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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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    • Note: Tegaserod, a medicine used for constipation, was withdrawn from the market in March 2007.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.

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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