Okay, let’s be honest, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is no fun. It’s not something that anyone would choose to have, and it can often be quite uncomfortable and inconvenient. Symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation, and if you’re experiencing these symptoms, be sure to consult with a provider that specializes in primary care and gastroenterology in Staten Island, NY, or in your area. The good news is that there are ways to manage IBS, and with a little bit of effort, you can get your symptoms under control and live a relatively normal life. Keep reading to learn more about the treatments for IBS.
Warm Water Soaks
There is some evidence that soaking in warm water can help relieve some symptoms of IBS. One study showed that patients who soaked in hot water for 30 minutes every day for two weeks had a significant improvement in their symptoms. Another study showed that patients who added baking soda to their bath water had a significant improvement in their symptoms. Soaking in warm water with baking soda may help to neutralize the acid in your intestine and improve your symptoms. This can be done by making yourself a bubble bath or contacting hot tub services in your area to get one installed.
Peppermint oil has been shown to be an effective treatment for IBS. In a study published in 2000, 60 patients with IBS were randomized to receive either enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules or placebo capsules for eight weeks. The results showed that the peppermint oil group had a significant decrease in IBS symptoms, compared to the placebo group. The peppermint oil group also had a significant increase in quality of life, compared to the placebo group.
One of the most important treatments for IBS is making changes to your diet. There are a number of dietary changes that can help relieve symptoms of IBS. Here are some of the most effective dietary changes:
- Avoid FODMAPs. FODMAPs are a type of carbohydrate that can cause digestive problems in people with IBS. FODMAPs are found in a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and grains. When people with IBS eat foods high in FODMAPs, they can experience gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
- Limit or avoid dairy. Dairy products are a common source of FODMAPs. If you are lactose intolerant, you may need to limit or avoid dairy products altogether. If you are able to tolerate dairy products, you may want to limit the amount you eat. Try to choose low-fat and lactose-free dairy products whenever possible.
- Eat smaller meals. Eating smaller meals can help reduce the amount of gas and bloating you experience. When you eat smaller meals, your digestive system has more time to digest food properly.
- Avoid processed foods. Processed foods are often high in FODMAPs and other unhealthy ingredients. Avoiding processed foods can help you eat a healthier diet and reduce your risk of developing other health problems.
Stress Reduction Techniques
There are many stress-reduction techniques that can be helpful for people with IBS. Some people find that breathing exercises or yoga help them to relax and manage their stress. Others find that listening to calming music or spending time in nature helps to reduce their anxiety. Some people find that journaling or keeping a diary can help them to track patterns in their symptoms and understand what triggers their IBS flares. Identifying and managing stressors is an important part of managing IBS. There are also a number of self-care strategies that can be helpful, such as eating regular meals, drinking plenty of fluids, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.
There is a great need for effective treatments for IBS since the condition is highly prevalent and can be debilitating for those who suffer from it. The above are some effective ways to treat your IBS symptoms to live a freer and more satisfying life with less pain.