How to Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Around seventy percent of individuals suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome are living life without any type of treatment for their condition. Even though there is no cure at this time for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, there are some medications available that can help with the symptoms.

Once you talk with your physician concerning your symptoms, he/she will be able to give you information regarding the best treatment options available in your situation along with ways in which to manage stress a change your diet to help with the symptoms.

Consult Physician

According to your situation, your physician may suggest laxatives, fiber supplements, and medicines to decrease diarrhea. In most cases, the medications for diarrhea include Loperamide and Lomotil. In some cases, an antispasmodic drug is prescribed. This can help lessen abdominal pain as well as control colon muscle spasm. Some individuals receive relief by taking antidepressants.

How to Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The problem with taking antispasmodics and antidepressants is that these drugs often cause constipation, which is one of the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, therefore if these drugs are given, the physician often prescribes medications that will relax the muscles like Donnapine or Librax. These two drugs can be addictive, so you should use these under the care of a physician.


At this time, there is one medication that was created to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The medication is called alosetron hydrochloride (Lotronex), and even though it has been re-approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, there are several restrictions.

The drug is to be used for women that suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and have not seen any success with other therapies with the main symptom being diarrhea. Lotronex has serious side effects that will need to be overseen by the attending physician, including severe constipation and decreased blood flow to the colon.


Stress has been known to stimulate colon spasms in sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome along with such other emotions as being tense, troubled, overwhelmed, and angry. Even though many of us do not realize this, the colon is somewhat controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which does respond to stress.

The nerves are in control of the contractions that are part of a healthy colon; however, when stress is present, the muscles can be contracted to cause discomfort and cramps. Some individuals call this, butterflies in the stomach.

Immune System

A few researchers have suggested that Irritable Bowel Syndrome is also affected by the immune system, which fights all kinds of infection in our bodies. The immune system can be affected by stress. For individuals diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, many physicians will also suggest stress management options.

These options can include relaxation training, relaxation therapies like meditation, counseling, regular exercises such as walking or yoga, changes to the stressful environment, and adequate sleep. Change in Diet

Some physicians also suggest a change in diet. However, before the diet is changed, your physician will want you to keep a journal. In this journal, you will have to write down the foods you eat, including every item you eat, along with any symptoms that occur. Through this journal, your physician will be able to tell which types of foods are causing the flare-ups with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Some diet changes may include increasing the fiber intake by 2 to 3 grams per day, drinking six to eight glasses of water per day, avoiding large meals, and eating foods that are low in fat and high in carbohydrates. Irritable Bowel Syndrome has not been linked to any other illness, is only a combination of signs and symptoms, and is not considered a disease or illness.