Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition of the large intestine that can cause cramping, gas, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and other forms of gastrointestinal distress. The first thing you should do if you suspect that you're suffering from IBS is to make an appointment with your primary physician to rule out any serious underlying causes that may be present. If one are found, there are many ways available to those who suffer from IBS to help them cope with the condition. IBS affects different people in different ways, so you may have to experiment with a variety of techniques before you find the one or the combination that works for you. Following are three strategies that many people who suffer from IBS have found helpful for alleviating the symptoms of IBS,
Mental Health Therapy
Research suggests that IBS is more common among those who are experiencing mental or emotional health issues. Although the link between IBS and mental health issues is not yet completely understood, the central nervous system plays a significant role bowel issues. Some people find relief by scheduling regular counseling appointments designed to help them cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation may also be helpful to those trying to minimize the effects of IBS on their quality of life. Your therapist may also prescribe anti-depressants, which may help alleviate IBS by lessening the amount of anxiety and depression in your life.
Supplements containing probiotics have also been found to be instrumental in helping those with IBS cope with its symptoms. Probiotic supplements help restore the natural balance of microbes in the digestive tract, helping to regulate bowel functioning and improving the overall health of the gut. Taking a daily probiotic supplement may also serve to keep populations of "bad" bacteria, such as pathogens like E.coli and others that can cause severe digestive disorders to a minimum.
Dairy, caffeine, alcohol, broccoli, carbonated beverages, and foods high in sugar, artificial sweeteners, and fat have all been found to increase symptoms of IBS in many people. However, what may strongly affect one person may not bother another, so it's important to keep a daily food and beverage diary and practice the process of elimination to narrow down the foods that may be causing your IBS flare-ups. It may require a visit to a professional nutritionist to devise a diet that provides your nutritional needs as well as keeps episodes of IBS to a minimum.