IBS? No Need to Panic!

June 11, 2008

What is IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the result of a relation between an anxious mind and a troubled body. This relation is explained by few while it is inexplicable to some others. Most of the people suffer from IBS at some point of their life time. IBS is also referred to as:

  • functional bowel disease
  • mucous colitis
  • spastic bowel
  • intestinal neurosis
  • spastic colitis
  • colitis

It is not a disease or an illness but just a functional disorder within the body. In short, it is just a digestive disorder and does not lead to any serious health condition. Though it is chronic or a long-term disorder with some discomfort. As the name suggests Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a group of symptoms related to the sensitive approach of the bowels to food items in combination with the mental situations. Interestingly, many people have IBS and either they do not know about it or keep silent about it.

I was shocked to learn of my aunt’s sudden death. As the day progressed, I grew restless and uneasy and started burping. I was distressed and had no hunger or sleep for a few days. My stomach felt as if it was full and every time I saw food I felt like throwing up. My doctor told me I have IBS. I grew all the more tense not knowing what IBS was.”

IBS is a functional intestinal disorder habitually associated with panic disorder. Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder characterised by abdominal stress. A stressed mind is assumed to be the cause of IBS though not proven scientifically. Anxiety and tension, however, are the worsening factors of IBS.

Recognise the Symptoms

  • Bloating
  • Gas and burping
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain and spasms
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

The symptoms appear on and off and are usually not constant. The worst thing is that people suffering from IBS can have malnutrition as they do not take sufficient food. Some others tend to eat less in fear of abdominal pain.

IBS has no ultimate cure. The condition is recurrent and sporadic. But it is not to be worried over because it does not lead to any other disease or endanger life. It meddles with regular life and causes discomforts in the life pattern. If you are diagnosed with IBS no need to panic. You are lucky that there are ways to improve your situation.

How to improve the condition by yourself?

Forget tension and stress. Relaxation is the best way to keep IBS at bay. Some people have found positive results with meditation and breathing techniques. Get adequate sleep and approach a counselor in case of emotional problems.

Normally, the treatment of IBS would differ from person to person as the combination of symptoms varies. It is good to be aware of your general constitution so that you can avoid the food which is not comfortable for you. Avoiding animal fat, sweets and fried items often help. It is wise to stay away from cold and carbonated drinks, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. Nuts, eggs, dairy products etc. are some of the bowel irritants which are not recommended in this condition. Lower the intake of food that is difficult to digest and reduce any gas-triggering food stuff. Drink lots of water and increase the fibre content in your daily diet.

IBS is yet another disorder found more in women than in men. There are many who find relief through peppermint or ginger while some others rely on various kinds of psychotherapies or music therapies. Do not hesitate to consult your doctor if your emotional conflict worsens because it can aggravate your IBS too.

Additional Reading:

Herbal Remedies For IBS

Symptoms and Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

All Natural Products For Better Digestion