Irritable Bowel syndrome is quite common in the United States. Common names for this syndrome may include: spastic colon, mucous colitis, gastric colitis, nervous indigestion, or intestinal neurosis.  Women are more likely than men to seek out medical advice for problems resulting from IBS, although it is thought that both men and women are affected equally.  Let’s begin by just reviewing what Irritable Bowel Syndrome is, and then we’ll discuss some interventions that you can use to help yourself or others who may be suffering from this condition.

When your digestive tract works properly, food is moved through the tract by a series of rhythmic contractions.   In IBS cases, the contractions are not regular and this can cause a variety of uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms.  Sufferers can have diarrhea, constipation or both.

beautiful girl Causes of IBS: There are generally five reasons why IBS occurs

1) The American Diet made up of fast food can contribute to difficulties in digestion

2) Stress or the inability to cope with stress

3) Ongoing Infections of the Digestive Tract: this can be caused by parasites, bacteria, or candida

4) Digestive organs that are not well functioning: can be caused by an overgrowth of too much bad bacteria in the intestines and not enough good bacteria

5) Rarely, there is a structural abnormality that can contribute to IBS, but in general the disorder is one of functional problems, not structural

 IBS Interventions: Quick Tips for IBS Patients

1. Diet: add in fiber and include lots of fresh water.
2. See if there are certain foods which irritate your IBS: Watch out for dairy products, sugar, and/or wheat. Some IBS sufferers do much better on a gluten free diet. Avoid processed or fried foods, flours that are refined, and do not indulge in chocolate. Almond flour is a good substitute for wheat flours and is also gluten free.

3. Peppermint Oil: has been shown to help some patients. Peppermint oil is good for reducing cramping and gas. Make sure and get the enteric coated ones.

4. Digestive Enzymes: If you’re not digesting your food properly, chances are it’s causing a problem. Including a good quality enzyme can help you digest your food properly

5. Probiotics: Take a good quality probiotic daily. Some IBS sufferers may find that they can only take a product containing Lactobacillus acidophilus. Some probiotics must be refrigerated to maintain their potency

6. Ginger: you can purchase fresh ginger at the store and make ginger tea. Have one cup of fresh ginger tea along with every meal. Ginger is helpful for reducing bloating, gas, and diarrhea and helps your stomach function much better

As with all remedies and interventions, before trying any of the above or any other option for helping reduce your IBS symptoms, consult with your doctor. Certain medications can interfere with herbal remedies and it is always important to ask your doctor what is safe for you.

Some IBS suffers also find that incorporating things like medication, massage, and aromatherapy can help reduce their IBS symptoms. By using a variety or combination of options, most patients find that IBS symptoms can be reduced or alleviated greatly.