
package directions. If you find yourself using an over-the-counter antidiarrheal
medication more than twice a month, talk with your physician. Side effects are
infrequent and usually minor, but may include abdominal discomfort,
constipation, dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, drowsiness, and allergic reactions.
Tegaserod maleate (Zelnorm) has
been approved by the FDA for the short-term treatment (usually 4 weeks) of women
with Irritable Bowel Syndrome whose primary symptom is constipation. It is the
first agent in a new class of drugs called serotonin-4 receptor agonist (5HT4
agonist) developed to target the GI tract.
This prescriptive medication
should only be given to adults who are over the age of 18. It should be taken
before meals in a dose of 6 mg twice daily for 4-6 weeks. If the patient
responds to this drug therapy, a physician may consider an additional 4- to
6-week course of drug therapy. Contraindications to the use of tegaserod maleate
include severe liver impairment, severe kidney impairment, history of bowel
obstruction, symptomatic gallbladder disease, suspected sphincter of Oddi
dysfunction, and abdominal adhesions. Tegaserod maleate should not be initiated
in patients who are currently experiencing or frequently experiencing diarrhea.
Common adverse reactions include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, flatulence,
and headache and back pain (PDR 2002). (Note: Tegaserod meleate will be under
close observation by the FDA because medications that affect the serotonin
system have historically been associated with side effects.)
Certain foods may
trigger an attack. To identify foods that
trigger your symptoms,
maintain your usual diet and note what you were eating when your symptoms
developed. Look for patterns. Often, symptoms don’t relate to specific foods,
rather large amounts of food at one time. You may want to include a dietitian in
your treatment plan. He or she may be able to help you assess how your body
reacts to certain foods — sometimes a food sensitivity (lactose intolerance is
common) may be involved.
Triggers can include caffeine,
milk, chocolate, nicotine, alcohol and large, high-fat meals. Traditional
therapies have included dietary fiber, especially for treatment of symptoms of
constipation. Fiber decreases the transit time through the colon and decreases
the pressure in the colon. Increasing your consumption of fresh fruits and
vegetables, whole grains and bran may help.
fiber can make
symptoms worse for some IBS patients. This is because bacteria in the colon can
break down fiber, producing gas, which can make bloating worse.. Discuss this
with your health care professional — it may be to your benefit to avoid certain
forms of fiber — particularly gas-forming foods such as cabbage, broccoli,
cauliflower, and beans. But there’s no conclusive proof that eliminating certain
foods will eliminate your symptoms.
aloe vera juice (processed directly from the gel) appears to ease the discomfort
of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in many users, and this has been the main
reason for aloe vera’s recent surge in popularity. A scourge of modern living,
IBS is caused by abnormal spasms of the gut which are made worse by stressful
living and poor diets. The unpleasant symptoms include diarrhoea and
constipation, gut pain, bloating and wind.
The dosage of aloe vera used by most IBS sufferers is two teaspoons twice a day,
or half this amount diluted with water if using a double strength juice.
Flavoured juices - e.g. red grape or tropical fruit - are also available, or for
times when using the liquid may be inconvenient, it is also possible to get
concentrated aloe vera tablets (but these aren’t thought to be as beneficial
over the longer term). Some people claim to notice an immediate effect of aloe
vera in IBS, whilst others indicate a more progressive benefit over a few
Bentyl (dicyclomine) is an
anticholinergic. It prevents spasms in the muscles of the gut and bladder by
relaxing them, and reduces the amount of stomach acid produced. It comes in the
forms of capsule, tablet, and oral liquid. It is usually taken four times per
day. For best results, Bentyl should be taken 30 minutes to 1 hour before eating
a meal. Bentyl should not be taken at the same time as an antacid. Antacids can
reduce the effectiveness of bentyl.
Serious side effects of bentyl
include mental changes such as confusion, short-term memory loss, hallucinations
or agitation. In most cases, these side effects are gone in the 12 to 24 hours
after the patient stops taking bentyl. Other side effects can include
drowsiness, dizziness, and a decreased ability to perspire (which can contribute
to heat stroke).
Metamucil etc. (Fiber/Bulk-forming)- If you are constipated, your doctor may
suggest Bulk-forming laxatives containing
There are two types of laxatives,
osmotic and stimulant. Osmotic laxatives are not absorbed and most require a
prescription. They soften the stool and have an onset of action of one to three
days. One type of osmotic laxative is polyethylene glycol, or PEG (a brand name
is Miralax). Another is unabsorbed carbohydrate (lactulose and sorbitol).
Glycerine suppositories are available without prescription.
Stimulant laxatives interfere with
absorption and motility and are available without prescription. They have an
onset of action of six to twelve hours and produce a soft to semi-fluid stool.
They include saline laxatives (brand names Milk of Magnesia and Citrate of
Magnesia); diphenylmethane derivatives (brand name Dulcolax); and anthraquinone
derivatives (senna, cascara sagrada and aloin).
This is helpful in controlling
conditions such as colitis, spastic bladder, diverticulitis, infant colic, renal
and biliary colic, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, splenic flexure
syndrome, and pancreatitis. L-hyoscyamine produces many effects in the body,
including relief from spasms of the gastrointestinal tract (stomach and
intestines), the bladder, and the biliary tract.
There is no cure for IBS, but with
proper diet and some
help from your doctor,
can be made more manageable.
Dated 03 May 2011