Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Friday, November 09, 2012

Because its not clear what causes irritable bowel syndrome, treatment focuses on the relief of symptoms so that you can live as normally as possible. Dr. Edward Hill discusses some of these treatment options in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is stomach discomfort or pain that happens with constipation, diarrhea or both.

In most cases, you can successfully control mild signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome by learning to manage stress and making changes in your diet and lifestyle. But if your problems are moderate or severe, you may need to do more.

Treatments may include:

Exercise: Three to five times per week.

Laxatives: Over-the-counter laxatives, such as polyethylene glycol. This may help with constipation, but probably not with stomach pain.

Antidiarrheal medicines: Over-the-counter loperamide. This may help with diarrhea, but probably not with stomach pain.

Probiotics: Probiotics are found in some over-the-counter supplements and yogurts. Common probiotics are Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus Thermophilis.

Prescription medicines: Your doctor also may prescribe a medicine to help with more severe symptoms. But, these medicines could cause side effects, and

Other treatments: Relaxation, hypnosis, acupuncture, herbal medicines, and peppermint oil.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.