diagnosing ibs with constipation - A Brief Overview Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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A Brief Overview Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a condition effecting up to 20% of the population and the numbers are rising. There are more women sufferers than men and the age that it commonly starts is at around twenty. It is classed as a 'functional' disorder as it alters the way the body works and therefore is not diagnosable using traditional means such as examination or blood test.


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Occasionally I wake up with "Ouch, where did those pains come from?" Of course it only takes a moment for me to remember that I did it to myself. I had to have that Hershey's with almonds or a fun size snickers with almonds, or maybe it was a cherry soda or hot fudge banana nut sundae. Anyway, I did it to myself!

All the self-help tips in this article have come from IBS sufferers who have found a way to control their irritable bowels. Before trying any form of self-help, please make sure that you have your doctor's approval, and do check that anything you try will not interfere with any medication you are taking.

Flaxseed Watching your diet is sometimes not enough to completely control the symptoms, and natural or herbal supplements can help, as Marion discovered: 'After about six months of a horrendously restrictive diet (ultra low-fat vegan with no raw veggies or fruit except banana) and a lot of Metamucil, I managed to get it sort of under control. But if I deviated from the diet, the chronic diarrhea would come back. Someone I met told me that she had helped her IBS by taking a tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseed with a glass of water or juice every morning. I thought it was another crackpot cure, but eventually I decided to try it. She had told me that pre-ground flaxseed didn't work because flax seed starts to oxidize as soon as you grind it and that whole flax seeds are no good either, because they cannot be digested properly. After years of IBS, in about two weeks it just went away. I cannot believe that I now have perfectly normal, regular bowel movements.'

Mina also found that dietary change helped control her symptoms, alongside traditional medication: 'I've made a number of changes to my diet. I've eliminated milk and mostly any dairy, fried foods, sugar for the most part, pop, alcohol, potato chips, spicy food, rice, pasta and bread. Most recently I'm eliminating flour. But my best friend for the last couple of years has been Imodium Quick Dissolve tablets. I don't ever leave home without them. I just have to make sure I don't overdo it. If I ever become immune to the wonder drug I am gonna be a real mess!'

Hoping you make a smart decision to take charge of your health!
Lena






About the author:
***Lena Sanchez a happy retired Medical Office
Nurse/Administrator/Consultant who took charge of her life 8
years ago and is committed to helping others do the same in all
areas of life' Editor of 'Natural Environmental Health Facts &
Your Home Business Coach Ezine" Newsletter subscribe at
http://www.envirodocs.com/newsletter.htm

Those years sent me researching for something to stop the pain but keep me out of a wheel chair! FMS MYTHS that I found are: Prescriptions are the only answer for FMS pain. Traditional medical world is the only ones who can help you with FMS. You will end up in a wheel chair. You are a mental case. You will most likely develop Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). FMS will get worse with age. Doctor says that's all that can be done for your pain!

All those are myths but may come to be reality if you follow the traditional prescription route of treatments and spouted by doctors in our world of pain but really have no clue what to do for us' Frustrating for the doctor who recognizes that he/she is limited in their knowledge and frustrating for those of us who have to live with it.

TRUTHS I found are; FMS is painful and debilitating. It occurs more in women than men. With it comes depression, loss of self worth, pain beyond comprehension and in places you cannot describe literally from the top of your head to the bottoms of your feet. Disability comes to the person who follows the traditional path of treatment. Pain varies from one person to the next as to the severity and the areas on the body. Sleep deprivation and chronic fatigue are constant companions when FMS is out of control. Alternative Natural medicine is the only route to go to keep from becoming a wheel chair bound invalid also regain your self worth and avoid chronic fatigue and IBS. Heart disease comes from the stress of it all so you have to be extra careful to keep antioxidants in your system, 5 to 10 times the RDA's. Sugary foods exacerbate FMS. Eating empty caloried foods (chips, sodas, cookies, etc.) set up an exacerbation of FMS. Most of these I experienced for myself in the past.

