Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) a mix of belly discomfort or pain and trouble with bowel habits , either going more or less (diarrhoea or constipation) often than normal or having a different kind of stool (thin, hard or soft and liquid ). IBS is called by some other names also –
• IBS colitis
• Mucous colitis
• Spastic colon
• Nervous colon
• Spastic bowel
IBS is not life threatening and it doesn’t make you to get other colon conditions ,such as ulcerative colitis , crohn’s disease or colon cancer , but it can be a long lasting problem that changes how you live your life. People with IBS may miss work or school more often and they may feel less able to take part in daily activities.
• Constipation alternating with Diarrhoea
• Belly pains or cramps , usually in the lower half of the belly that get worse after meals and feel better after a bowel movement.
• lots of gas or bloating.
• Mucus in your faeces.
• Feeling like you still need to defecate after you just did .
• Food intolerance
• Heartburn & indigestion
• Increased Urine frequency
The exact cause of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) known. Factors that appear to play a role includes –
1) Muscle contraction in the intestine –
The wall of the intestine is lined with layers of muscle that contract as they get more food through your digestive tract. Disturbance in these contractions make stool thicker to cause constipation or thinner to result in diarrhoea.
2) Nervous System –
Poorly co-ordinated signals between the brain and the intestines can cause your body to over react to changes that normally occur in digestive process.
3) Severe Infection –
IBS can develop after a severe bout of diarrhoea caused by bacteria or a virus.
4) Early life stress –
People exposed to stressful events especially in childhood tend to develop IBS.
5) Changes in gut microbes –
Changes in gut microbes like bacteria ,fungi and viruses , also causes IBS.
There are four types of Irritable bowel syndrome –
1) IBS with Constipation ( IBS-C)
2) IBS with Diarrhoea ( IBS-D)
3) IBS with Unsubtyped ( IBS- U) – people who don’t comes in above categories comes in IBS -U
1) Food –
People having IBS reaches to more worse situation when they eat or drink certain foods or beverages like wheat ,dairy products , citrus fruits ,beans , cabbage ,milk and carbonated drinks.
2) Stress –
Stress can aggravate the symptoms ,but it doesn’t cause them.
Risk Factors –
1) Young people –
It occurs more frequently in people under age 50.
2) Females –
IBS is more common among women.
3) Family history –
Genes also play a important role.
4) Mental health –
A history of sexual, physical or emotional abuse also might be a risk factor.
Chronic constipation or diarrhoea can cause haemorrhoids or piles. IBS is also associated with –
• Poor quality of life – Many people with IBS report poor quality of life like absence from work ,prisoned at home due to embarassment of going washroom repeatedly and consistent pain abdomen.
• Mood disorders – Depression and anxiety due to IBS makes patients life more worse.
There is no test to definately diagnose IBS . Still some procedures are used such as –
2) X- ray or CT – scan
3) Upper Endoscopy
Some laboratory tests are –
1) Lactose Intolerance Test
2) Breath test for bacterial over growth
3) Stool Test
Mild signs and symptoms can often be controlled by managing stress and by making changes in your diet and lifestyle.
For that try to do Following suggestions –
• Avoid foods that trigger your symptoms.
• Eat high fiber foods .
• Drink plenty of fluids.
• Exercise regularly.
• Get enough sleep.
Based on symptoms some medications that can be used are –
1) Fiber Supplements –
Taking a supplement such as psyllium with fluids may help control constipation .
2) Laxatives –
If fiber doesn’t help constipation ,over the counter laxatives like magnesium hydroxide may help.
3) Anti diarrhoeals –
Over the counter medications such as loperamide help in diarrhoea.
4) Anticholinergic –
Medications such as dicyclomine can help relieve painful bowel spasms.
5) Antidepressants –
A lower than normal dose of imipramine ,deripramine at bedtime relieve depression as well as inhibit the activity of neurons that control the intestines to help reduce pains.
6) Pain Medications –
Pregablin or Gabapentin might ease severe pain or bloating.
Medications that can be used specifically for IBS –
1) Allosetron –
It is designed to relax the colon and slow the movement of waste through the bowel .It is not approved for men. It should only be used when other treatments aren’t successful.
2) Eluxodoline –
It can ease diarrhea by reducing muscle contractions and fluid secretion in the intestine ,increasing muscle tone in the rectum.
3) Rifaximin –
It can decrease bacterial overgrowth and diarrhea.
4) Lubiprostone –
It can increase fluid secretion in your small intestine to help the passage of stool to ease constipation.
Ayurvedic Perspective –
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) resembles Grahni in Ayurveda which is believed to be caused due to vata and pitta dosha imbalance.
Course of treatment –
1) Deepana/ Pachana –
To increase agni formulations like pippalyadi churna ,bhunimbadi churna etc. are prescribed.
2) Langhana –
Light food to be taken to increase digestion.
3) Snehana / Swedana –
Procedures to lighten body internally as well as externally.
4) Shodhana (Panchkarma ) –
Vamana – If Ama(Toxins) is in the Amasashya (Stomach)
Virechana – If Ama is in the Pakvashya ( Intestine)
Basti – To be given if rukshta (Dryness) in colon.
5) Shamana –
In Nirama stage use grahi herbs that gives strength to Grahni ( Duodenum ) . Formulations that can be used are Mustarhishtam ,Dashmuladya ghrita .
6) Pathya Ahara – vihara –
Like Buttermilk and Ghee.
7) Rasayana Therapy –
With Mulethi churna ,Giloy sat.
Some effective herbs –
• Shatpushpa –
It is a powerful digestive ,relaxes the intestinal muscles , relieving from gas ,bloating , abdominal cramps and constipation.
• Pudina –
It is a natural antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory.
• Turmeric –
It is powerful anti-inflammatory and wound healing effect.
• Saunth –
It is used to strengthen agni and improve digestion.
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