Common Treatments Used for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
While it is not entirely clear what causes irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), there are a number of treatments available for people living with this particular disorder. Currently, the treatment for this condition focuses on providing lasting relief against the symptoms of IBS so that the patient can enjoy a more normal life.
(If any of these treatments are unsuccessful, you may want to consider enrolling in our IBS clinical trial in DeLand, FL.)
For most cases, you can actually control the more mild symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome by learning how to manage your stress levels and making the necessary alterations to your diet and lifestyle. However, if you are experiencing a more severe case of IBS, it may take more specialized approach. These are some treatments suggested for IBS:
- Anti-Diarrheal Medications: These are over-the-counter medications that can help to control more severe cases of diarrhea which could be caused by your IBS. Doctors often prescribe loperamide (Imodium) for their patients with IBS.
- Fiber Supplements: For a lot of people with irritable bowel syndrome, fiber supplements are recommended along with plenty of fluids in order to help relieve constipation caused by their disorder. Common varieties of fiber supplements include methylcellulose (Citrucel) and psyllium (Metamucil).
- No More High-Gas Foods: Bloating and other gas can lead to a considerable level of abdominal discomfort for someone who has been diagnosed with IBS. If you have been struggling with these symptoms, then your doctor may recommend eliminating certain foods like salads, carbonated drinks, cabbage, and cauliflower from your diet.
- Antidepressant Medication: Some people with IBS struggle with the symptoms of depression on a fairly regular basis. So, their doctors may prescribe a tricyclic antidepressant or a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) for them. These types of medications can help someone recover from depression, and it works to inhibit the neurons which control the intestines. So a lower dosage of imipramine (Tofranil) or amitriptyline may be prescribed for a patients who doesn’t have depression to treat other IBS symptoms. Unfortunately, some of the side effects of these drugs include drowsiness and constipation.
- Antibiotics: While it is still a little unclear how they exactly work against IBS, antibiotics have been used in some cases. If your IBS symptoms are the result of an overgrowth of bacteria in your intestines, then there is a chance that you could benefit from antibiotic treatment. However, more clinical studies are needed before health care experts completely understand the role that antibiotics could play in IBS treatment.
- Anticholinergic Medications: Some IBS patients may require medication that inhibits certain actions of the autonomic nervous system (anticholinergics) in order to stop some painful bowel spasms. These work for severe bouts of diarrhea, but anticholinergic medications can make constipation even worse.
If your antidepressant medications or other prescribed IBS treatments aren’t working, then there is a chance that you could see better results through counseling, especially if your stress levels are making your condition worse. Remember that you don’t need to let your IBS rule your life, you can stop suffering in silence today.