That is a very true if I had continued to take those prescriptions and listen to those doctors who haven't a clue as to what is going on in FMS patients, yes being wheel chair bound, a side effect of the prescriptions they are prescribing for FMS, would have been my fate.

Soluble versus insoluble fiber Some nutritionists believe that IBS sufferers' intestines react differently to soluble and insoluble fiber, and this has been Stu's experience: 'After trying all kinds of drugs and healthy eating, my pains were still there. I found by accident that it wasn't so much what I ate but whether I ate it on a full stomach or not. My failsafe is pasta on an empty stomach, I get no reaction - it is soluble fibre that settles the colon apparently. I quickly searched on the internet for recipes high in soluble fibre and I have improved. Most significantly though I am on no medication and this puts me in control of the IBS, not the other way around. I think this is important as stress certainly can trigger the symptoms off. I don't avoid insoluble fibre as it is essential for the body, but I recommend that you eat it on a full stomach.'

If you start to notice irregular bowel movements or suffer prolonged abdominal discomfort you could be suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Keeping a diary to monitor food intake, exercise and stress levels is a good idea to track anything that may exacerbate your symptoms. When diagnosing IBS your medical practitioner will ask you for a general history of your bowel movements so keeping records will come in handy.

Most usual prescriptions given are NSAIDS (ibuprofen, Motrin, etc.) or prednisone containing medication and the truth of it is, those medications will eat away at your bones and tendons and put you in a wheel chair along with eating the lining of your stomach creating IBS, horrific bowel problems. IBS is listed as a symptom of FMS, when in actuality it is most usually a side effect of the treatment.

Kim, who also suffers from bad diarrhea, says: 'I tried taking digestive enzymes with acidophilus and found significant relief within three days. I am not afraid to eat now, but find that I still cannot eat very much refined sugar or high fibre vegetables. I have also added a cup or two per day of peppermint and chamomile tea. When I do have an episode it occurs late in the day and by the next morning I am feeling back to normal.'

Stress and IBS Daniel believes that his symptoms are related to his emotions and stress: 'I thought that when I was stuck on the toilet, experiencing the most severe cramps, thinking I was about to pass out from the pain, feeling like I was about to throw up, I was the only one. I'm still trying to work it out but I believe it has a lot to do with my psychological state. I say this because although I don't get too stressed out at any one moment, I do have general worries about money and life. I tend to find when I'm not worrying about these things I don't get the pain as much, if at all. It's easier said than done of course, I can't just stop worrying about money or my future, but being aware of these things seems to help - being optimistic and knowing that everything is only temporary. I have been taking Colpermin (peppermint capsules) as a preventative which often helps and for a while I took painkillers which I think helped.'

Sufferers often find that they have to deal with the symptoms themselves, through self-help methods and supplements, rather than by using conventional medicines. However, this does not mean that there is no hope of improvement. By sharing their experiences, sufferers can learn a lot about what really helps to ease IBS.

Looking at your diet Laura describes how a close examination of her diet helped her IBS: 'I was placed on every kind of medication, and sometimes they worked in the short term, sometimes they didn't work at all. The doctor finally suggested trying to alter my diet in cycles, and we discovered that eating meat was my problem. I became a vegetarian and no longer have constant problems. Sometimes I even go years without any pain at all. It's worth all the effort you put into it when you finally feel better.'

Certain foods are also recognized as triggers for IBS, such as fatty foods, caffeine and dairy products. Keeping a food diary will help you identify if eating these foods cause your symptoms to flare up and you can eliminate them in line with advice from your doctor.

Irritable bowel syndrome, also called spastic colon, is a very common bowel disorder in the United States and indeed in most of western society. In fact up to 50% of visits to gastroenterologists are because of irritable bowel syndrome.

