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IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Homeopathic Treatment of IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Allopathic or conventional treatment of IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome and its side-effects

Allopathic medicines may provide immediate relief from the symptoms of IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, but the root cause of the problem is not touched and so the problem recurs, besides the dangerous side-effects can be worse than the IBS symptoms.

With allopathic treatment, the affected organ becomes the target and physicians try to identify the causative agent of the illness such as a virus or bacteria and try to treat it. The various drugs used in allopathy or conventional treatment of IBS or irritable bowel syndrome and their side-effects are as follows :

  • Most allopathic physicians prescribe anticholinergic drugs which block the responses of nerves in the colon, which may temporarily relieve you from IBS; however these drugs will leave you with several side effects including a dry mouth, blurred vision, and difficulty in urinating.
  • Antidepressants such as propantheline and also antianxiety drugs, which can cause side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, hot flushes and so on, for which more medicines will be required.
  • The various antibiotics used can alter the population of the helpful, necessary bacteria in the intestines, causing diarrhoea, fever, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, acidity and so on.
  • Antacids which are most frequently prescribed by a majority of allopathic doctors will leave the patient with constipation and intestinal upsets which will again cause acidity and other uncomfortable symptoms.
  • Narcotics, including diphenoxylate and loperamide, can stop diarrhoea by slowing the movement of the stool through the intestine. They can however, lead to constipation and / or stomachaches and are potentially addictive.
  • Painkillers like ibuprofen (Nurofen) or aspirin, can make the symptoms worse.
  • It is usually seen that if a patient is treated for constipation predominating IBS, diarrhoea results and vice-versa. There are certain drugs like lotronex which are given in cases with diarrhoea, which can reduce the blood supply to the colon and may cause severe constipation.

Homeopathy for IBS or irritable bowel syndrome

Homeopathic medicines are prescribed by studying the totality of the symptoms of the patient, rather than just the by name of the disease or condition. This is because each case of a particular illness can manifest differently in different people.

The most recent approach homeopathy uses in treating IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is addressing the overall symptoms of this disease and prescribing a remedy capable of normalizing unfavorable responses to aggravating factors such as stress, diet, hormonal imbalances and so on. Homeopathy is a non steroidal treatment which cures the patient permanently and leaves no side effects.

The quality of life affected by IBS or irritable bowel syndrome can be effectively taken care of by proper homoeopathic treatment.

In IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, people are afraid to go out of home because diarrhoea can trouble them anytime or they can have acidity, gas, bloating of the stomach, flatulence and so on, which stops them from attending the necessities of their lives. Just relax, because homeopathy has the answer. The loose bowel movements or unusually hard stools can be easily taken care of by homeopathc remedies. Homeopathy stimulates the natural healing processes and corrects the faulty response of the body and will help the gastrointestinal tract to work more effectively and efficiently.

Spasms of the colon which never let a patient do anything and which are intensified when a patient is planning to go out or is stressed, can effectively be taken care with the appropriate homeopathic medicines. Homeopathic medicines reduce the hypersensitivity of the nerves of the colon, improve the blood supply of the colon and hence, improve the disturbed colon.

While choosing the homeopathic medicine/s, the causes of various symptoms of IBS or irritable bowel syndrome like diarrhoea (loose stools), constipation, gas, bloating of the stomach, flatulence and so on, are also evaluated. The causes may be sedentary habits, dietary errors, faulty feeding habits, mental stress, and weakness of the digestive system muscles and so on. Timely administration of the homeopathic treatment can easily take care of the root cause of the relapses and cure the IBS.

The need for some or all of the existing allopathic medication for IBS or irritable bowel syndrome reduces gradually, as the patient improves with homeopathic treatment. Homeopathy cures the root cause of the IBS or irritable bowel syndrome and assures the patient of not facing similar problems in future.

We strongly urge and recommend IBS patients globally, to consider Homeopathy for its safe, gentle & long-term benefits.

There are 127 homoeopathic medicines which give great relief in IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. However, the correct choice and the resulting relief is a matter of experience and right judgment on the part of the homeopathic doctor. The treatment is decided after thorough case taking of the patient. Thus, homeopathic remedies of IBS or irritable bowel syndrome are tailer made, unlike allopathy, in which all patients receive the same medicines - although trade names may be different.

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IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome... What is it, Anyway?
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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a long-term condition that causes recurring pain or discomfort in the abdomen (tummy) and an altered bowel habit, which may be diarrhoea or constipation. IBS is one of the most common problems of the digestive system.

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is the most commonly diagnosed gastrointestinal condition and is second only to the common cold as a cause of absence from work. Studies suggest the worsening of the IBS symptoms in stressful conditions. IBS affects all aspects of life and significantly reduces the quality of life.

Recent European and American epidemiological investigations do validate that there is increased prevalence of IBS in women aged 35-44 and confirm the significant impact of the disorder on the functional status and quality of life. Upto 1 in 5 people in Europe develop IBS at some stage of their life.

