Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Alternative Therapies

Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  Common.  Difficult To Treat.  Other Avenues Of Therapy.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects up to 30 million patients in the Unites States.  Many live in large, metropolitan cities such as Los Angeles.  IBS is understandably one of the most common disorders seen by and treated by proctologists, also known as colon and rectal surgeons.

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With such a high prevalance of the disease, it is no wonder that so much attention has been focused on this common problem.  Many therapies have been used in an attempt to cure IBS.  To date, none is 100% effective.  Treatment also focuses on symptomatic relief in attempt to make life more bearable for those with IBS.

Symptoms.  Few, But Intense.

Symptoms of IBS are few in number but pack a wallop in tems of discomfort.  The symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome include:

  • Diarhea
  • Constipation
  • Alternating diarrhea and constipation-diarrhea predominant
  • Alternating diarrhea and constipation-constipation predominant
  • Abdominal pain and boating

What To Do When Traditional Therapies Fail.

Traditionally, treatment strategies have focused on various medications, including antibiotics, anti diarrheal medications, anti constipation medicines, central nervous system medications and anti emetics (nausea medicines).  However, these medications are not reliable in their efficacy.

The not uncommon failure rates of these medicines has led to the use of alternative treatments for IBS sufferers.  There are several, and they approach the problem from different perspectives:

  • Yoga, meditation, regular aerobic exercise.  These therapies may modify the mind-gut axis and help with stress reduction in an effort to minimize the symptoms.
  • Hypnosis.  Again, focusing on the mind-gut axis, hypnosis may be able to effect a disconnect between any psychological factors aggravating IBS and your intestinal tract.
  • Psychotherapy.  This may help spot trigger foods or trigger situations and modify the gastrointestinal response to the stimuli.
  • Acupuncture, although not proven as a remedy, may help with relaxation and in relaxing the intestinal muscular spasms that intensify the symptoms of IBS.
  • Probiotics, in their simplest form, provide “good” bacteria which hopefully replace any “bad” bacteria that might be responsible for causing or intensifying IBS.
  • Herbs must be used cautiously and preferably under the guidance of a physician.  Peppermint oil helps some, but not all IBS sufferers. It must be used with caution.

Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates.

The surgeons of Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates have a large body of experience in diagnosing and treating IBS.  Therapy must be individualized and the physicians will spend the time necessary to “get it right.”  By calling (310)273-2310, you may begin the first step on the path to symptomatic relief.

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