Irritable bowel syndrome is a functional abdominal disorder due to irritability and abnormality in the passage of the small and large intestines. Women are more susceptible to develop irritable bowel syndrome than men and usually happens around 20 years old.
- Abdominal cramping or pain
- Bloating and gas
- Mucous in the stool
- Depression and fatigue
If there is abdominal pain that becomes severe at night, rectal bleeding and loss of weight, there is a need to seek medical help immediately.
- Feeling of nervousness or anger
- Excessively drinking coffee
- Eating raw fruits and cruciferous vegetables
- Dairy products
- Increase the consumption of fiber to help lessen constipation. Slowly increase the amount of fiber over a period of weeks such as fruits, whole grains, vegetables and beans.
- Avoid alcohol, chocolate and caffeinated drinks such as coffee and sodas as well as medications that contain caffeine. Dairy products and sugar-free sweeteners such as sorbitol or mannitol should also be avoided to help prevent the condition from getting worse.
- Avoid foods such as cabbage, beans, cauliflower and broccoli to prevent gas formation in the stomach.
- Avoid chewing gum and drinking through a straw to help prevent swallowing air that results to gas formation.
- Eat at regular times, avoid skipping meals and eat meals about the same time everyday in order to help regulate proper bowel function. If suffering from diarrhea, eat small and frequent meals. If constipated, eat larger amounts of high-fiber foods in order to help move foods into the intestines.
- If the person is lactose intolerant, substitute yogurt for milk or use an enzyme to help in breaking down the lactose. Another way is consuming small amounts of milk products or simply use with other foods to help with the condition.
- Drink plenty of fluids every day, avoid alcohol and beverages that has caffeine since they stimulate the intestines and make diarrhea worse and drinking carbonated drinks produces gas.
- Perform exercises regularly in order to help minimize stress and depression, it also stimulates normal contractions on the intestines and makes the affected person feeling better. Seek medical advice for a suitable workout program.
- Take the prescribed anti-diarrheal medications that should be taken at least 20-30 minutes before eating, especially foods that are likely to cause diarrhea.
- Seek advice from a psychologist or psychiatrist on how to minimize stress to events.
- Biofeedback is stress-reduction technique that helps to lessen tension in the muscle and slows down the heart beat with the feedback help of a machine.
- Mindfulness training is a stress-reduction technique that helps in focusing on being in the moment of forgetting worries and distractions.