Gender, race, and age, all play a role in the prevalence of IBS. Recent studies suggest that in the United States of America the incidence of IBS is 10% and its prevalence 20%. These numbers are dependent on the diagnostic criteria used as well as on the population studied. Approximately 70% of patients who meet the diagnostic criteria for IBS do not seek medical care; the remaining patients account for 12% of primary care visits. Community-based estimates suggest that up to 30% of patients with a gastrointestinal complaint will have IBS, but only a minority of patients are diagnosed by a gastroenterologist.

How is IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosed ?
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IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is considered a functional disorder, wherein diagnostic testing does not show any visible disease process. To determine whether a person is just having temporary digestive distress or if he does have IBS, doctors use a standard called the Rome III criteria.

According to this criteria, IBS or irritable bowel syndrome can only be diagnosed if symptoms have been present for at least six months. Symptoms must have been experienced on at least three days, for at least three months.

Specifically, symptoms must consist of recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort, with two or more of the following :

  • Pain is relieved by a bowel movement
  • Onset of pain is related to a change in the frequency of the stool
  • Onset of pain is related to a change in the appearance of the stool
Symptoms of IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, affects each person differently. The hallmark of IBS is abdominal discomfort or pain. Other frequently encountered symptoms are :

  • Abdominal cramping and pain that are relieved after bowel movements
  • Alternating periods of diarrhoea and constipation
  • Change in the stool frequency or consistency
  • Gassiness (flatulence or bloating of the stomach)
  • Passing mucus from the rectum
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal distension

The following are NOT the symptoms or characteristics of IBS :

  • Blood in stools or urine
  • Vomiting (rare, though may occasionally accompany nausea)
  • Pain or diarrhoea that interrupts sleep
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
Causes of IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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The cause of IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is not clear. It may have something to do with over activity of part or parts of the GI Tract. The small and large bowel (also called the small and large intestine) are parts of the GI tract inside the abdomen.

Food is passed along by regular contractions (squeezes) of the muscles in the wall of the GI tract (peristalsis). Pain and other symptoms may develop if the contractions become abnormal or overactive. The area of over activity in the GI tract may determine whether constipation or diarrhoea develops. Recent research is linking psychological factors to physiological functioning in many digestive disorders including IBS.

How Does Stress Affect IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome ?
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Feeling stressed, being mentally or emotionally tense, troubled, angry, or overwhelmed can stimulate colon spasms in people with IBS.

The colon has many nerves that connect it to the brain. Like the heart and the lungs, the colon is partly controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which responds to stress. These nerves control the normal contractions of the colon and cause abdominal discomfort at stressful times. People often experience cramps or 'butterflies' when they are nervous or upset.

In people with IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, the colon can be overly responsive to even slight conflict or stress. Stress makes the mind more aware of the sensations that arise in the colon, making the person perceive these sensations as unpleasant.

Explanation and Reassurance to patients of IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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The patients of IBS or irritable bowel syndrome should be explained about the absence of any fear of developing cancer or any serious trouble in the future. These patients should be given psychological support.

IBS is known to worsen with stress; thus it is very important to establish ways to manage stress. Apart from exercise, which reduces tension, a hobby or other social activities could provide a break from stressful situations. Writing on a journal, self hypnosis and meditation are some examples to help relieve stress.

Dietary Advice in IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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  • Have regular meals and take time to eat.
  • Avoid missing meals or leaving long gaps between meals.
  • Drink at least eight cups of fluids per day, especially water or other non-caffeinated drinks, for example herbal teas.
  • Restrict tea and coffee to three cups per day.
  • Reduce intake of alcohol and fizzy drinks.
  • Reduce intake of 'resistant starch' (starch that resists digestion in the small intestine and reaches the colon intact), which is often found in processed or re-cooked foods.
  • Limit fresh fruit to three portions per day (a portion should be approximately 80 gms).
  • People with diarrhoea should avoid sorbitol, an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free sweets (including chewing gum) and drinks and in some diabetic and slimming products.
  • People with wind and bloating may find it helpful to eat oats such as oat-based breakfast cereal or porridge.

It is generally advised that fiber in the diet should be increased gradually over a long period of time, to give the bowel time to adjust. Not all fiber is the same. Soluble fiber, which is found in oats and many green vegetables, is generally well tolerated and beneficial in IBS or irritable bowel syndrome.

Some insoluble fibers especially nuts, seeds and legumes often make symptoms of IBS worse. Wheat bran can help ease constipation but should be used with care, as it can also trigger attacks in some people. An increase in fibre will only be effective if fluid intake is adequate.

How to Prevent IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome ?
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  • Avoid alcoholic drinks
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce stress levels - in fact, one must avoid getting stressed
  • Move your diet routine to 5 small meals a day
  • Avoid fried food and red meat
  • Do yoga or meditation / self hypnosis to relax

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