Fiber, water and yoga Pam, who struggles with constipation, has developed a combination of things which work for her: 'I drink Metamucil (psyllium fibre) every day and try to relax, pray or meditate, even do a little yoga. The more I make myself relax and take time to de-stress the better I can manage my problem. I know time for yourself is very hard to come by sometimes but I have to if I'm going to manage this. I try to drink at least three bottles of water a day. This is also hard sometimes but I have to take care of me the best I can. I also take a mild anti-depressant. This has helped a bunch in my stress department and in turn has helped my IBS.'

 
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There are medications available that play a role in relieving the symptoms. Fiber supplements or laxatives are sometimes prescribed for constipation, there are also drugs available to reduce diarrhea and control colon muscle spasms. Antidepressants may also be prescribed. Your doctor will talk through the most appropriate approach for you to take, determined by the symptoms that you suffer from.

In 1995 I took charge of my life and found herbs and minerals that control my FMS, as long as I stay away from sugary foods and drinks. I no longer take a prescription of any kind and have no intentions of ever taking another one. I am pain free 99% of the time. Yes, FMS is still with me but I get my sleep by taking a formula of several herbs at bedtime Also a necessity is having sufficient probiotics of equal natural flora to balance out the intestinal system so the bowels can stay healthy. Equally important is a strong balance of minerals, antioxidants and meganutrients. If stress is a problem I temporarily add a natural stress reducing formula of herbs to counteract that.

Some foods can conversely be helpful in easing the symptoms of IBS, namely foods high in fiber. For example, bran, cereals, fruit and vegetables. Try introducing these foods into your diet, in small quantities first to allow your digestive system time to adjust. They will be particularly helpful if you suffer from constipation as they make stools soft and bulky and easier to pass.

Morning meant -getting slowly out of bed then into the hottest shower I could stand enabling me to be awake enough to get to work, but most of all to help weaken the pain enough for me to contend with it all day. That was not a fun time.

Although not the cause of irritable bowel syndrome, stress can be a contributing factor to its symptoms. Try to introduce some relaxation techniques into your day such as meditation, yoga, exercise or any activity that you enjoy.

Of course many people don't even think about the causes of spastic colon because they can't see it. If they had bad bacteria growing on their skin, or on a wound that was visible it would be obvious, but the colon is inside the body and most folks don't even give it any thought as long as it is working as it should. That's where Bowtrol Colon Cleanser comes in. Bowtrol Colon Cleanser is an all natural product that cleans and cleanses the colon, removing all of the old fecal matter build up and the bacteria that comes with it. By using Bowtrol Colon Cleanser to get rid of this fecal matter building, in conjunction with moderate exercise and good eating habits, in other words a healthy lifestyle, a sufferer of irritable bowel syndrome can be well on the way to a less spastic colon and a more enjoyable and pain free life. Health eating by the way should be low on fat and processed sugar and high on fiber from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, like beans and peanuts. Healthy eating and use of Bowtrol Colon Cleanser can lead to a better life.

I discovered there were certain things that I eat that exacerbates FMS, so I steer clear of them and take my herbs, minerals, meganutrient vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics daily.

Fibromyalgia Myths and Truths. ' By Lena Sanchez When, after 15 years of excruciating pain and hospitalizations without an answer to the pain suffered daily, I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyositis, now known by it's common name Fibromyalgia (FMS), I was given a lot of prescriptions and told that I would more than likely end up in a wheel chair.

Eating little and often has also been proven to relieve symptoms in some IBS sufferers. Try spreading your food intake over 5 meals a day. Eating too much in one sitting can bring on cramping and diarrhea for people at risk from IBS.

Most doctors in 2003 still do not consider FMS a legitimate illness, but will try to appease a patient while knowing nothing about how to help them.

It took years of trial and error and a lot of years on prescriptions before I was able to break away from the traditional wheel-chair bounding medications.

It is not a commonly understood condition, with the medical community unable to clarify the exact cause. IBS appears to occur due to the body's inability to regulate the bowel functions correctly. This leads to a number of unpleasant symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramping, excessive wind and irregular bowel movements including constipation and/or diarrhoea. However, there are treatments available to allow sufferers to manage their symptoms.

