IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that affects the function and behavior of the intestines. Normally, the muscles lining the intestines intermittently contract and relax to move food along the digestive tract. In IBS, this pattern is disturbed, resulting in uncomfortable symptoms
IBS is a mix of belly discomfort or pain and trouble with bowel habits: either going more or less often than normal (diarrhea or constipation) or having a different kind of stool (thin, hard, or soft and liquid).
It’s not life-threatening, and it doesn’t make you more likely to get other colon conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or colon cancer. But IBS can be a long-lasting problem that changes how you live your life. People with IBS may miss work or school more often, and they may feel less able to take part in daily activities.
Many people experience only mild symptoms of IBS, but for some, symptoms can be severe
People with IBS have symptoms that can include:
- Diarrhea(often described as violent episodes of diarrhea)
- Constipation alternating with diarrhea
- Belly pains or cramps, usually in the lower half of the belly, that get worse after meals and feel better after a bowel movements
- A lot of gas or bloating
- Harder or looser stools than normal (pellets or flat ribbon stools)
- A belly that sticks out
Stress can make symptoms worse.
The exact cause of IBS is unknown. Potential causes may include the sensitivity of the GI tract to gas and bloating, alteration of the fecal flora (bacteria) within the intestines, or altered levels of specific compounds or chemicals within the body, such as serotonin. Having a recent GI track infection and having a history of IBD may also be a risk factor for IBS. Although stress does not cause IBS, many people with IBS indicate that stress does aggravate their symptoms. Hormones may also play a role. For example, many women often report more symptoms when they are menstruating. In addition, many people with IBS report more symptoms after eating specific foods and beverages, such as spicy foods, certain fruits, vegetables, foods containing wheat, coffee, alcohol, and milk.
Some think that IBS happens when the muscles in the bowels don’t squeeze normally, which affects the movement of stool. But studies don’t seem to back this up.
Another theory suggests it may involve chemicals made by the body, such as serotonin and gastrin, which control nerve signals between the brain and digestive tract.
Other researchers are studying to see if certain bacteria in the bowels can lead to the condition
Diagnosing IBS typically involves a physical exam and medical history, and often involves excluding other GI disorders first. If the person is experiencing more serious signs and symptoms or is not responding to treatment, additional testing may be performed, such as blood tests, stool samples, endoscopic procedures or external imaging procedures.
There are no specific lab tests that can diagnose IBS. Doctor will see if your symptoms match with the definition of IBS, and he may run tests to rule out conditions such as:
- Food allergies or intolerances, such as lactose intolerance and poor dietary habits
- Medications such as high blood pressure drugs, iron, and certain antacids
- Enzyme deficiencies where the pancreas isn’t releasing enough enzymes to properly digest or break down food
- Inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat IBS but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat IBS that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of IBS are:-
- Abdominal pains and bowel problems accompanied by tension, constricting sensations, chilliness, and irritability.
- Soreness in the muscles of the abdominal wall, as well as painful gas and cramps.
- Firm pressure on the abdomen brings some relief.
- When constipated, the person has an urge to move the bowels, but only small amounts come out. The person may experience a constant feeling of uneasiness in the rectum.
- After diarrhea has passed, the pain may be eased for a little while.
- Often craves strong spicy foods, alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and other stimulants—and usually feels worse from having them.
- Abdominal pain and cramping with a gurgling, sinking, empty feeling are followed by watery, offensive-smelling diarrhea—alternating with constipation.
- Pasty yellow bowel movements containing mucus.
- Things tend to be worse in the very early morning.
- Person may feel weak and faint or have a headache afterward.
- Rubbing the abdomen (especially on the right) may help relieve discomfort.
- Person may also experience stiffness in the joints and muscles.
- Sudden urge toward diarrhea wakes the person early in the morning (typically five a.m.) and makes them hurry to the bathroom.
- Diarrhea can come on several times a day.
- The person may, at other times, be constipated and have gas with an offensive and pervasive smell. Oozing around the rectum, as well as itching, burning, and red irritation may also be experienced.
- Poor posture and back pain, and feel worse from standing up too long.
- Digestive upsets accompanied by nervousness and anxiety suggest the use of this remedy.
- Bloating, rumbling flatulence, nausea, and greenish diarrhea can be sudden and intense.
- Diarrhea may come on immediately after drinking water.
- Eating too much sweet or salty food (which the person often craves) may also lead to problems.
- Person who needs this remedy tends to be expressive, impulsive, and claustrophobic, and may have blood sugar problems.