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Vitamins For IBS Sufferers

Among the annoying problems of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS sufferers are dietary requirements. If you have IBS, you need to be choosy about the food that you eat. Fruits and vegetables are recommended when you have IBS, but certain foods, especially oily and spicy foods, can trigger the occurrence of one characteristic symptom of IBS which is diarrhea, and must therefore be avoided at all cost.


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Dietary fiber may lessen IBS symptoms in many cases. Whole grain breads and cereals, beans, fruits, and vegetables are good sources of fiber. Consult your doctor before using an over-the-counter fiber supplement. High-fiber diets keep the colon mildly distended, which may help to prevent spasms from developing. Some forms of fiber also keep water in the stools, thereby preventing hard stools that are difficult to pass.

Evidence that food allergies (other than celiac disease) and other immune system challenges can cause IBS symptoms are reported in various published research. People with IBS more commonly than others have gastroesophageal reflux, symptoms relating to the genitourinary system, psychological symptoms, fibromyalgia, headache and backache. In some individuals, IBS may have an acute onset and develop after an infectious illness characterised by two or more of the following: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or positive stool culture. Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome involves excluding conditions which produce IBS-like symptoms, and then following a procedure to categorize the patient's symptoms.

You can also take iron, especially if you are having diarrhea because iron can cause constipation. Other vitamins that can help: Treat IBS with Vitamin B12

As IBS is a chronic condition, with an ongoing fluctuating course, these treatments may help the individual to develop skills for managing the condition over the long haul. Irritable Bowel Syndrome does not lead to more serious conditions in most patients. Most individuals are surprised to learn they are not alone with the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Sufferers often find that they have to deal with the symptoms themselves, through self-help methods and supplements, rather than by using conventional medicines. However, this does not mean that there is no hope of improvement. By sharing their experiences, sufferers can learn a lot about what really helps to ease IBS.

Calcium tablets Linda, who suffers from severe diarrhea, says: 'What has helped me for more than two years is calcium carbonate, an over-the-counter supplement. I take three tablets a day, one at each meal. The most success has come from using any formula of calcium supplement that is like Caltrate 600 Plus with vitamin D and minerals. The only side effect is at the beginning of taking the calcium you may have some gas or indigestion, but this usually goes away after taking a regular dose for a few days.'

To reduce constipation, add fiber to your diet, drink plenty of water, and get regular exercise. Keep a daily diary of what you eat and whether you experience symptoms after eating.

B Complex Vitamins for IBS All B complex vitamins, especially folic acid, can help so much in addressing the symptoms and effects of IBS. Dietary fiber is very important to people with IBS. It ensures them that the digestive processes inside their bodies are always within normal parameters.

Soluble versus insoluble fiber Some nutritionists believe that IBS sufferers' intestines react differently to soluble and insoluble fiber, and this has been Stu's experience: 'After trying all kinds of drugs and healthy eating, my pains were still there. I found by accident that it wasn't so much what I ate but whether I ate it on a full stomach or not. My failsafe is pasta on an empty stomach, I get no reaction - it is soluble fibre that settles the colon apparently. I quickly searched on the internet for recipes high in soluble fibre and I have improved. Most significantly though I am on no medication and this puts me in control of the IBS, not the other way around. I think this is important as stress certainly can trigger the symptoms off. I don't avoid insoluble fibre as it is essential for the body, but I recommend that you eat it on a full stomach.'

Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum Partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG) is a water soluble, non-gelling fiber that may help to reduce constipation and to a lesser extent diarrhea and abdominal pain in people with irritable bowel syndrome. PHGG also appears to increase the amount of beneficial bacteria, lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in the intestines. Diet

High rates of success in resolving IBS symptoms have been reported when treatment is specifically tailored to the underlying causes revealed through proper testing for the range of known causes of IBS symptoms. The multi-herbal extract Iberogast was found to be significantly superior to placebo via both an abdominal pain scale and an IBS symptom score after four weeks of treatment. Gut-directed or gut-specific hypnotherapy or self-hypnosis is one of the most promising areas of IBS treatment, also Traditional Chinese Medicine approaches IBS on an individual symptom-by-symptom basis, rather than recognizing a standard "IBS" diagnosis, which then warrants a blanket "IBS" treatment.

Causes Doctors are not sure what causes IBS. The nerves and muscles in the bowel appear to be extra sensitive in people with IBS. Muscles may contract too much when you eat. These contractions can cause cramping and diarrhea during or shortly after a meal. Or the nerves may react when the bowel stretches, causing cramping or pain.





About the author:
Sophie Lee has had IBS for 14 years. She runs the IBS Tales
website at http://www.ibstales.com where you can read hundreds
of stories and tips from IBS sufferers.

