What to Do with an Irritable Bowel

By: Kirthy Shetty


An estimated 15 to 20 percent of Americans have irritable bowel syndrome, a painful and devastating disease that can cause abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea and bloating. If you suffer from an irritable bowel, you are far from being alone!

Such syndrome or IBS is classified as a functional disorder that affects a person's digestive tract. With IBS, every organ from the mouth, to the small intestines, the large intestines, to the rectum and the anus could be affected, and as such will not function properly. IBS is also known by other names like mucous colitis,
spastic colitis, and spastic colon,

IBS is not a curable disease. As it is now, researched, its causes and more importantly, its treatment, are still largely inconclusive. In fact, the main cause of these syndrome is not known.

People suffering from such problems, however, can get relief from changing their diets. Unfortunately, doctors usually forego giving their patients dietary guidelines to manage IBS. But watching what you eat and drink can be very helpful.

Changes in the sufferers diet goes a long way in managing the symptoms associated with an irritable bowel. Especially if you also have lifestyle changes, or take specific medicines for your condition. This is very heartening to know, especially because people who suffer with such bowel problems can have some major disruptions in their lives if the symptoms they have are not managed well.

Food is a direct agent of IBS symptoms, that much is simple because it goes through the digestive tract. An irritant would come in direct contact with the affected part. So it should be common sense to control the food you eat and the liquids you drink.

As a general rule, avoid fatty foods, caffeine, coffee, carbonated drinks and alcohol if you have an irritable bowel. These types of food are gastrointestinal irritant and can give rise to an IBS attack. Another food group to avoid is dairy (which contains lactose).

For most other foods and drinks, however, you must try them to see how they react with your IBS. If you suffer mostly from constipation brought about by IBS, you might do well to add more fiber in your diet. There are also physiological tests that you can go through, like the ELISA, or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, food allergy test that can very well identify what foods would cause a reaction with an irritable bowel.

Probiotics have also been found to be beneficial for an irritable bowel. Probiotics are different kinds of live microorganisms that provide healthy benefits for the body. Probiotics include all "good bacteria" like lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria. Depending on the type of probiotics present in the food or drink being consumed, it can:

prevent colon cancer,
lower cholesterol,
lower blood pressure,
manage lactose intolerance,
improve immune function and prevent infections,
treat certain kinds of infections including peptic ulcer,
improve absorption of trace minerals,
treat diarrhea,
reduce inflammation, and
prevent the growth of pathogens, or bad bacterial.

Probiotics have also been found to reduce the severity of symptoms associated with IBS, specifically those strains of B. infantis and lactobacillus plantarum.

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Kirthy Shetty, Platinum author. Get all your tips related to Irritable Bowel from: Irritable Bowel
For more information on: Infant Probiotic

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