There are many problems that can beset the human gastrointestinal system and one of them is IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. What is irritable bowel syndrome, what causes it, how can it be treated? These are just some of the questions that we can explore.
What is IBS?
IBS is known as a functional disorder caused mainly by changes in the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. It is characterized by symptoms such as:
- abdominal bloating
- changes in bowel movements
- pain or discomfort
- chronic fatigue
In some cases, IBS can be accompanied by fibromyalgia, backache and even gastro-esophageal reflux.
What Causes IBS?
One important consideration when it comes to IBS is the fact that medical experts and doctors believe that it is a combination of mental and physical problems that bring on IBS. Thus, IBS can be caused by:
- psychological problems such as depression
- bacterial gastroenteritis
- disruptions in the communications between the intestine and the brain
- motility problems in the colon
Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Since IBS is considered a physical and mental problem, there are plenty of natural remedies and integrated therapies that are effective for this condition. Integrated therapy is coming to the fore because it offers solutions to both the physical and mental aspects of this disorder. Integrated therapy simply means that natural or alternative therapies come together with conventional medicine to treat an individual who is suffering from IBS.
Managing Stress Levels
One of the biggest factors that cause a flare up of irritable bowel syndrome is stress. It therefore becomes necessary to control anxiety and stress levels. This is possible when an individual adopts herbal supplements and makes lifestyle changes. When stress levels are controlled, they are less likely to result in disruptions in the GI tract.
Making Dietary Changes
Another way in which integrated therapy can help treat irritable bowel syndrome is to combine it with dietary changes. These dietary changes can include:
- finding the right quantity of dietary fiber and including fiber supplements
- eliminating dairy products
- minimizing the intake of fried foods
- increasing the intake of water
- eliminating flatulent foods such as cabbage
There are many herbal supplements that can help you with your diet and it would be good to go with the services or advice of a trained practitioner who can describe the right kind of lifestyle.
Tailoring the Treatment
When it comes to integrated therapy for IBS, one of the most important points that you should remember is that the therapy or treatment schedule should be customized for an individual’s condition. This is possible only with the help of a trained practitioner. Every individual suffers from different causes and symptoms when it comes to IBS. This is one of the biggest reasons why there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to integrated therapy for this GI disorder.
Thus, employing gentle solutions, natural medicine and integrated therapy can be very effective indeed when it comes to treating irritable bowel syndrome.