Question

Living With IBS

How can I gain control over irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

A Answers (2)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    1. Diet. Pay close attention to dietary triggers and excesses. People
       with diarrhea as the predominant symptom may find they are sensitive
       to lactose, too much fruit, and sorbitol, a type of sugar.
       Eating soluble fiber found in psyllium seed husks, whole grains, fruits, 
       and vegetables is good because it forms a gel in the gut that can
       slow gut movement and decrease pressure. Insoluble fiber can also
       slow the gut by retaining water by bulking up stool.    If you have bloating or gas you may do better limiting beans and
       vegetables in the cabbage family. If you want to increase movement
       of the gut, try caffeinated coffee or dark chocolate. Take a pass on
       animal fats which tend to intensify gut sensations. Also try eating
       many small meals spread out over the day instead of 3 large ones. 2. Peppermint oil. Peppermint has been a mainstay of treating an
       upset stomach and may work in IBS by relaxing the smooth muscle
       lining the gut. A few capsules of peppermint oil may calm cramps.

    3. Probiotics. This strategy has been a very promising treatment.
       Foods and supplements containing live bacteria cultures of
       Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium not only keep the natural gut flora in
       balance, but they may also reduce inflammation, a factor that might
       increase gut sensitivity. Look for yogurt containing live cultures, and
       fermented foods such as tempeh and Korean kimchi also contain
       probiotics.

    4. Mind-body techniques. The brain-gut connection makes IBS
       particularly amenable to mind-body therapies. In fact many patients
       who have IBS also suffer from depression and other psychiatric
       disorders. Psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and cognitive behavior
       therapy such as biofeedback, progressive muscle relaxation, and
       stress management can help settle the gut.

    5. Chinese herbs. A well-controlled study of standard and individualized
       Chinese herbal formulations offered symptom improvement to some
       patients with IBS.

    6. Acupuncture. Acupuncture can influence gastric emptying and acid
       secretion to settle an active gut.

    7. Exercise. Nothing gets the gut moving like a good fast walk.
    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
    Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
  • ACharles Sophy, MD, Psychiatry, answered

    Always discuss any of the below with your doctor before deciding what is best for you. 

    • Diet. Pay close attention to dietary triggers and excesses. People with diarrhea as the predominant symptom may find they are sensitive to lactose, too much fruit, and sorbitol, a type of sugar. 
    • Peppermint oil. Peppermint has been a mainstay of treating an upset stomach and may work in IBS by relaxing the smooth muscle lining the gut. A few capsules of peppermint oil may calm cramps. 
    • Probiotics. This strategy has been a very promising treatment. Foods and supplements containing live bacteria cultures of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium not only keep the natural gut flora in balance, but they may also reduce inflammation, a factor that might increase gut sensitivity. Look for yogurt containing live cultures, and fermented foods such as tempeh and Korean kimchi also contain probiotics. 
    • Mind-body techniques. The brain-gut connection makes IBS particularly amenable to mind-body therapies. In fact many patients who have IBS also suffer from depression and other psychiatric disorders. Psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and cognitive behavior therapy such as biofeedback, progressive muscle relaxation, and stress management can help settle the gut. 
    • Chinese herbs. A well-controlled study of standard and individualized Chinese herbal formulations offered symptom improvement to some patients with IBS. 
    • Acupuncture. Acupuncture can influence gastric emptying and acid secretion to settle an active gut. 
    • Exercise. Nothing gets the gut moving like a good fast walk.
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How can I treat gas and bloating from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?