Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Simple Self-Help Tips
If you have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you will know how difficult it is to treat. Doctors can be dismissive of IBS symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation and bloating, and when treatment is offered it may only help for a short while before the distressing symptoms return.
Sufferers often find that they have to deal with the symptoms themselves, through self-help methods and supplements, rather than by using conventional medicines. However, this does not mean that there is no hope of improvement. By sharing their experiences, sufferers can learn a lot about what really helps to ease IBS.
All the self-help tips in this article have come from IBS sufferers who have found a way to control their irritable bowels. Before trying any form of self-help, please make sure that you have your doctor's approval, and do check that anything you try will not interfere with any medication you are taking.
Linda, who suffers from severe diarrhea, says: "What has helped me for more than two years is calcium carbonate, an over-the-counter supplement. I take three tablets a day, one at each meal. The most success has come from using any formula of calcium supplement that is like Caltrate 600 Plus with vitamin D and minerals. The only side effect is at the beginning of taking the calcium you may have some gas or indigestion, but this usually goes away after taking a regular dose for a few days."
If you suffer from constipation rather than diarrhea, you could try magnesium supplements instead, as these can have a slight laxative effect.
Digestive enzymes and probiotics
Kim, who also suffers from bad diarrhea, says: "I tried taking digestive enzymes with acidophilus and found significant relief within three days. I am not afraid to eat now, but find that I still cannot eat very much refined sugar or high fibre vegetables. I have also added a cup or two per day of peppermint and chamomile tea. When I do have an episode it occurs late in the day and by the next morning I am feeling back to normal."
Looking at your diet
Laura describes how a close examination of her diet helped her IBS: "I was placed on every kind of medication, and sometimes they worked in the short term, sometimes they didn't work at all. The doctor finally suggested trying to alter my diet in cycles, and we discovered that eating meat was my problem. I became a vegetarian and no longer have constant problems. Sometimes I even go years without any pain at all. It's worth all the effort you put into it when you finally feel better."
Mina also found that dietary change helped control her symptoms, alongside traditional medication: "I've made a number of changes to my diet. I've eliminated milk and mostly any dairy, fried foods, sugar for the most part, pop, alcohol, potato chips, spicy food, rice, pasta and bread. Most recently I'm eliminating flour. But my best friend for the last couple of years has been Imodium Quick Dissolve tablets. I don't ever leave home without them. I just have to make sure I don't overdo it. If I ever become immune to the wonder drug I am gonna be a real mess!"
Watching your diet is sometimes not enough to completely control the symptoms, and natural or herbal supplements can help, as Marion discovered: "After about six months of a horrendously restrictive diet (ultra low-fat vegan with no raw veggies or fruit except banana) and a lot of Metamucil, I managed to get it sort of under control. But if I deviated from the diet, the chronic diarrhea would come back. Someone I met told me that she had helped her IBS by taking a tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseed with a glass of water or juice every morning.
I thought it was another crackpot cure, but eventually I decided to try it. She had told me that pre-ground flaxseed didn't work because flax seed starts to oxidize as soon as you grind it and that whole flax seeds are no good either, because they cannot be digested properly. After years of IBS, in about two weeks it just went away. I cannot believe that I now have perfectly normal, regular bowel movements."
Fiber, water and yoga
Pam, who struggles with constipation, has developed a combination of things which work for her: "I drink Metamucil (psyllium fibre) every day and try to relax, pray or meditate, even do a little yoga. The more I make myself relax and take time to de-stress the better I can manage my problem. I know time for yourself is very hard to come by sometimes but I have to if I'm going to manage this. I try to drink at least three bottles of water a day. This is also hard sometimes but I have to take care of me the best I can. I also take a mild anti-depressant. This has helped a bunch in my stress department and in turn has helped my IBS."
Stress and IBS
Daniel believes that his symptoms are related to his emotions and stress: "I thought that when I was stuck on the toilet, experiencing the most severe cramps, thinking I was about to pass out from the pain, feeling like I was about to throw up, I was the only one. I'm still trying to work it out but I believe it has a lot to do with my psychological state. I say this because although I don't get too stressed out at any one moment, I do have general worries about money and life. I tend to find when I'm not worrying about these things I don't get the pain as much, if at all.
It's easier said than done of course, I can't just stop worrying about money or my future, but being aware of these things seems to help - being optimistic and knowing that everything is only temporary. I have been taking Colpermin (peppermint capsules) as a preventative which often helps and for a while I took painkillers which I think helped."
