How to Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome Naturally

irritable bowel syndrome

How Irritable Bowel Syndrome is Treated

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is characterized by periodic abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. The intestines are often in a state of tension or abnormal contraction, which makes it difficult for the body to pump waste materials through the system. Sometimes nausea and vomiting add to the misery of IBS.

Many people who suffer from one or more of the manifestations of irritable bowel syndrome feel they must carefully watch their diet avoid eating anything bulky, or any kind of roughage (dietary fiber) that might cause 'pressure' as it moves through the large intestine (colon). In fact, many people with irritable bowel syndrome have probably been told by their doctors to stick to a low-residue diet, in which there is very little waste material left after the small intestine has done its job of absorption.

Ironically, according to Arthur D. Schwabe, professor of medicine and chief of gastroenterology at the UCLA School of Medicine, the low-residue diet is exactly the wrong approach to treating IBS. By following a diet high in fruits and vegetables and including two tablespoons of bran a day, Dr. Schwabe said, many people may rid themselves of painful symptoms of the irritable bowel syndrome (Internal Medicine News, 1 May 1979). Many doctors point out that you should drink plenty of fluids along with your brain to avoid 'wind'.

If you're concerned about the possibility of taking too much fiber, that won't happen if you begin modestly, and increase the amount of fiber in your diet a little bit every few days. That way, you'll know just how your body is responding.

Foods that irritate the bowels

Another successful dietary approach to IBS involves testing patients for food allergies.

Researchers at Cambridge University, led by John Hunter, asked 21 patients with IBS to limit their diet for one week to a single meat, a single fruit and distilled or spring water. Those whose symptoms cleared on this regimen were then asked to re-introduce a single food daily to determine whether specific foods provoked their symptoms.

Of the 21 patients tested, 14 discovered that their symptoms cleared on the special diet and that re-introduction of specific foods did indeed provoke the IBS symptoms to reappear.

Of course, 'the detection of food intolerance is not easy,' say the researchers,
requiring six to eight weeks of single-minded concentration on a diet which is initially severely limited. Only patients with determination and understanding are able to pursue this successfully. However, the benefits, with 67 per cent of patients being symptom-free, justify the effort required by the patient, dietitian, and doctor. [Lancet, 20 November 1982].

'Gut feelings'

An important adjunct to dietary therapy, for many patients, may be psycho-therapy. For while doctors don't really know what causes IBS or even what's happening in the gut when it takes hold, they have found that most of the people with IBS have some kind of emotional problem.

'More than 75 percent of the patients with IBS have abnormal psychological test scores,' says Harold Tucker, a gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

And a scientific study reported in the Medical Journal of Australia (29 November 1980) showed that, when 52 people with IBS received psychotherapy, they had a big improvement in their symptoms: 89 percent had less pain; 96 percent, less diarrhoea; 90 percent, less constipation; 92 percent, less nausea; and 81 percent, less vomiting.

The symptoms of IBS, said the doctor who conducted the study, were regarded as a physical expression of emotions caused by 'recent loss or ongoing stressful life situations'. With that in mind, it would make sense for irritable bowel sufferers to give psychotherapy a try, and otherwise, explore avenues of stress release and relaxation therapy.

How to Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome Naturally How to Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome Naturally Reviewed by Healthy Kite on 8/19/2016 Rating: 5

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