About the author:
Kirsten Whittaker has an interest in IBS. You can find further
articles at HREF=http://www.irritablebowelsyndromeguide.info/ibs-articles/ target="_blank">ht
tp://www.irritablebowelsyndromeguide.info/ibs-articles/ and
additional IBS information at HREF=http://www.irritablebowelsyndromeguide.info/ target="_blank">http://www.irri
tablebowelsyndromeguide.info/

Some days it would be so bad I could not get out of bed without screaming in pain. Some days I couldn't get out of bed pain because the pain was more than I could stand. Every movement created tears.

My 30+ years with FMS has taught me a few things about myself that I'm not particularly happy with but it's there. It took me years to figure out that almost all exacerbation of my FMS days are caused from what I did or did not put into my mouth. I now know those times that I indulge is going to make me suffer with pain and I have to decide if it's worth it and should others around me suffer for my indulgence? Those days have now become few and far between. And I'm beginning to enjoy the ability to take charge! My doctor thinks I'm nuts but he lets me go do my natural treatment and seems puzzled at how I stay healthy after 30 years with FMS.

There are different types all with different symptoms and none of them are pleasant. One type includes excessive abdominal pain and cramping. Another is signified by constipation. Still another common IBS or spastic colon ailment includes vomiting, diarrhea, fever or even combinations of all of the above. In addition water retention and bloating are common. Also changes in bowel habits.

Calcium tablets Linda, who suffers from severe diarrhea, says: 'What has helped me for more than two years is calcium carbonate, an over-the-counter supplement. I take three tablets a day, one at each meal. The most success has come from using any formula of calcium supplement that is like Caltrate 600 Plus with vitamin D and minerals. The only side effect is at the beginning of taking the calcium you may have some gas or indigestion, but this usually goes away after taking a regular dose for a few days.'

For more information visit: http://primeherbal.com/Bowtrol_IBS/

A final word Lastly, please do make sure that you have been officially diagnosed with IBS and had your symptoms fully investigated before trying any self-help methods. As Joe found out, bowel symptoms can be due something other than IBS: 'I was diagnosed with IBS, but I went to get a second opinion. They did an ultrasound followed by a barium follow-through which showed major inflammation and blockage of my small intestine. The final diagnosis is Crohn's disease. It's a pity they didn't catch it before I was seriously ill, instead of fobbing me off with excuses of 'It's IBS, there's no cure so live with it!''

No one likes having irritable bowel syndrome. Many people do realize that most of the pain is taken away through a bowel movement. This seems quite natural since the human body really needs to have two or three good, healthy bowel movements per day, and through these bowel movements fecal matter is discharged that may have built up on the walls and lining of the colon. If you give it some thought, it makes senses that too much retailed fecal matter would make a person feel under the weather. That is nasty stuff our bodies want to get rid of. Fecal matter contains a great deal of bacteria, and old fecal matter contains bacteria that has grown and multiplied, and that is not good for the colon or the rest of the body.

If you suffer from constipation rather than diarrhea, you could try magnesium supplements instead, as these can have a slight laxative effect. Digestive enzymes and probiotics

If you have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you will know how difficult it is to treat. Doctors can be dismissive of IBS symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation and bloating, and when treatment is offered it may only help for a short while before the distressing symptoms return.

The next prescription given will be something to help you relax and sleep, as FMS people have a hard time staying asleep and end up with severe pain because of the sleep deprivation. When I kicked the prescription habit I was taking 150 mg of Amitriptline at bedtime. That was a nightmare in itself. Sure, I got the sleep but it took most of the day for me to be alert enough to feel good and the pains would still be there.






About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for 14 years. She runs the IBS Tales
website at http://www.ibstales.com where you can read hundreds
of stories and tips from IBS sufferers.


 
 
     
 
 





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