Effective Ways to Treat Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

HealthEffective Ways to Treat Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), is a chronic condition that affects two main parts of the gastrointestinal tract: the stomach and intestines. While this disorder does not advance into other diseases that can occur in the GI tract, such as cancer, it can greatly affect a person’s quality of life. Unfortunately, this condition is incurable and will need to be managed for life. This article dives into medical tips and available treatments for irritable bowel syndrome symptoms in Singapore.

What happens when you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Normally, when digesting food, the food from the stomach is moved by the muscle in the intestines to the rectum in a rhythm that is gentle and a schedule that is certain. A person with irritable bowel syndrome experiences this process in a different way. People with IBS will feel painful spasms in their abdomen, which affects the movement of food through the GI tract. Slower movement may lead to constipation, while the opposite can cause diarrhea.

IBS can also be due to nerve endings in the GI tract that are oversensitive. When a person has oversensitive nerve endings, they may suffer greatly from abdominal pain caused by tiny gas bubbles as compared to other individuals who do not have IBS.

What are the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

There are various symptoms that can point to Irritable Bowel Syndrome and each person may have a different experience from another who also suffers from this kind of disorder. Likewise, these symptoms are similar to other medical illnesses, which increases the risk of a misdiagnosis.

The usual signs of irritable bowel syndrome are:

  • A feeling of not being able to empty your bowels entirely
  • Bloating, cramping, discomfort, or pain felt in the abdomen
  • Change in the stool’s appearance
  • Change in the frequency of bowel movement
  • Headache
  • Heartburn or acid reflux
  • Muscle pains

What can cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

The main cause of irritable bowel syndrome remains unknown. However, its development is often link to the following:

  • Irregular intestine muscle contractions
  • Nervous system dysfunction
  • Poor gut health
  • Severe infection
  • Stress

Irregular intestine muscle contractions. This can cause the food process to be either super fast or slow. Food movement that is done quickly leads to diarrhea and a slow movement results in constipation.

Nervous system dysfunction. Some people with irritable bowel syndrome have very sensitive nerves in their GI tract. The digestive process of the body can be negatively affected and lead to discomfort and pain if the nerves in the digestive tract do not properly send communication between the brain and the intestines.

Poor Gut Health. The balance of the bacteria, fungi, and virus in the gut plays an important role in keeping it healthy. An imbalance in the presence of these microbes can be a possible cause of irritable bowel syndrome.

Severe infection. Diarrhea caused by bacteria or a virus can cause irritable bowel syndrome to develop.

Stress. Irritable bowel syndrome is more commonly diagnosed in people who have undergone events that are highly stressful, especially during their childhood Buy valium online to treat muscle spasms and seizures.

What can trigger the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?

There are a number of factors that can trigger the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. These include:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Diet
  • Medication
  • In women, menstruation

Anxiety and stress. The body produces more stress hormones, otherwise known as cortisol, which can trigger the intestines to spasm. In addition, high levels of cortisol can change the amount of good bacteria in the gut, which can lead to an imbalance and an unhealthy environment that can worsen this chronic condition.

Diet. Diet plays a key role in triggering symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. This does not only concern the kinds of food that you eat, but also the amount of food that you consume at one time. A factor that sparks irritable bowel syndrome symptoms is eating big meals. When consuming food, naturally everything contained in the gastrointestinal tract has to move. This is called gastrocolic reflex. As soon as the food hits, the stomach sends signals to the colon through the nerves in the GI tract that signals for it to begin contracting. Abnormal and strong contractions can lead to a sudden urge to move bowels.

The type of food that you eat is another triggering factor for IBS symptoms. The usual culprits are:

  • Caffeine
  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Insoluble fiber
  • Processed foods

Medication. There are some medications that can jumpstart the symptoms of IBS. The most common are those medicines that contain sorbitol. Constipation is often experienced by people diagnosed with IBS who take tricyclic antidepressants, such as:

  • Amitriptyline
  • Amoxapine
  • Desipramine
  • Doxepin
  • Imipramine
  • Nortriptyline
  • Protriptyline
  • Trimipramine

Antidepressant medications, on the other hand, can cause diarrhea. This is usually experienced by individuals who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors antidepressants (SSRIs). Below are examples of this kind of medication:

  • Citalopram
  • Escitalopram
  • Fluoxetine
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Sertraline

Menstruation. Hormonal changes and fluctuations that can occur in women during “that time of the month” can increase the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Experts believe that there are cells in the GI tract that react to estrogen and progesterone, which can affect the digestion process when a woman has menstruation.

What are effective ways to treat symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome?

The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can be treated through these effective ways:

  • Alternative therapies
  • Change in diet
  • Medication
  • Psychotherapy

Alternative therapies. For triggers caused by anxiety and stress, acupuncture and therapeutic massages can help the body to relax and improve your health condition.

Change in diet. Eating smaller meals is one way to avoid IBS symptoms. In addition, avoid food that contains ingredients that are known to trigger IBS, like caffeine, dairy, gluten, and fatty, processed foods.

Medication. There are several medications available that can help alleviate the discomfort and pain brought about by symptoms of IBS. These are:

  • Antibiotics and probiotics to alter and improve the health of the gut environment
  • Antidiarrheal medicines for those suffering from diarrhea
  • Laxatives for those suffering from constipation
  • Low-dose antidepressants have the ability to make your GI tract’s nervous system to be less reactive to emotional stress or to foods that you consume.
  • Muscle relaxants help in preventing or alleviating abdominal cramps.

The type of treatment will depend on the triggering factors of your symptoms and how severe they are. It is important that you get proper guidance from a medical specialist in order to properly understand your condition and know your triggers.

Gastrohealth – Centre for Digestive and Liver Care

6A Napier Road, Annexe Block

#03-37 Gleneagles Hospital

Singapore 258500


+655 6355 5773

+65 9776 2721

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