Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Surgery is not done for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
A wide range of other therapies has been used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Treatment methods that help you better cope with stress can help reduce symptoms.
Other Treatment Choices
Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet can help with some symptoms of IBS, especially constipation. You can get more fiber in your diet by eating foods that are high in fiber such as fresh fruits (raspberries, pears, apples), fresh vegetables (peas, spinach, celery), wheat bran, and whole-grain breads and cereals.
If you have trouble getting enough fiber in your diet, try a fiber supplement. Examples include psyllium (such as Metamucil). If you take a fiber supplement, start with a small dose and very slowly increase the dose over a month or more. Also, make sure you drink plenty of fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water.
Some kinds of psychological treatment may help with IBS symptoms. These treatments include cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and hypnosis.5
These treatment methods are usually more effective if they are used along with other treatment methods, such as diet changes, stress reduction, and sometimes medicine.
Because IBS is so different for each person and because no medicines have been proven to work really well for IBS, many people try alternative or complementary treatments. Some of these treatments have been studied and some have not. The evidence to support their use varies as much as the evidence seen when medicines for IBS are studied.
What To Think About
Some people have been successful at handling stressful situations and controlling their symptoms after trying psychological therapies. These techniques are not harmful and have no side effects. Some of them can be used before a stressful event to prevent or reduce symptoms.
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