IBS or irritable bowel syndrome as it is otherwise known as, is a disturbing condition characterized by changes in the bowel habits. There are three types of irritable bowel syndrome – IBS with constipation (IBS-C), IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D), and IBS that alternates between diarrhea and constipation (IBS-A).
By recognizing the symptoms of constipation that arise from IBS and treating it accordingly, one can learn to live with this rather uncomfortable and at times embarrassing syndrome.
IBS With Constipation
Symptoms of IBS With Constipation
Constipation is often experienced by everyone at some point in time or the other. It is usually associated with difficulty to pass stools, having to strain oneself to pass stools, infrequent bowel movements and a feeling of not having completely emptied the bowels.
In the case of IBS-C, the constipation is far worse, in that it is chronic and associated with severe abdominal pain. The constipation may be intermittent and may occur alternatively between bouts of diarrhea. The patient tends to pass a lot of gas and the stomach bloats up. When passing stools, the patient has to strain a lot and there is a sense of incompleteness after having emptied the bowels. It may require two or more visits to the bathroom to completely empty the bowels. Patients are also known to experience nausea with IBS-C. The ABC symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain or cramping, Bloating and constipation. All these symptoms continue over a period of 6 months or more.
Treatment of IBS With Constipation
Drink plenty of fluids through the day and keep the body well hydrated.
Instead of eating three large meals a day, eating several small meals during the day will help to reduce the bloating associated with IBS. Avoid foods that have a high fat content; instead, opt for healthy foods that are rich in fiber. While there is no specific diet that is recommended for patients suffering from IBS, it is important to note what works for you and what increases the discomfort and the symptoms. Caffeine beverages are not forbidden; however, it is important to keep their consumption within limits.
If you have been prescribed medication by your doctor, it is imperative to take them regularly.
Laxatives And IBS With Constipation
Unlike general constipation that can be treated with laxatives and fiber supplements, constipation that arises due to IBS tends to get worse with them.
The colon is very sensitive in the case irritable bowel syndrome and it is advised to stay away from laxatives and fiber supplements as far as possible. Also, once the colon gets dependent on laxatives and fiber supplements, it gets difficult to do without them.
Stress And IBS With Constipation
While the cause for IBS is still unknown, it is believed that stress is one of the major contributory factors. If you have stress related problems and your doctor suspects it is a reason for your IBS, you must do everything within your power to relax as much as possible to ease your IBS symptoms. Deep relaxation, exercise, yoga and meditation are a few ways to help you relax your mind and ease off the symptoms of IBS.
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