Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment

Can this condition be treated? What Irritable Bowel Syndrome treatment options are available? Learn more below about the current treatments available to patients.


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  • Screening
  • Medications
  • Prevention
  • Treatment
  • Alternative Treatment
  • Care Guide
  • Questions for Your Doctor
  • When to Contact a Doctor
  • Find a Doctor
  • Resource Guide

How to Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome

There is no cure for IBS. Treatment focuses on controlling symptoms.


The following changes to your diet may help control symptoms:

  • Keep a food diary of what you eat and how your body responds. Share this with your doctor. You may have a food allergy.
  • Make gradual changes to your diet. Record the results.
  • Avoid foods that have caused problems in the past. A dietitian can help you substitute foods.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that may cause symptoms:
    • High fat foods, spicy foods
    • Dairy products
    • Onions, cabbage, and other gas-producing food
    • Large amounts of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism or caffeine
  • Eat foods that may reduce the chance of spasm, such as:
    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Whole grains and other high-fiber foods (More fiber may increase gas and bloating until your body adjusts.)
  • Eat smaller meals more often or smaller portions.
  • Eat slowly and try not to swallow air.
  • Drink plenty of water. This will help to reduce constipation.

Stress Management

Talk to your doctor about ways to reduce stress , such as:

  • Relaxation
  • Biofeedback
  • Counseling
  • Exercise (This also improves bowel function.)


Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may recommend:

  • Antispasmodic agent (eg, dicyclomine, alverine citrate)
  • High-fiber bulking agent (eg, psyllium )
  • Antiflatulant (eg, simethicone)
  • Antidiarrheal agent (eg, loperamide )
  • Low-dose antidepressant
  • Pain reliever (eg, acetaminophen )-may help with crampy abdominal pain
  • Serotonin receptor agonists and antagonists (also called 5-HT3 antagonists)-may be helpful for treating diarrhea, as well as treating other IBS symptoms, like abdominal pain in women (eg, alosetron )
    • Note: Tegaserod, a medicine used for constipation, was withdrawn from the market in March 2007. This was due to a slightly increased risk of Heart Attack , Angina , and Stroke.
  • Probiotics ("friendly" bacteria)-may be helpful, but talk to your doctor before taking
  • Peppermint oil

In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you take a combination of medicines.


Learn what Irritable Bowel Syndrome is
What It Is
Learn the basics of this condition. Find out what you're dealing with.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Causes
What causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Learn what the medical community has uncovered.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Risk Factors
Risk Factors
Are you at risk of getting Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Inside you'll find known risk factors for the condition.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosis
How will your doctor diagnose you with this condition? Learn about the tests, process, and more.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms
What are the Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms? Are you showing any? Learn more today.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Complications
Can this condition lead to other health problems? Learn more about the known complications.

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Screening for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Learn more about the specific tests or exams given by your doctor to screen for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Medications
What medications offer relief or help with this condition? Are there side effects? Risks? Learn more.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Prevention
How can you prevent Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Read what the medical community suggests for prevention methods.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment
Can this condition be treated? What Irritable Bowel Syndrome treatment options are available?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Care
Learn more about the day to day care of this condition. Changes to your activity, diet, exercise, and more.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Doctors
Find a Doctor
Do you need to contact a doctor about Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Select a location to find a specialist in your area.

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO