Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
- Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Advantages of homeopathy treatment in Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine (Colon). It is a functional gastro-intestinal (GI) disorder. Means symptoms are caused by changes in how the GI tract works. People with a functional GI disorder have frequent symptoms; however, the GI tract does not become damaged. It is also known as Spastic Colon, Nervous Colon or Spastic Bowel. Even though signs and symptoms are uncomfortable, IBS doesn't cause changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of Colorectal Cancer, unlike Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease, which are forms of inflammatory bowel disease.
Symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome can be quite variable and include tummy (abdominal) pain, bloating, and sometimes bouts of diarrhoea and/or constipation. Symptoms tend to come and go. Though with conventional medicine, only symptoms can be eased with treatment, IBS is completely curable with homeopathy treatment.
Studies estimate IBS affects 3 to 20 percent of the adult population. However, only 5 to 7 percent of the adult population has been diagnosed with the condition. IBS affects about twice as many women as men and is most often found in people younger than age 45.
Many people have occasional signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, but you're more likely to have IBS if you:
- Are young: IBS tends to occur in people under age 45.
- Are female: Overall, about twice as many women as men have the condition.
- Have a family history of IBS: Studies suggest that people who have a family member with IBS may be at increased risk of the condition. The influence of family history on IBS risk may be related to genes, shared factors in a family's environment or both.
- Have a mental health problem: Anxiety, depression, a personality disorder and a history of childhood sexual abuse are risk factors. For women, domestic abuse may be a risk factor as well.
Diarrhoea and constipation, both signs of irritable bowel syndrome, can aggravate haemorrhoids. In addition, if you avoid certain foods, you may not get enough of the nutrients you need, leading to malnourishment. But the condition's impact on your overall quality of life may be the most significant complication. These effects of IBS may cause you to feel you're not living life to the fullest, leading to discouragement or depression.
The signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can vary widely from person to person and often resemble those of other diseases. Among the most common are:
- Pain and discomfort may occur in different parts of the tummy (abdomen). Pain usually comes and goes. The length of each bout of pain can vary greatly. The pain often eases when you pass stools (faeces) or wind. Many people with IBS describe the pain as a spasm or colic. The severity of the pain can vary from mild to severe, both from person to person, and from time to time in the same person.
- Bloating and swelling of your abdomen may develop from time to time. You may pass more wind than usual.
- Changes in stools
- Some people have bouts of diarrhoea, and some have bouts of constipation.
- Sometimes the stools become small and pellet-like. Sometimes the stools become watery or more loose. At times, mucus may be mixed with the stools.
- There may have a feeling of not emptying the back passage (rectum) after going to the toilet.
- Some people have urgency, which means they have to get to the toilet quickly. A morning rush is common. That is, they feel an urgent need to go to the toilet several times shortly after getting up. This is often during and after breakfast.
- Mucus in stool
Other symptoms which sometimes occur - include:
- Feeling sick (nausea)
- Poor appetite
- Muscle pains
- Feeling quickly full after eating
- Bladder symptoms (an associated irritable bladder)
Some people have occasional mild symptoms. Others have unpleasant symptoms for long periods. Many people fall somewhere in between, with flare-ups of symptoms from time to time.
A variety of factors play a role to cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The walls of the intestines are lined with layers of muscle that contract and relax in a coordinated rhythm as they move food from your stomach through your intestinal tract to your rectum. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, the contractions may be stronger and last longer than normal, causing gas, bloating and diarrhoea. Or the opposite may occur, with weak intestinal contractions slowing food passage and leading to hard, dry stools.
- Overactivity of the nerves or muscles of the small and large intestines (also called as gut): It may have something to do with overactivity of messages sent from the brain to the gut. Problems with brain-gut messages may cause IBS symptoms, such as changes in bowel habits and pain or discomfort. Stress or emotional upset may play a role. About half of people with IBS can relate the start of symptoms to a stressful event in their life. Symptoms tend to become worse during times of stress or anxiety.
- Normal motility, or movement, may not be present in the colon of a person who has IBS. Slow motility can lead to constipation and fast motility can lead to diarrhoea. Spasms, or sudden, strong muscle contractions that come and go, can cause abdominal
- Intolerance to certain foods may play a part in some cases. Many people with IBS report that symptoms are triggered by foods rich in carbohydrates, spicy or fatty foods, coffee, and alcohol. However, people with food sensitivity typically do not have clinical signs of food allergy. Researchers have proposed that symptoms may result from poor absorption of sugars or bile acids, which help break down fats and get rid of wastes in the body.
- Infection and germs (bacteria) in the gut: Normally, few bacteria live in the small intestine. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is an increase in the number or a change in the type of bacteria in the small intestine. These bacteria can produce extra gas and may also cause diarrhoea and weight loss. Some researchers believe that small intestinal bacterial overgrowth may lead to IBS. However, more research is needed to show a link between small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and IBS.
- Some people who have bacterial gastroenteritis—an infection or irritation of the stomach and intestines caused by bacteria—develop IBS. Researchers do not know why gastroenteritis leads to IBS in some people and not others, though abnormalities of the GI tract lining and psychological problems may be factors.
- Oversensitivity to pain: People with IBS have a lower pain threshold for bowel stretching caused by gas or stool compared with people who do not have IBS. The brain may process pain signals from the bowel differently in people with IBS.
- Body Chemicals: People with IBS have altered levels of neurotransmitters—chemicals in the body that transmit nerve signals—and GI hormones, though the role these chemicals play in developing IBS is unclear. Younger women with IBS often have more symptoms during their menstrual periods. Post-menopausal women have fewer symptoms compared with women who are still menstruating. These findings suggest that reproductive hormones can worsen IBS problems.
- Mental health, or psychological, problems such as panic disorder, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder are common in people with IBS. The link between these disorders and development of IBS is unclear. GI disorders, including IBS, are often found in people who have reported past physical or sexual abuse. Researchers believe people who have been abused tend to express psychological stress through physical symptoms.
- Whether IBS has a genetic cause, meaning it runs in families, is unclear. Studies have shown IBS is more common in people with family members who have a history of GI problems. However, the cause could be environmental or the result of heightened awareness of GI symptoms.
IBS is diagnosed when a person has had abdominal pain or discomfort at least three times a month for the last 3 months without other disease or injury that could explain the pain. The pain or discomfort of IBS may occur with a change in stool frequency or consistency or be relieved by a bowel movement. Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome is done from the symptoms. There is no test that confirms the diagnosis of IBS. However some tests are done to help rule out other conditions such as Crohn's disease, Ulcerative colitis, Coeliac disease, Gut infections, etc. The symptoms of these other diseases can sometimes be confused with IBS. These tests are done if symptoms are not typical, or if you develop symptoms of IBS in later life (over the age of about 50) when other conditions need to be ruled out. Tests done commonly include:
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy: This test examines the lower part of the colon (sigmoid) with a flexible, lighted tube (sigmoidoscope).
- Colonoscopy: In some cases, especially if you are age 50 or older or have other signs of a potentially more serious condition, your doctor may perform this diagnostic test in which a small, flexible tube is used to examine the entire length of the colon.
- X-ray (radiography): Sometimes doctors will use X-rays to obtain an image of your colon.
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan: CT scans produce cross-sectional X-ray images of internal organs. CT scans of your abdomen and pelvis may help your doctor rule out other causes of your symptoms, especially if you have abdominal pain.
- Lower GI series: In this test, doctors fill your large intestine with a liquid (barium) to make it easier to see any problems on the X-ray.
- Lactose intolerance tests: Lactase is an enzyme you need to digest the sugar found in dairy products. If you don't produce this enzyme, you may have problems similar to those caused by irritable bowel syndrome, including abdominal pain, gas and diarrhoea. To find out if this is the cause of your symptoms, your doctor may order a breath test or ask you to remove milk and milk products from your diet for several weeks.
- Breath tests: Your doctor may perform a breath test to look for a condition called bacterial overgrowth, in which bacteria from the colon grow up into the small intestine, leading to bloating, abdominal discomfort and diarrhoea. This is more common among people who have had bowel surgery or who have diabetes or some other disease that slows down digestion.
- Blood tests: Celiac disease is sensitivity to wheat, barley and rye protein that may cause signs and symptoms like those of irritable bowel syndrome. Blood tests can help rule out this disorder. Children with IBS have a far greater risk of celiac disease than do children who don't have IBS. If your doctor suspects that you have celiac disease, he or she may perform an upper endoscopy to obtain a biopsy of your small intestine.
- Stool tests: If you have chronic diarrhoea, doctors may want to examine your stool for bacteria or parasites.
- Biopsy: The gastroenterologist may also perform a biopsy, a procedure that involves taking a piece of intestinal lining for examination with a microscope. The person will not feel the biopsy. A pathologist—a doctor who specializes in diagnosing diseases—examines the tissue in a lab.
Because it's not clear what causes irritable bowel syndrome, in conventional medicine, treatment focuses on the relief of symptoms so that you can live as normally as possible. Conventional treatment includes Fibre supplements, Anti-diarrheal medications, Anticholinergic and antispasmodic medications, Antidepressant medications, Antibiotics etc.
Though IBS is incurable with conventional medicine, it is completely curable with homeopathy. Treatment approach in homeopathy is totally different than conventional medicine. Homeopathy not only relieves the symptoms but also cure IBS in long run. Six to twelve months of treatment is required depending on the severity of the symptoms. Case details are studied from homeopathic perspective and remedy for the case is selected on symptoms similarity. Order your personalised homeopathy treatment of IBS.
During treatment, try to get enough exercise, drink plenty of fluids and get enough sleep. Following dietary changes are advised along with homeopathy treatment for optimum result:
- Avoid problem foods. If certain foods make your signs and symptoms worse, don't eat them. These may include alcohol, chocolate, caffeinated beverages such as coffee and sodas, medications that contain caffeine, dairy products, and sugar-free sweeteners such as sorbitol or mannitol.
- If gas is a problem for you, foods that might make symptoms worse include beans, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Fatty foods also may be a problem for some people. Chewing gum or drinking through a straw can lead to swallowing air, causing more gas.
- Eat at regular times. Don't skip meals, and try to eat about the same time each day to help regulate bowel function. If you have diarrhoea, you may find that eating small, frequent meals makes you feel better. But if you're constipated, eating larger amounts of high-fibre foods may help move food through your intestines.
- Take care with dairy products. If you're lactose intolerant, try substituting yogurt for milk. Or use an enzyme product to help break down lactose. Consuming small amounts of milk products or combining them with other foods also may help. In some cases, though, you may need to stop eating dairy foods completely. If so, be sure to get enough protein, calcium and B vitamins from other sources.
- Drink plenty of liquids. Try to drink plenty of fluids every day. Water is best. Alcohol and beverages that contain caffeine stimulate your intestines and can make diarrhoea worse, and carbonated drinks can produce gas.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise helps relieve depression and stress, stimulates normal contractions of your intestines, and can help you feel better about yourself. If you've been inactive, start slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you exercise
IBS is curable with homeopathy. There should be no reason to suffer for years together when it can be cured early with homeopathy. Homeopathy is highly recommended in every case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
All homeopathy medicines are:
- Safe and effective for all age groups
- Don’t have any kind of side effects or adverse effects
- Safe on all vital organs: No homeopathy medicine is hepatotoxic or nephrotoxic or cause gastric irritation
- Can be taken along with other medications, if any.