Irritable bowel syndrome and lifestyle changes

  • Although irritable bowel syndrome is often confused with constipation, it’s not really the same thing.
  • In this case, it is a chronic disease and the symptoms usually come and go over time.
  • Although there are medical treatments, certain lifestyle changes can help reduce discomfort.

Although drugs can be used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, not everyone who suffers from this disorder needs or needs medication. For some, symptoms (especially when mild) are managed with lifestyle adjustments, such as diet changes, stress management, and regular exercise.

The Dr. Robert Kraichelygastroenterology in Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minnesota, explains how This syndrome affects the large intestine and sometimes also the small intestine. It is also linked to intestinal irregularities such as diarrhea or constipation.

The intestinal walls are lined with layers of muscle that contract and relax in a coordinated rhythm as they move food through the digestive system. In the irritable bowel syndrome, these contractions may be stronger or more noticeable than normal. This leads to cramping and abdominal pain as food, gas, or stool moves through the intestines.

In those diagnosed, it is important to keep in mind that Some abdominal problems are unrelated to this disorder and instead may be signs of other underlying discomforts.

Symptoms that particularly require timely medical attention include: blood in the stools, rapid or unexplained weight loss, constant or severe abdominal pain, unexplained vomiting, severe pain or difficulty swallowing, and abdominal tumor or mass.

The irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disease and symptoms often come and go over time. There is no cure, but symptoms are usually relieved by diet, lifestyle, and stress control.

Lifestyle changes needed

More than 60% of people with irritable bowel syndrome say their symptoms are related in some way to food. However, because symptoms vary greatly from person to person, it is difficult to give specific dietary advice that will work for everyone. suffer from this disorder.

In general, Many people with irritable bowel syndrome find it helpful to eat fiber-rich foods and drink plenty of fluids. Avoid foods and beverages that contribute to gas and bloating, such as alcoholic and carbonated drinks, caffeine, raw fruits, and vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Reducing or eliminating gluten can relieve diarrhea linked to irritable bowel syndrome.

Studies show that certain carbohydrates, called fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs), cause abdominal pain, bloating, and gas in people with irritable bowel syndrome. These carbs are found in some fruits and vegetables, wheat, rye, legumes, lactose-containing foods (like milk, cheese, and yogurt), and artificial sweeteners.

Following a diet low in these carbohydrates may relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. However, since many foods contain these compounds, it is difficult for patients to follow a diet on their own. It is therefore advantageous to find a dietitian who is familiar with irritable bowel syndrome. A dietitian can review a patient’s symptoms and nutritional needs, recommend dietary changes, and develop a personalized meal plan that relieves symptoms.

The stress also affects irritable bowel syndrome and high stress events are linked to an increase in symptoms. Applying stress reduction techniques and practicing anti-stress activities, such as yoga and meditation, can reduce stress flare-ups. Working with a therapist or counselor experienced in stress management, mindfulness, and behavior modification also helps people with irritable bowel syndrome better manage stress and relieve symptoms.

Likewise, it is recommended to people with irritable bowel syndrome who exercise regularly. Daily physical activity relieves stress, stimulates normal bowel contractions and promotes overall well-being.

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