IBS: Planning the perfect course of treatment

There is no known cure for IBS but certain treatments have proven successful in alleviating IBS symptoms. Unfortunately, treatment of IBS is still a hit and miss affair. There is no perfect course of treatment, no easy one-size-fits-alltreatment for IBS. Because the symptoms of IBSvary from person to person and symptoms change over time, IBS treatment does not have a perfect course either. However, through trial and error, most sufferers discover some treatment that helps. Various treatments include: special diet, avoiding foods that are triggers for IBS symptoms, medicine, supplements, stress-reduction strategies such as: hypnosis, psychotherapy, biofeedback, yoga, visualization or other behavioral therapy. Often the treatment of IBS includes a combination of several different things. Since IBS is a chronic condition, its treatment depends on types and severity of the symptoms. It is vital that IBS patients work closely a nd communicate accurately with their healthcare professionals to manage IBS symptoms.

One effectivetreatment of IBS involves keeping careful records. Notes should include specific and detailed information about what triggers IBS symptoms. Foods, how they affected IBS and when they are ingested are important to note. External triggers such as stress, fatigue and anxiety are also important to journal and describe. An effective treatment plan for IBS will utilize this information. Working with their healthcare professionals to analyze the data and devise a treatment plan which alleviates symptoms helps the patient cope with IBS.

General food guidelines include: Avoid caffeine and alcohol.Limit fatty foods, dairy products, fruit, and artificial sweeteners. Avoid gassy foods such as legumes, cabbage, and broccoli. Increase fiber or fiber supplements. Drink lots of water.

Exercise is often effective in the treatment plan. Medications may be used along with lifestyle changes in a treatment planto manage symptoms of IBS. These may include: anticholinergics for cramping, loperamide or Imodium for diarrhea, antidepressants such as amitriptyline, or antianxiety agents such as paroxetine orPaxil.

If stress triggers IBS, some form of psychological therapy or stress management may be included in the treatment plan. Hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, biofeedback and acupuncture have proven successful in alleviating symptoms of IBS

Unfortunately, the perfect course of treatment for IBS does not exist. Symptoms vary from person to person and in the same patient IBS symptoms change over time and with different situations. The most effective plan combines treatments that work, analyses changes and adapts the treatment plan accordingly.

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