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Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Lifestyle and Home Remedies

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Implementing home remedies and changes to diet and lifestyle that help prevent or lessen IBS symptoms should be as important in properly managing your symptoms as seeing your doctor and getting treatment for your condition. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can strike people of any age and causes stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea.

Diet Changes

When you have IBS, the muscles and nerves of your digestive system, particularly the neuromuscular system of your intestines become very prone to irritation from certain foods and fluids that you are eating. The intestines contract and start to cramp, accumulate gas and you begin to have either diarrhea, or become constipated during or a little while after your meal. To prevent this from happening you need to determine what foods and fluids irritate your intestines so you may avoid them in the future. Many IBS sufferers find that foods and drinks like artificial sweeteners, beverages containing caffeine, fatty foods, dairy products and chocolate. Pain can be caused by intestinal gas during an episode of IBS and certain fruits, cabbage and beans can only exacerbate the pain. Keep in mind that although fiber betters the function of the intestines it causes the cramping and gas to become worse. In order to avoid gas and cramping, slowly incorporate foods and fluids that contain fiber into your diet over a number of weeks to a month. Have a journal that contains a list of the foods and fluids you have eaten for two to three weeks and write down the symptoms you have experienced after you have eaten or drank some of these products. Doing this will help you either to cut down eating or drinking these products or avoid them altogether.

Stress Relief

Too much distress or even extreme joy can exacerbate your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Better control of your emotions means better control of your symptoms as well. To help relieve physical and mental stress, you can sleep or do relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation to bring your mind and body to a state of placidity banishing any feelings of depression or anxiety you have. When you’re relaxed, your intestinal contractions will then start to normalize.   Exercise can also relieve stress and help you feel relaxed later on. You can then start to enjoy lesser bowel symptoms. You can go to your doctor to talk or a counselor if you suffer from anxiety or depression because of your IBS.


Medications for IBS are all designed to lessen or relieve IBS symptoms. One type of drugs used is antispasmodics and its purpose is to lessen the pain from the cramping of the intestines. Another type of medications is antidiarrheal drugs which take care of diarrhea. Laxatives are used for IBS sufferers suffering from constipation. Certain antidepressants taken in small doses are also used to address intestinal pain. Sedatives or tranquilizers can be used to address anxiety-exacerbated IBS symptoms. These drugs should be only used for short amounts of time. Be sure to follow the instructions that come along when you purchase laxatives and antidiarrheal drugs or instructions in their use coming from your doctor or pharmacist. Over-the-counter meds for diarrhea like Kaopectate or Imodium should be taken in the most minimum dosage that proves effective for the problem. You can take Imodium for half an hour after you have eaten especially if what you’ve eaten will likely lead to diarrhea. Use all these medications properly and responsibly since abusing them will bring you other health problems in the future. To be 100% sure that you use these medications correctly consult with your doctor or pharmacist first before taking them.

Drink lots of water since water can help wash away harmful contents in the intestines that aggravate your stomach problems. As mentioned a while ago, stay away from drinks that contain caffeine since it can worsen your diarrhea. Alcohol too as well as carbonated drinks like soda should be avoided since these drinks will cause gas to develop in your intestines.

Acupuncture Health Center
1303 Astor St # 101
Bellingham, WA 98225
Phone: (360) 715-1824

Written by Valerie

October 5th, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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