How to Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) requires lifestyle modifications, reduction in stress and changes in eating patterns. Some IBS sufferers respond better to treatment than others.
Things You'll Need
- Lactase Tablets
- Relaxation Tapes
- low-fat, high-fiber diet
Avoid stress. Doctors speculate that emotional conflict is the single biggest trigger mechanism for IBS.
Exercise moderately (not strenuously) and regularly. A fit body is more apt to have a fit colon.
Monitor the medications you take. Aspirin, ibuprofen and even vitamin C tablets can irritate your gastrointestinal mucosa.
Modify your intake of dairy products. Milk and milk products can aggravate an irritable bowel. Remember that dairy products are a valuable source of calcium and should not be eliminated from your diet. Many IBS patients find that eating yogurt does not bother their bowels. If you are lactose-intolerant, talk to your doctor about taking lactase tablets.
Eat dietary fiber. Choose whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and most vegetables. Fiber helps to mildly distend the colon, which seems to reduce colonic spasms. Eat enough fiber so that your bowel movements are soft, formed and easy to pass without straining.
Avoid laxatives and over-the-counter high-fiber supplements. They can cause bloating and increased irritability.
Avoid large meals. They cause the bowel to become overdistended and hyperactive.
Drink less apple juice and grape juice if you have a lot of gas. Avoid gas-forming foods such as beans and cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, turnips and brussels sprouts).
Avoid chocolate, caffeine, alcohol and sorbitol (an artificial sweetener found in some dietetic products), and limit high-fat foods. Fat is a strong stimulus of colonic contractions and further aggravates the irritability of the bowel.