Treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) comes in a variety of forms as there is no single approach that will work for everybody. Patients with IBS that involves constipation will want to try changing their diet, exercising, managing stress, and even taking medication. Talk to your doctor to find the best IBS constipation treatment plan for you and to confirm that IBS-C is the cause of your discomfort.
The goal of all treatments is to ease bowel problems, but also to soothe any stomach aches, general pain, and bloating (which are all common symptoms of IBS-C).
IBS Constipation Treatments
Changes in Diet
Getting more fiber into your diet is an excellent IBS constipation treatment because fiber helps to reduce constipation by softening stool and making it easier to pass. The recommended daily dose of fiber for women is 25 grams, and for men 38 grams.
Whole-grain breads and cereals, fruits, vegetables, and beans are all excellent sources of fiber.
Switching to a higher fiber diet needs to be done gradually. Switching too fast may cause diarrhea or gas for some people. Other diet suggestions include dried plums, prune juice, ground flaxseed, and water, which all help to loosen the bowels.
It is also recommended that you stay away from coffee, carbonated drinks, and alcohol, as these substances can slow the stools. The same goes for processed foods like chips, cookies, and white bread and rice.
You might want to keep a log of the symptoms you get to help you determine what foods your system can handle the best. Take note of any IBS symptoms you experience, along with the type and amount of food you ate before the symptoms began.
Fiber supplements, or bulking agents, may help with IBS constipation treatment, although they don’t usually help with other IBS symptoms.
Fiber supplements include:
- Corn fiber
- Wheat bran
- Calcium polycarbophil (Fibercon)
- Psyllium (Fiberall, Metamucil, Perdiem, etc.)
Laxatives can help toilet habits and may work well as an IBS constipation treatment occasionally. However, if taken regularly, laxatives can be dangerous – they should only be used when experiencing definite constipation as laxatives do not solve all the symptoms of IBS, such as stomach aches and bloating.
There are several different kinds of laxatives, and it’s important to know what kind you’re taking.
One kind of laxative is a stimulant laxative, which includes bisacodyl (Correctol, Dulcolax), sennosides (Ex-Lax, Senokot), castor oil, and the cascara plant. Stimulant laxatives contain an active ingredient that triggers the muscles in the bowel to contract, which helps to move the stool through. With over-use, these can damage nerves in the colon wall over time.
Then there are osmotic laxatives like lactulose and polyethylene glycol (Miralax) which pull water back into the colon, softening the stool and making it easier to pass. Research has shown that osmotic laxatives only help with constipation, and may make other symptoms worse. Side effects include diarrhea, dehydration, and bloating.
Prescription Medication as an IBS Constipation Treatment
One prescription medication that can help with IBS-C, for both men and women, is linaclotide (Linzess). This drug is taken once daily on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before the first meal of the day. Linaclotide helps to relieve constipation by making bowel movements happen more frequently. A common side effect is diarrhea. People aged 17 and younger shouldn’t take linaclotide.
Women also have the option of trying lubiprostone (Amitiza). Studies show that lubiprostone may not work well in men. The common side effects include diarrhea, belly pain, and nausea. A doctor may also suggest another form of medication.
Stress Management for IBS
You can also improve your IBS symptoms by reducing your stress levels.
There are many ways to reduce stress. Regular exercise, yoga, meditation, getting a massage, listening to music, taking a bath, or reading have all been shown to help relieve stress.
There is also behavioral therapy, which can help you to change how your mind and body reacts to events. Such therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis, psychotherapy, relaxation therapy, and biofeedback.
Original source: http://findquickanswers.com/medication-ibs-constipation/
Featured image: DepositPhotos – Tharakorn