Constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms and Treatments
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Constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms and Treatments

Bowel habits are highly individual, and constipation simply means opening your bowels less often than usual. It also refers to difficulty in passing motions. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) usually involves constipation alternating with diarrhea, with bloating, flatulence and abdominal pain. Dietary factors, an inherited tendency and low mood are believed to help account for IBS.
                               constipation cures and symptoms

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Bowel habits are highly individual, and constipation simply means opening your bowels less often than usual. It also refers to difficulty in passing motions. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) usually involves constipation alternating with diarrhea, with bloating, flatulence and abdominal pain. Dietary factors, an inherited tendency and low mood are believed to help account for IBS.

Symptoms

  • Passing fewer motions than usual
  • Hard, painful stools
  • Diarrhea and constipation often alternate in IBS
  • A tender, bloated abdomen during IBS bouts
  • Colicky pains, often aggravated by food

                           irritable bowel syndrome treatment

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Cures

Naturopathy

A regime of gentle exercise to get the body working, abdominal massage, herbal poultices, colonic irrigation and dietary advice may all be prescribed.

Vitamins and Minerals

Constipation caused by an unhealthy diet often responds dramatically to fiber-rich whole foods such as whole-meal flour and its products, raw and lightly cooked fruit and vegetables, nuts, grains and pulses, freshly squeezed juices, and around 3 1/2 pint (2 liters) of water to drink daily, together with a reduced intake of processed, refined foods containing additives. Licorice has potent laxative properties if eaten sparingly, as have figs and prunes.

Dietary supplements useful to irritable bowel syndrome sufferers include the whole B-complex range to combat stress, in addition to a basic multivitamin/mineral supplement.

Herbal Medicine

Ispaghula husks are often recommended for constipation, as are oat or wheat bran, or 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of extra virgin olive oil every morning. Carrot, fennel and tarragon are all mild laxatives - an infusion of any of these may be prescribed occasionally. Senna extract has been used for centuries to ease constipation.

Aromatherapy

Mix 4-5 drops of rosemary oil with 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of grape-seed oil and massage into the abdomen for 10 minutes, using circular, clockwise strokes (this is easiest while lying down) to sooth a bloated stomach and encourage the passage of stools.

Homeopathy

Take every 2 hours for up to 10 doses: Nux 6c for a strong urge to open the bowels, but nothing happens - or the feeling that there is more to come - with irritability and chilliness, particularly for elderly and inactive people who may misuse laxatives; or Opium 6c for sharp pains, straining that produces rabbit pellet stools, a sluggish bowel and poor appetite. The following specific remedies for IBS can be taken 4 times daily for up to 14 days: Argentum nit. 6c for extreme flatulence, constipation alternating with diarrhea, mucus in stools, and fluttery, tense sensations in the stomach; Colchicum 6c for watery stools, searing abdominal pains and nausea aggravated by the smell of food; Cantharis 6c for nausea and vomiting, thirst, burning pains, and when the patient also has cystitis; or Colocynth 6c for an attack triggered by anger, causing griping pains relieved by pressure on the abdomen.

Medical Treatment

Constipation is treated with dietary and exercise advice. A bulking agent such as sterculia or ispaghula husks may be prescribed to break the constipation cycle. Enemas and suppositories may be prescribed in certain cases. Osmotic laxatives work by forming a solution in the intestines, which then attracts fluid into itself, stimulating the bowel walls to function. Treatment of constipation due to a sore rectum is aimed at the underlying cause.

Prevention

  • Maintain your fiber intake to keep bowels regular
  • Daily exercise such as walking, jogging or cycling helps to stimulate a sluggish bowel
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially in hot weather
  • If you suffer from IBS, note which foods tend to bring on the symptoms
  • Keep a mood diary - IBS and depression may go hand in hand

Caution

  • Don't worry about constipation following diarrhea or a fast - no food in the intestines leaves no waste to be passed.
  • Always seek medical advice over unexplained changes in bowel habit.
  • Don't strain so hard that you feel faint or dizzy - failing to open your bowels for a few days is unlikely to harm you.
  • Do not be tempted to rely upon daily doses of laxative. These encourage bowel slackness and so perpetuate the problem in the long run.
  • Ask your GP to test you for underactive thyroid, which may be to blame for sluggish bowel movements.

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Comments (2)

good article, I have medication for my IBS

My parner has IBS and has tried several remedys from the doc as well as hospital treatment, thier are some good tips and suggestions we have not tried, so willing to try anything to see if they help..

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