clinical trial on irritable bowel syndrome - Fiber Supplements to Beat Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Remedy Natural IBS Treatment Treat IBS Naturally IBS cure

Fiber Supplements to Beat Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Fiber supplements can be tremendously beneficial for IBS sufferers. Although supplements such as Metamucil and Citrucel are generally marketed as laxatives, and are very useful for constipation sufferers, they can also be used to combat diarrhea because they add bulk to the diet and can make waste food more solid.

You may also be given one of the new drugs specifically developed for IBS ' Lotronex for diarrhea sufferers and Zelnorm for constipation sufferers.

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 IBS is clearly a complicated issue, so here is a basic overview of the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this disorder. The symptoms Although the symptoms of IBS vary from person to person, there are several symptoms which are typical of the illness. The most common symptom is either recurring diarrhea or recurring constipation (although some patients also have alternating diarrhea and constipation).

It will take a little while before you see the effects of the supplement, so don't give up if you don't feel better after a few days. Try taking a supplement for one or two weeks to really give it time to work.

The causes and triggers of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms vary greatly among individuals. Treatment plans vary as well. Some prescription medications and herbal remedies may be helpful over the short term, but dietary and lifestyle changes are typically necessary to keep the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome under control for extended periods of time.

Additional symptoms can include stomach pain (sometimes relieved by a bowel movement), bloating, nausea and a lot of gas. These symptoms generally go away for a short time before returning again, as IBS can work in cycles. Sufferers may experience a few weeks or even a few months of good health before the symptoms come back.

Whatever type of fiber you choose, you must make sure to build the dosage up gradually. If you add masses of fiber to your diet all at once you will probably feel very gassy and bloated. Instead, try just a small spoon of fiber once a day and build up to the recommended dose on the label. Most supplements will recommend that you take the product with lots of water, and to make sure you are drinking enough water for the rest of the day as well.

It is important to make sure you find the fiber supplement that's right for you, as IBS sufferers often have very sensitive stomachs. Some people find that the psyllium fiber in supplements such as Metamucil can irritate their intestines, so if that happens to you try one of the methylcellulose products such as Citrucel, or other types of fiber such as acacia fiber.

Another point to be aware of is that some manufacturers use artificial sweeteners in their products, and these can sometimes cause problems for IBS sufferers. There should be a normal, sweetener-free version to choose instead, and the amount of sugar in a few spoonfuls should not have a huge impact on any diet you are on.

Juliet Cohen writes articles for, and .

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are more likely to show up in people between the ages of 13 and 40, than in those over 50. Women are more likely to have symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome than are men. This may indicate that irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are related to monthly changes in hormonal levels, but this is not certain. It seems that many people who suffer from symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome also are suffering from stress or other emotional difficulties and because of this stress management or behavior therapies are sometimes recommended. In addition, a recent study showed that hypnotic therapy was effective in controlling irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

These supplements are not really medications ' most are simply fiber products with no added drugs or herbs, and so they can be taken long term on a daily basis without worrying about side effects. They're just the equivalent of adding lots of fruit and bran to your diet, but without having to eat daily apples or worry about bloating from the bran.

The diagnosis There is no set test for IBS, and it is often called a diagnosis of 'exclusion'. This means that a doctor may rule out other bowel and stomach complaints such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease before giving you a diagnosis of IBS.

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation also include abdominal pain, discomfort and/or bloating, but the stools are hard or difficult to pass and movements are less frequent than what is normal for the individual. In a few cases, people with irritable bowel syndrome symptoms experience constipation at times and diarrhea at other times. Abdominal pain can be a symptom of a number of other medical conditions and should be evaluated by a physician. If a bowel movement relieves the pain, then the physician may determine that the abdominal pain is associated with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Yogurt to your diet may help ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Keep a daily diary of what you eat and whether you experience symptoms after eating. Eat slowly and have meals in a quiet, relaxing environment. One should drink a spoonful of olive oil formerly in the dawn and another at night. Other laxatives such Epsom salts can too be advantageous. One can too go psyllium stalk milkshake but should come it upward with probiotics. One should too consume lecithin as a supplementation. Other unconventional diet charts can too be advantageous. One can drink a really hot cup of water, which in twist induces the intestine campaign in the dawn.

Most people prefer to take one dose of fiber in the early morning, perhaps with their breakfast, and then another with dinner or just before their evening meal. You will need to experiment to find the right dosage for your symptoms and the best time to take the fiber, but if you can find a supplement and dose that works for you it will be well worth the effort, because you will have found a cheap, drug-free way to help keep your IBS under control.

Peppermint oil is widely used for irritable bowel syndrome. It is thought to decrease the abdominal pain and bloating of irritable bowel syndrome, possibly by blocking the movement of calcium into muscle cells in the intestines. Partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG) is a water soluble, non-gelling fiber that may help to reduce constipation and to a lesser extent diarrhea and abdominal pain in people with irritable bowel syndrome. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, and carbonated soft drinks can aggravate symptoms and should be limited, especially in the initial stages of dietary modification.

