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Is there a cure for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
If you suffer from the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the most important thing for you to know is that there is hope. Though there is still no cure for IBS, dramatic healing is possible due to new understandings in mind-body-spirit medicine. This new multidisciplinary field of study draws upon the expertise of immunologists, physiologists, research scientists, psychiatrists, psychologists, clergy, neurobiologists, behavioral medicine specialists and others. Due to advances in mind-body-spirit medicine, relief from - and resolution of - many of your symptoms is now within your reach.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the MindBodySpirit Connection: 7 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functional Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, or Colitis (Mind-Body-Spirit Connection Series.)

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the MindBodySpirit Connection: 7 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functional Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, or Colitis (Mind-Body-Spirit Connection Series.)

Fast Facts on IBS: One in five people suffers from the frustrating symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). There is no simple answer--no pill, potion, or quick fix--that will cure IBS. But help...
Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
There is no cure for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Part of the reason for this is that we are not exactly sure what causes it and the syndrome is different for each person. Some people experience diarrhea, constipation, or both. Most IBS patients complain of bloating and abdominal pain. It is important to know if you truly have IBS since there are serious diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer that can have some of the same symptoms.  
There are treatments that can ease the symptoms. These include a diet free of milk products and caffeine, high in fiber, and adequate hydration with water. For the diarrhea or constipation symptoms there are a variety of medications available.  

In my practice I have found that mind body therapies to reduce stress such as yoga, meditation, and hypnosis have been extremely helpful. In addition, cognitive behavioral therapy to help patients manage stress in their lives can also be very useful.

Since the cause of irritable bowel syndrome is not entirely understood, there is no cure for it. The symptoms, however, can be controlled with lifestyle changes, dietary changes, and medications. Consult with your doctor for treatment options.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.