In people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, symptoms result from what appears to be a disturbance in the interaction between the gut or intestines, the brain, and the autonomic nervous system that alters regulation of bowel motility (motor function) or sensory function. Several conditions may present itself as IBS including celiac disease, mild infections, several inflammatory bowel diseases, functional chronic constipation and chronic functional abdominal pain. Some other causes of IBS are unknown.

All the self-help tips in this article have come from IBS sufferers who have found a way to control their irritable bowels. Before trying any form of self-help, please make sure that you have your doctor's approval, and do check that anything you try will not interfere with any medication you are taking.

While these vitamins and minerals can, indeed, help relieve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, it is still best to consult your physician before taking any of these. Your physician knows better what your body needs, so always get your doctor's clearance first before you go to the drugstore.

Irritable Bowel syndrome is the most common disease diagnosed by gastroenterologists (doctors who specialize in medical treatment of disorders of the stomach and intestines) and one of the most common disorders seen by primary care physicians. In gastroenterology, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder characterized by abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating relieved by defecation and alteration of bowel habits. Irritable Bowel Syndrome may begin after an infection (post-infectious, IBS-PI) or a stressful life event. IBS can be classified as either diarrhea-predominant (IBS-D), constipation-predominant (IBS-C) or IBS with alternating stool pattern (IBS-A or pain-predominant[6]). Other functional or pain disorders and certain psychological conditions are more common in those with IBS. In fact, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects approximately 10-20%??of the general population.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS is more prevalent than we think. The primary symptom of IBS is abdominal pain and cramp after eating - resulting in diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating. Some may find mucous in the feces. These symptoms usually persist for at least 90 days before an IBS diagnosis is considered. Most people only have mild symptoms, and fortunately, a proper diet can usually minimize symptoms.

If you have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you will know how difficult it is to treat. Doctors can be dismissive of IBS symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation and bloating, and when treatment is offered it may only help for a short while before the distressing symptoms return.

Limit or eliminate foods that may make diarrhea worse, including caffeine, alcohol, fatty foods, gas-producing foods (such as beans, cabbage, and broccoli), and the artificial sweeteners sorbitol and xylitol (often used in sugarless gum and sugarless candy).

Because there are many causes of diarrhea and IBS-like symptoms, the American Gastroenterological Association has published a set of guidelines for tests to be performed to diagnose other conditions which may have symptoms similar to IBS. Once other causes have been excluded, the diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome is performed using a diagnostic algorithm. The algorithm may include additional tests to guard against mis-diagnosis of other diseases like IBS. However, researchers have noted that red flag conditions may not always contribute to accuracy in diagnosis ??? for instance, as many as 31% of IBS patients have blood in their stool. Published research has demonstrated that some poor patient outcomes are due to treatable causes of diarrhea being mis-diagnosed as IBS. As mentioned earlier Coeliac disease in particular is often misdiagnosed as IBS.

 
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Mina also found that dietary change helped control her symptoms, alongside traditional medication: 'I've made a number of changes to my diet. I've eliminated milk and mostly any dairy, fried foods, sugar for the most part, pop, alcohol, potato chips, spicy food, rice, pasta and bread. Most recently I'm eliminating flour. But my best friend for the last couple of years has been Imodium Quick Dissolve tablets. I don't ever leave home without them. I just have to make sure I don't overdo it. If I ever become immune to the wonder drug I am gonna be a real mess!'

Vitamin C can help IBS Adequate amounts of Vitamin C are recommended for people suffering from IBS. Studies show that people who have high Vitamin C content in their bodies are less prone to developing the symptoms of IBS. This is made possible because Vitamin C is a very good antioxidant.

A final word Lastly, please do make sure that you have been officially diagnosed with IBS and had your symptoms fully investigated before trying any self-help methods. As Joe found out, bowel symptoms can be due something other than IBS: 'I was diagnosed with IBS, but I went to get a second opinion. They did an ultrasound followed by a barium follow-through which showed major inflammation and blockage of my small intestine. The final diagnosis is Crohn's disease. It's a pity they didn't catch it before I was seriously ill, instead of fobbing me off with excuses of 'It's IBS, there's no cure so live with it!''

Treatment options are available to manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome - whether symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe. These treatments for IBS can include dietary adjustments, medication and psychological interventions, and as for any physiological condition, works best when it successfully addresses the cause of the condition.

Fiber, water and yoga Pam, who struggles with constipation, has developed a combination of things which work for her: 'I drink Metamucil (psyllium fibre) every day and try to relax, pray or meditate, even do a little yoga. The more I make myself relax and take time to de-stress the better I can manage my problem. I know time for yourself is very hard to come by sometimes but I have to if I'm going to manage this. I try to drink at least three bottles of water a day. This is also hard sometimes but I have to take care of me the best I can. I also take a mild anti-depressant. This has helped a bunch in my stress department and in turn has helped my IBS.'

