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Help for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet Guide
One in five Northern Americans has irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which makes it one of the most common disorders diagnosed today. Irritable bowel syndrome usually hits the person around age 20 and is more common among women than in men.
Irritable bowel syndrome is actually a disease, although doctors consider it a functional disorder. However, even though the syndrome can cause considerable pain and discomfort, it does not actually damage the digestive system.
Irritable bowel syndrome disturbs the normal functions of the colon, particularly how the muscles in the intestines work, causing a lot of embarrassment and pain. Irritable bowel syndrome does not cause internal bleeding, but may worsen a medical condition if you already have one.
No one really knows why certain people develop IBS. Researchers believe that people with Irritable bowel syndrome have sensitive colons that react to aggravating foods and certain emotional conditions, most commonly, to stress, conflict, or upsets. Antidepressants are often used to relieve stress-related irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Some doctors link colon sensitivity to weak immune systems.
No cure has been found yet for irritable bowel syndrome. Your doctor might prescribe fiber supplements or occasional laxatives to ease constipation, as well as medicines to help with diarrhea, or drugs that calm down abdominal pain, but careful eating is the most important step in reducing irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Many irritable bowel syndrome sufferers can successfully control their symptoms with simple diet changes. Quite often, when you increase your fiber intake, irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are relieved.
Eating more fiber can be easier than you think. Whole grain breads and cereals, fruits, and vegetables are both delicious and rich in healthy fiber. Fiber-rich diet results in regular bowel movements and better colon cleansing. However, fiber will make you feel worse if you have pain or diarrhea because high-fiber diets may cause some discomfort at first, but do not panic. You simply need a few days to adjust to the new diet. Positive changes take time if your colon is more irritated than normally.
When starting fiber-rich diet, stick to plain foods like white rice, plain unflavored oatmeal, rice cereal, pasta, peeled potatoes. Incorporate insoluble fibers carefully by blending fresh fruit with soy or rice milk making delicious and nutritious cocktails. You can always add vegetables into soups or pasta sauces. Grilled, not fried, fish filet or low-fat chicken breast goes well with your pasta or rice. Eat fruits and vegetables as much as possible. To increase fiber intake, drink psyllium or flaxseed dissolved in water, such as Citrucel or Metamucil.
In general, try eating foods that are low in fat and high in carbohydrates, such as whole grain pasta and breads, unprocessed (not quick-cooking) rice and cereals. Avoid food that is high in fat, insoluble fiber, caffeine, coffee, carbonation, or alcohol.
When relieving irritable bowel syndrome symptoms through dietary means, you should keep your water intake at a maximum. Water prevents dehydration, especially if you have diarrhea. Drink plain water. Carbonated drinks, such as sodas, may result in increased levels of gas and cause pain in the abdomen.
Irritable bowel syndrome may require you to change the way you eat your meals. Big portions of food can cause cramping and diarrhea. To prevent these occurrences eat smaller portions and plan your meals so that you eat more frequently. Less food requires less effort from your bowels, so the message is to eat little and often.
When following these simple diet guidelines people can start living a normal, happy, outgoing life. Diarrhea and pain should reduce in just a few days. Constipation, however, can take several weeks to relieve, but it is worth persevering. Besides, you will look and feel healthier, too!
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Symptoms,Causes, and Treatment
Do You Really Have IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a fairly well-known disorder these days ó medications for IBS are advertised on TV and in the media, and thankfully it is now far less of a taboo to talk about your bowels.
However, this new awareness sometimes means that patients decide they have IBS without seeing a doctor. In fact it is impossible to self-diagnose IBS, because there are far two many medical conditions which can produce symptoms of diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain.
Because of this fact it is vital to get your symptoms thoroughly checked out by a doctor, especially if they are continuing for a long period of time or are interfering with your work or social life.
Even when patients do see a doctor, however, a significant number don't receive the correct diagnosis until their second or third visit, or until they see a gut specialist. It is vital to find a doctor who is willing to take the time to investigate any symptoms that don't fit with the IBS diagnosis, and who can ensure that you don't have one of the many medical conditions which can produce bowel and stomach problems.
For example, if you are a woman you could have endometriosis, a condition where tissue which usually lines the ovaries is found in other parts of the body. If the tissue attaches to the bowel then abdominal pain can be the result.
Just this week I received an email from a woman who was told she had IBS, and then the doctors changed their minds after a laparoscopy to look for endometriosis.
It could be ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, two inflammatory bowel disorders which can cause similar symptoms to IBS but need different treatments.
If you have celiac disease you will be suffering because you are eating the gluten in bread, cakes and pasta (among other foods), and all you need to do to feel better will be to cut out gluten from your diet.
You may have picked up an intestinal parasite such as giardia from foreign travel, or you could have fibromyalgia, a condition that can cause bowel symptoms but can also cause problems such as 'brain fog' and muscle pain.
If you find that your symptoms are worse after drinking milk you may have lactose intolerance. And, of course, in a small number of cases it could be bowel cancer.
If your doctor has already diagnosed you with IBS, and you are happy with that diagnosis, then you can concentrate on relieving your IBS symptoms and not worry about these other conditions.
But if you have never been properly diagnosed, now is the time to go to your doctor and explain your symptoms clearly, because you will only receive the help you need if you know exactly what is wrong with your body.
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