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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (cont.)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment

Most people with IBS have problems only occasionally. A few may experience long-lasting problems and require prescription medications.

  • A common treatment for IBS is the addition of fiber to the diet. This theoretically expands the inside of the digestive tract, reducing the chance it will spasm as it transmits and digests food. Fiber also promotes regular bowel movements, which helps reduce constipation. Fiber should be added gradually, because it may initially worsen bloating and gassiness.
  • Stress may cause IBS "flares." Doctors may offer specific advice on reducing stress. Regularly eating balanced meals and exercising may help reduce stress and problems associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Smoking may worsen symptoms of IBS, which gives smokers another good reason to quit.
  • Since many patients with irritable bowel syndrome report food intolerances, a food diary may help identify foods that seem to make IBS worse.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Home Remedies

Many people may have already modified their diets before seeing a doctor. Temporarily avoiding dairy products may help assess whether symptoms of lactose intolerance are mimicking those of irritable bowel syndrome. Persons who avoid dairy products should exercise and consider taking calcium supplements.

Certain foods like cruciferous vegetables and legumes may worsen bloating and gassiness (previously discussed).

Other home remedies to sooth and lessen IBS symptoms include:

  • Increase dietary fiber in the diet
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid soda, which may cause gas and abdominal discomfort
  • Eating smaller meals may lessen the incidence of cramping and diarrhea.
  • Low fat and high carbohydrate meals such as pasta, rice, and whole grain breads may help IBS symptoms (unless the person has celiac disease).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/8/2015
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Irritable Bowel Disease »

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional GI disorder characterized by abdominal pain and altered bowel habits in the absence of specific and unique organic pathology.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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