Do check, though, that the supplement you choose is just made up of fiber and nothing more, as you will occasionally find one that has added chemical laxatives or other ingredients that can upset your stomach.

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These days there are many different ways to take fiber supplements. You can buy the traditional powder form, which is swallowed with water or soft food, or you can buy wafers, tablets or capsules, which can be very handy if you need to travel and don't want to carry a whole can of fiber with you.

If the drugs do not help you then you could try using a fiber supplement such as Citrucel to add bulk to your stool ' this can be helpful for both diarrhea and constipation. Also, there are other supplements such as Caltrate Plus which may be useful (Caltrate Plus contains calcium carbonate which can reduce diarrhea).

Finally, there are several alternative therapies which can be effective for IBS. Hypnotherapy has proved very effective, and a special form called gut-directed hypnotherapy has been developed just for digestive problems. Acupuncture may also be worth looking into.

Sufferers sometimes find that their symptoms begin after a bout of food poisoning or an operation. Others date their symptoms back to a very stressful period in their lives, and some patients can see no clear reason for why their symptoms began.

Women are affected more often than men. IBS is very common and is present in perhaps 60% of patients that see a specialist in gastroenterology. There are a number of dietary changes a person with IBS can make to prevent the over response of the gastrocolic reflex. A bowl of high fibre cereal such as untoasted muesli, weetbix or porridge with fresh or tinned fruit and reduced fat milk or a calcium fortified soy milk and/ or wholemeal or grain toast with minimal margarine and honey or vegemite. A low fat diet will also help to decrease contractions of the intestines right after meals.

There are two basic types of irritable bowel syndrome. Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea include abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating and frequent, loose or watery stools. To define frequent, you must look at what is normal for the individual. The number of bowel movements that a person has varies greatly. Some people have three movements per day, while others may have only three per week. A change in the frequency of bowel movements that is accompanied by abdominal pain often leads physicians to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common problem with the intestines. Functional disorder means there is a problem with the function of a part of the body, but there is no abnormality in the structure. This disorder most commonly affects people between the ages of 20 and 30 and is twice as common in women as in men. The syndrome can be divided into four types depending on which is the main symptom - abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation or diarrhoea alternating with constipation. Up to 1 in 5 people in the UK develop IBS at some stage in their life. IBS can affect anyone at any age, but it commonly first develops in young adults and teenagers.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common condition, but in some ways it is still a mystery. There are many different theories about what causes the syndrome, and different doctors will give you different reasons for your illness ' anything from stress to bad bacteria to food intolerance. And once you have been diagnosed, there is no set form of treatment ' instead, sufferers tend to try two or three supplements or therapies to find a combination that works for them.

For more information about irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive problems, visit

It may also be worth looking at your diet. A nutritionist can advise on ways to identify any particular food 'triggers' which may be setting off your symptoms, and also on whether you might have a food intolerance to something like gluten or lactose.

About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for more than 15 years. She runs
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment where you can read
descriptions and reviews of the treatments available for IBS,
from drugs to alternative therapy.

The exact causes of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are unknown, but patients can often determine what triggers the symptoms by keeping a foods and symptoms journal; noting what foods or beverages were consumed before the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome began. Products containing caffeine, alcohol and carbonated beverages may trigger symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, though these products do not cause the condition. Food sensitivities often trigger symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Some people are sensitive to wheat products; others are sensitive to milk products. And still others find that fructose, a simple sugar found in fruit and fruit juices triggers symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. This is why a food and symptoms diary is helpful. By avoiding certain foods, some people are able to keep the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome under control.

It is very important that you receive a diagnosis of IBS from a medical professional rather than self-diagnosing, as bowel symptoms can be present in many other health conditions.

About the author:
Sophie Lee has suffered from IBS for more than 15 years. She
runs IBS Tales where you can read
hundreds of personal stories of IBS sufferers and a range of
self-help tips.

Sometimes patients are given a colonoscopy, where a tiny camera is inserted into the intestines to look for abnormalities. In an IBS sufferer the colonoscopy won't detect any physical signs of disease ' IBS is often called a 'functional' disorder, because it seems to be caused by an alteration in the way the body functions rather than an identifiable cause such as inflammation.

However, this does not mean it is any less real than, say, inflammatory bowel disease, it just means that doctors haven't come up with a proper test for it yet!

The treatment The first stage of treatment may involve any medications your doctor has given you to try. This could be an anti-spasmodic, which will relax the muscles in the gut walls, or perhaps a low dose of an anti-depressant, which can help to reduce the pain.

Patsy Hamilton has more than twenty years experience as a healthcare professional and currently writes informational articles for the Digestive Disorders Guide. Read more at


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