Ways to ease the burden of living with IBS

Living with IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome is an uncomfortable and painful affliction that can quickly take over your life…if you allow it.  Coping with IBS can create numerous daily challenges, but there are ways to make it more manageable.   It will take some effort on your part, but it will be worth it to avoid the bowel trouble that IBS causes.

The first thing is to figure out what is triggering your IBS attacks. Keep a journal of what you are doing or eating prior to feeling bloated or discomfort in your abdomen.  Record your symptoms and rate each attack for how sever it feels.  Make a list of foods that trigger attacks and find alternative choices.

Diet is crucial to easing the burden of living with IBS.  Irritable Bowel Syndrome is your body’s reaction to poor dietary choices, so healthy eating is the easiest way to control it.  Try eating more fiber-rich foods such as whole wheat, apples, peaches, cabbage, and broccoli.  For example, watermelon and pineapples help aid in the digestion process when consumed on an empty stomach.  Celery is a significant source of fiber and it has a diuretic effect which helps to flush out excess fluid from the body.  Make sure that you avoid alcohol and caffeine-rich beverages that will most likely trigger your IBS.

IBS can also be caused by bacteria or toxins in your colon, which is why fibre is so important.  Our body has the natural ability to detoxify itself with proper diet, hydration and regular exercise, but in today’s society so many people do not make the time to properly take care of themselves.

Your weight and your body fat can also make Irritable Bowel Syndrome more uncomfortable or painful.  That is why regular exercise is so important.  Sometimes simple going for a walk when your IBS is acting up can alleviate the pain.

Although there is no cure for the disorder, living a healthier lifestyle will make it easier than suffering with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  Pay attention to your diet, avoid foods that trigger your IBS and keep your body in good physical condition.  Taking proper care of your body will make it a lot easier on your bowels.

Probiotic Supplementation Alleviates the Symptoms of IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common diagnosis in gastroenterology. Reduced quality of life caused by IBS affect approximately 20% of adult Westerner.  Studies suggest certain probiotics to be beneficial, and provide a promising therapeutic alternative.

To investigate the effects of multispecies probiotic supplementation on abdominal symptoms, quality of life, intestinal microbiota and inflammatory markers in irritable bowel syndrome, eighty-six irritable bowel syndrome patients participated in a randomized, placebo-controlled 5-month intervention.  Patients were randomized to receive daily either multispecies probiotic supplementation (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, L. rhamnosus Lc705, Propionibacterium freudenreichii ssp. shermanii JS and Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis BB12), or placebo. Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, quality of life, microarray-based intestinal microbiota stability, serum cytokines and sensitive C-reactive protein were monitored.

The composite IBS symptom score (abdominal pain +distension + flatulence + rumbling) at the end of trial has decreased 14 points from baseline in the group with the multispecies probiotic supplement, compared to 3 points in the placebo group.  This represents a mean reduction of 37% in IBS score in the probiotic group compared to a 9% reduction in the placebo group.

In addition, distension and abdominal pain were significantly milder in the group with the probiotic supplementation group.  A stabilization of the microbiota was observed, as the microbiota similarity index increased with the probiotic supplementation, while it decreased with placebo

The authors conclude that the multispecies probiotic supplementation seems to be an effective and safe option to alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and to stabilize the human intestinal flora.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2008; 27:48–57

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