Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very complex condition that involves a disorder of the intestines. When a person has IBS, they usually experience pain in the stomach, cramping and bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
It is also a long-term problem, but there are things that can be done that will ease the symptoms of the condition.
The symptoms often get worse as time goes by and it can also cause complications and more severe problems such as inflammatory bowel disease and cancer.
Even though it is rather common, doctors still do not know what exactly causes IBS. When a person has the condition, the movement of food through the digestive tract does not work correctly, but there is no change in the intestines such as an inflammation or a tumor.
Many experts believe that IBS is related to problems with signals being sent between the brain and intestines which changes the way the muscles in the intestines that moves.
As far as symptoms are concerned, along with the pain in the belly area, many people have both constipation and diarrhea, but obviously not at the same time.
There are home treatments that can assuage the symptoms of stomachaches, cramping, bloating and problems with bowel movements such as diarrhea and constipation.
Even though there is no cure for IBS yet, there are ways to handle the symptoms, and most can be done at home without the help of a doctor.
Firstly it is important to change the diet and to include a lot of fiber in the diet, because it helps to control constipation and to make bowel movements a lot more regular. Some foods that are high in fiber include fresh fruits like pears and apples, fresh vegetables like peas, wheat bran, and whole-grain breads and cereals.
Beans are also high in fiber, but if a lot of gas built up occurs because of them, it is best to stop eating beans.
Another way to limit gas is to stop chewing sugarless gum and candy, and to avoid caffeine and alcohol entirely.
Stress will also aggravate the symptoms of IBS, so it is important to manage one’s stress level. Regular and vigorous exercise is good in reducing tension and a person should take up some kind of relaxing hobby as well in order to help relieve stress.
Even though the symptoms and pain are very real, a lot of the treatment of IBS has to due with psychological factors. People who have IBS often also suffer from depression, panic disorders or other similar conditions.
Sometimes it is good to seek counseling as well and to see a psychiatrist or psychologist to help with the mental problems that go along with the condition.