Soluble versus insoluble fiber
Some nutritionists believe that IBS sufferers' intestines react differently to soluble and insoluble fiber, and this has been Stu's experience: "After trying all kinds of drugs and healthy eating, my pains were still there. I found by accident that it wasn't so much what I ate but whether I ate it on a full stomach or not. My failsafe is pasta on an empty stomach, I get no reaction - it is soluble fibre that settles the colon apparently. I quickly searched on the internet for recipes high in soluble fibre and I have improved.
Most significantly though I am on no medication and this puts me in control of the IBS, not the other way around. I think this is important as stress certainly can trigger the symptoms off. I don't avoid insoluble fibre as it is essential for the body, but I recommend that you eat it on a full stomach."
Sophie Lee has suffered from IBS for more than 15 years. She runs the IBS Tales website at http://www.ibstales.com where you can read hundreds of personal experiences of IBS and self-help tips.
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No person likes to feel housebound and dependent on others. While people who have been injured or suffering from a debilitating disease may not have full functionality of their motor skills, it is still possible for them to be semi-independent and mobile.
Generic Drug: Its Pros and Cons
A generic drug can be defined as an identical, or bioequivalent to a brand name drug in its dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use. Although generic drugs are chemically identical to their branded counterparts, they are typically sold at substantial discounts from the branded price.
"Do you suffer from Osteoarthritis? Here's how to tell!"
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA). This type of arthritis is commonly referred to as wear and tear arthritis or degenerative arthritis.
Medication Compliance Kit ... A Life Saver
Pill Proof LLC introduces the first, easy to use medication compliance kit for consumers and medical professionals. Owner, Jane Langdon, has a sister in law with Parkinson's Disease.
Coumadin Users Can Avoid Unnecessary Complications By Wearing Identification
The police arrive at the accident scene promptly. A driver has run his automobile into a guardrail while exiting a highway.
Give Me Accutane or Give Me Death: The Politics of Prescriptions
Any teenager will tell you that acne can drive you crazy, but is it dismal enough to drive you to kill yourself? Since its market debut in 1982, enraged parents and lawyers have implicated Accutane in the hospitalizations and suicide deaths of over 200 teenagers in the US.Accutane (isotretinoin) is one of Hoffman-LaRoche's most popular and controversial pharmaceuticals.
First Responder Human Hibernation Units
In the next few years paramedics, first responders and military medics will have instant hibernation devices. These devices will come in small canisters of the gas to slow the body down after replacing lost blood and/or stopping bleeding.
New Treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy
Millions of Americans suffer with Peripheral Neuropathy and until recently there was no specific treatment available. Peripheral Neuropathy is often associated with Diabetes, but can occur on its own.
Online Pharmacies Are Becoming Increasingly Popular Due To Their Convenience And Discreetness
Leading online pharmacy companies are providing consumer with a secure, safe, convenient, and discreet way to acquire prescriptions.People in need of prescriptions are turning to the internet for an alternative to the corner drug store.
Mend Your Arthritis Pain Relief
=====KNOW YOUR ARTHRITIS=====Arthritis is referred to as the nation?s number one crippling disease and the most common chronic disease in people over 40, arthritis affects more than 40 million Americans.And this figure is expected to rise to 60 million by 2020, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Questions to Your Physician or Psychotherapist
According to ongoing research about the needs of patients with emotional problems misinformation or shame to speak about the problem with the doctor or psychotherapist is a major limitation to treatment success. However, transparency, good information and participation in the course of the therapy is the most important factor for a lasting positive result.
Celebrex? Vioxx? Can My Doctor Provide Me With Safe Prescription Painkillers?
The news has been full of the recent FDA findings on a new set of drugs to help relieve pain. These drugs have been approved for re-release, but it is unclear whether Vioxx will be available again and whether physicians will feel comfortable prescribing Celebrex and Bextra for many of their patients.
The Right Stethoscope For Your Needs!
Just about all health care providers have need of stethoscopes. Whether you're a nurse, respiratory therapist or a medical doctor, the need to auscultate the chest, lungs and heart is a necessary and important part of your work.
Parasites In Your Colon
Your colon is a place for other parasites and organisms to breed and live. Many are harmful to your health and enter the body in various ways - foods we eat, through the bottom of your feet, air you breathe, the water you drink, and through sexual activity.
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