Tuesday, December 25, 2007

How to Relieve Constipation With Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome, which is also known as spastic colon, is a gastrointestinal disorder that affects a lot of people. Constipation with Irritable Bowel Syndrome is common, in men and women alike.

IBS does not discriminate against any age, as a person can get it regardless of age and statistics indicate that up to 1 in 5 Americans suffer from this disorder, with 1 in 10 visits to the doctors being related to IBS, albeit mostly mild cases.

Although IBS effects both sexes, more women suffer with IBS than men.

Oftentimes IBS goes completely untreated. This is because a lot of people are uncomfortable, or even embarrassed, about discussing the associated symptoms with a doctor. Also the symptoms tend to come in bouts and are not always constant so may have cleared up by the time your appointment comes round.

This disorder affects the functions of the colon, also known as the large intestine, but there is no structural damage that occurs in a person with IBS. However, there are several main symptoms that are recognizable. These include abdominal bloating, pain, cramping, diarrhea and constipation.

It is important to understand that there are several different types of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. If you suffer predominantly from diarrhea then it is sometimes referred to as IBS-D. On the other hand, if you suffer primarily from constipation, then you have IBS-C.

Of course, it is also possible that your symptoms might alternate, in which case you have IBS-A. There is also another type that you may not even realize is possible. IBS-PI (post-infectious) is a type of Irritable Bowel Syndrome that directly relates to your having a bacterial infection in your gastrointestinal system.

Currently there is not a specific cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome known. One popular theory is that patients who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome have an unusually sensitive colon. Their colon is said to react strongly to stress and certain foods.

One thing is known is that with the onset of IBS, the amount of water that the intestines absorb can be effected, which effects the consistency of the stool. Furthermore, it is thought that that the immune and nervous system is believed to affect either the symptoms or onset of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Recently there have been studies done that show that there may be a direct relationship between abnormal serotonin levels and IBS. Serotonin is responsible for regulating the movement and sensitivity of the bowels, and so abnormalities in seratonin levels can cause abnormality in the bowel function. Also, abnormalities in serotonin levels have been linked to increased levels of general anxiety disorders (GAD).

Thankfully this disorder can be controlled by changes to diet, lifestyle and medication where required

Continue reading to discover natural methods to control IBS and sign up for our free newsletter.

If your main IBS symptom is constipation, then there are some simple steps that can be taken to help ease the discomfort.

Increasing the levels of fiber in the diet help the digestive and waste elimination process by adding bulk and softening the stool. Fiber can be found in a variety of foods, but it is rich in cereal, bread, beans, bran and many vegetables.

Increase the levels of bran in the diet slowly, as adding more too quickly can cause some of the usual IBS symptoms to be triggered. There is also the option to increase fiber intake by taking fiber supplements.

Regular exercise can help the body process waste more effectively by ?massaging? the gut. The exercise does not need to be strenuous, just a brisk walk a few times a week to start off with will aid the body?s digestion and waste processing.

Ensure that sufficient water is being consumed. It is recommended that at least 6-8 glasses of water be drunk each day, which will help the body keep the stool moist and to ease the elimination process.

We have discussed a few methods to help relieve constipation with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but it always advised that if you make any changes to your diet you seek advice from a qualified nutritionist, dietician or your doctor.

Sign up for the free Irritable Bowel Syndrome Newsletter and discover new and natural methods to manage your Constipation with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. You can also find more irritable bowel syndrome resources here.

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