Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS as it is commonly known is an intestinal disorder which affects the large intestine and the patient is unable to digest the food properly.
Though IBS is not a serious disease and can be controlled by following simple changes in one’s lifestyle, it can cause a lot of discomfort and may become chronic if not taken care of.
Symptoms and Cause
The IBS symptoms affect an individual differently. She/he may suffer from abdominal cramps, irregular bowel movements, gas formation or flatulence. Women are more prone to irritable bowel syndrome due to hormonal changes and also during the menstruation period.
The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome cannot be ascertained as it varies from person to person. IBS affects a person in two ways, it can cause diarrhoea due to increased activity of the digestion process or a person may suffer from constipation if the digestive tract becomes sluggish.
IBS is generally caused by sensitivity to certain food items like milk, cheese or fresh cream. You can suffer from IBS due to inability to digest high fiber foods like wheat, legumes or sprouts etc.
Caffeinated drinks, soda drinks can also cause IBS as they create gas and flatulence in the stomach. Smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol are also responsible for irritable bowel syndrome.
Emotions also play a part is triggering IBS. If you are physically stressed out or are undergoing mental tension then it is quiet likely to suffer from IBS. Irritable bowel syndrome can start between the age of 35 year – 50 year and as you grow old your intestinal muscles also become weak like other parts of your body. An elderly person feels difficulty in passing the stools and may need to visit the toilet frequently.
Some people may suffer from IBS if they are suffering them from any kind of illness and certain medicines that are administered to treat the ailment can cause IBS. This condition may be temporary and gets cured once you stop taking that particular medicine.
Dealing With IBS With Diet
Irritable bowel syndrome can be safely treated at home by making certain changes in your food habits and incorporating a regular exercise routine in your daily life. Certain modification in your daily diet can do wonders in dealing with IBS. Observe which food items create disturbance in your digestive system.
You can maintain a diet chart and note down your daily intake in it. This will help you to zero down on foods that do not suit your system.
Dairy products- If you are sensitive to milk products then you should switch to eating yogurt and take milk in small quantities to prevent gas formation. You can also take soy milk to get enough proteins required for the body.
Whole grains- Instead of whole grains or legumes, you can eat washed lentils that are easy to digest and are light on the stomach. You should eat refined flour, rice and white bread to prevent diarrhoea. But if you have constipation then you should stick to high fiber diet.
Vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, tomato and spinach also cause IBS especially if you suffer from diarrhoea. You should not eat these vegetables and switch to more of carbohydrate rich food or foods that contain starch.
Fried food is also a culprit that triggers irritable bowel syndrome. Eat less of fried food and switch to boiled or steamed snacks. Fatty food increases flatulence and gas and does not suit people who suffer from constipation.
Fluids are very important for stimulating the bowels. You should drink plenty of water to keep the digestive tract clean. Lemon based drinks are beneficial for both type of irritable bowel syndrome. Avoid consuming soda drinks and caffeinated drinks as these may cause gas and bloating.
Eat smaller meals at regular intervals so that the food digests properly without burdening the stomach and the intestines. You should eat at fixed hours to regulate the bowel function.
Regular exercise can help to deal with irritable bowel syndrome in the long run. You can even get cured from IBS if you follow a physical activity regimen. Exercise reduces stress and activates the digestive system. It strengthens the intestines and keeps them flexible for easy movement to help digest food easily.
Yoga is an effective way to treat IBS. You can learn yoga and meditation from a trained instructor and make it a part of your life. You must visit the doctor if the problem of IBS is not controlled by following home treatment.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.