Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Treating IBS With Medical and Alternative Remedies

Irritable bowel syndrome is a medical condition, and many people use common medications to treat the symptoms of IBS. Scientists and doctors do not have a clear answer to what causes IBS, but treatment plans focus on reducing stress, dietary changes and medications. Irritable bowel syndrome does not increase the risk of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer, but the symptoms of IBS can be uncomfortable.

Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Stress Management

Most people can control the symptoms of IBS by using stress relief techniques. The condition can also be managed by avoiding foods that trigger IBS symptoms. In addition to managing stress and dietary changes, you should stay hydrated and exercise on a regular basis.

Dietary Changes

If you are always bloated, you should avoid carbonated beverages and raw foods. You should also consider eliminating gluten from your diet. Foods that are naturally high in fiber can cause constipation. Your doctor can prescribe you a laxative.

Common Medications

You can treat diarrhea with over-the-counter medications. If you do not have glaucoma, your doctor might write you a prescription for an antispasmodic medication. Levsin can be used to stop bouts of diarrhea, but the medication can worsen constipation. Some people have difficulty urinating after taking an antispasmodic medication.

Antidepressants and Abdominal Pain

Your doctor can give you a prescription for an antidepressant if your symptoms are affecting your mental health. A selective serotonin medication or a tricyclic antidepressant can ease your depression. The medications can also slow down the neurons that cause abdominal pain.


Some IBS symptoms can be caused by an overgrowth of bacteria. Antibiotics can restore the natural balance of bacteria in your intestine. Some people have treated diarrhea with Xifaxan. However, scientists are still studying the effectiveness of the medication.

IBS Medications

Lotronex is an approved IBS medication. The medicine can relax the muscles in the colon. When the muscles are relaxed, it is easier to move stool through the lower bowel. The medication was temporarily pulled from pharmacies, but the FDA has given approval for it to be sold again. The medicine is only available to women who have uncontrollable diarrhea. Lubiprostone is another IBS medication that is only approved for women. It relieves constipation by increasing fluid secretion in the lower bowel. The medicine can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea and nausea.

Accupuncture and Herbs

Acupuncture and herbs might relieve your IBS symptoms. Peppermint can relax the muscles in your intestines. Before you take peppermint, you should know that the herb can worsen heartburn.

Hypnosis and Meditation

Hypnosis and meditation can reduce bloating and abdominal pain. A hypnotist can teach you how to relax your mind and your muscles. If you do not want to be hypnotized, you may be able to relieve your symptoms with meditation and yoga.


IBS can be caused by an imbalance in good and bad bacteria. If you do not have enough probiotics in your diet, you can suffer from constipation or diarrhea. You can get more probiotics in your diet by eating yogurt and taking probiotic supplements.

IBS can affect your quality of life, but medical and alternative methods can help you manage the condition. Your doctor can give you a personalized treatment plan. When you know your treatment options, you can take steps towards improving your health.