Research indicates that a person following a near vegetarian diet is less prone to developing IBS. Of all forms of Vitamin A, beta-carotene is most useful.

Symptoms Abdominal pain, bloating, and discomfort are the main symptoms of IBS. However, symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people have constipation, which means hard, difficult-to-pass, or infrequent bowel movements. Often these people report straining and cramping when trying to have a bowel movement but cannot eliminate any stool, or they are able to eliminate only a small amount. If they are able to have a bowel movement, there may be mucus in it, which is a fluid that moistens and protect passages in the digestive system. Some people with IBS experience diarrhea, which is frequent, loose, watery, stools.

Flaxseed Watching your diet is sometimes not enough to completely control the symptoms, and natural or herbal supplements can help, as Marion discovered: 'After about six months of a horrendously restrictive diet (ultra low-fat vegan with no raw veggies or fruit except banana) and a lot of Metamucil, I managed to get it sort of under control. But if I deviated from the diet, the chronic diarrhea would come back. Someone I met told me that she had helped her IBS by taking a tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseed with a glass of water or juice every morning. I thought it was another crackpot cure, but eventually I decided to try it. She had told me that pre-ground flaxseed didn't work because flax seed starts to oxidize as soon as you grind it and that whole flax seeds are no good either, because they cannot be digested properly. After years of IBS, in about two weeks it just went away. I cannot believe that I now have perfectly normal, regular bowel movements.'

If you suffer from constipation rather than diarrhea, you could try magnesium supplements instead, as these can have a slight laxative effect. Digestive enzymes and probiotics

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common problem with the intestines. In people with IBS, the intestines squeeze too hard or not hard enough and cause food to move too quickly or too slowly through the intestines. IBS usually begins around age 20 and is more common in women.

Kim, who also suffers from bad diarrhea, says: 'I tried taking digestive enzymes with acidophilus and found significant relief within three days. I am not afraid to eat now, but find that I still cannot eat very much refined sugar or high fibre vegetables. I have also added a cup or two per day of peppermint and chamomile tea. When I do have an episode it occurs late in the day and by the next morning I am feeling back to normal.'

Stress and IBS Daniel believes that his symptoms are related to his emotions and stress: 'I thought that when I was stuck on the toilet, experiencing the most severe cramps, thinking I was about to pass out from the pain, feeling like I was about to throw up, I was the only one. I'm still trying to work it out but I believe it has a lot to do with my psychological state. I say this because although I don't get too stressed out at any one moment, I do have general worries about money and life. I tend to find when I'm not worrying about these things I don't get the pain as much, if at all. It's easier said than done of course, I can't just stop worrying about money or my future, but being aware of these things seems to help - being optimistic and knowing that everything is only temporary. I have been taking Colpermin (peppermint capsules) as a preventative which often helps and for a while I took painkillers which I think helped.'

Fortunately, there are vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements you can take to ease the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. If you have Vitamin C, calcium, and iron in your medicine cabinet, you can relieve yourself of IBS symptoms when they hit you.

Looking at your diet Laura describes how a close examination of her diet helped her IBS: 'I was placed on every kind of medication, and sometimes they worked in the short term, sometimes they didn't work at all. The doctor finally suggested trying to alter my diet in cycles, and we discovered that eating meat was my problem. I became a vegetarian and no longer have constant problems. Sometimes I even go years without any pain at all. It's worth all the effort you put into it when you finally feel better.'

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid, in particular, is a natural laxative, and can relieve you of constipation, another classic sign of IBS. However, excessive intake of Vitamin C can also lead to diarrhea and may cause bloating, thus taking it should be regulated and monitored.

Peppermint Oil Peppermint oil is widely used for irritable bowel syndrome. It is thought to reduce the abdominal pain and bloating of irritable bowel syndrome, possibly by blocking the movement of calcium into muscle cells in the intestines and easing excessive muscle contraction there. Peppermint is considered a carminative herb, which means that it is used to eliminate excess gas in the intestines.

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Vitamin B12 is Cobalamin. The functions of this vitamin have a lot to do with the correct functioning of the body cells, but more importantly, it helps in relieving the pain that is confined to the gastrointestinal tract.

Vitamin A can help IBS Foods rich in Vitamin A could also help a person suffering from IBS, and there are quite a lot of them. However, the fruit and vegetable types are the ones that are going to be of most help to the patient.

It is also good to stock on calcium. Calcium is not only good for your bones it can also relieve constipation and diarrhea when you are having IBS. Calcium carbonate, in particular, has anti-diarrheal properties, while calcium citrate has laxative properties. Whether you are experiencing diarrhea or constipation, calcium can help to make you feel a lot better. Just like, Vitamin C, however, the intake of calcium should also be regulated. The recommended dosage of either preparation is 500 mg or less.

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