TREATING IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME
Irritable Bowel Syndrom (IBS) is defined as recurrent and intermittent abdominal pain for at least three days per month in the last three months without other disease or injury that could explain the pain. In addition to abdominal pain and discomfort, there is a change in stool frequency and consistency and may include constipation or diarrhea. Other symptoms include gas and bloating, mucous in the stool, straining and urgency with bowel movements, and incomplete emptying. The causes of IBS are unclear.
There is no cure for IBS, but there are different treatments to help alleviate symptoms. A combination of changes in diet, probiotics, medications and mental health therapy (if indicated) can help lessen symptoms. Foods that have been known to causes IBS symptoms include high fat food, alcohol, caffeine, milk products, artificial sweeteners, and gassy foods.
Further, a new approach to treating IBS is called the FODMAP Diet, which stand for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. FODMAPS cause gas, pain and bloating because they are not broken down or absorbed properly in people with IBS. Additionally, FODMAPs are fermented when they are not absorbed, causing additional bloating and gas. The FODMAP family contains fructose (monosaccharide) found in fruit and honey, lactose (disaccharide) found in dairy products, fructans (oligo-saccharides) found in onion and garlic, galacto-oligosaccharides found in beans and lentils, and polyols, such as sorbitol and mannitol.