Wouldn’t you agree that if you know the facts about an illness it will also assist you in understanding your best treatment options? Irritable Bowel Syndrome is very complex and a case in point. The “syndrome” may be mistaken for a number of separate and specific diagnoses, including those which affect different parts of your intestines. This means, while most irritable bowel issues are related to the colon, as far as abdominal pain from your intestine is concerned this may include the stomach, the small intestine or the colon. Once specific diagnoses are excluded (like diverticulitis), in general, the “syndrome” may be due to irregularity in the muscle spasm of the tract of intestine.
Seeking help from a physician should be the first task that you need to do, if you are suffering from this syndrome. It is generally identified with the aid of your personal history of symptoms, what causes them to get worse or better, blood tests and various types of scans, as well as possible scope procedures. The latter means that a flexible telescope gets introduced into your stomach through your mouth or from below through your anus into your colon. Don’t worry, these are usually done with some type of sedation. The problem is that if you don’t get a proper and complete evaluation, this “syndrome” may actually be a treatable and very specific disease. There is no single test that is especially made for evaluating irritable bowel syndrome.
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To get more specific, scope tests from below include the shorter sigmoidoscopy and the longer colonoscopy. This includes tucking in a flexible tube which can bend easily with a camera attached to it. The video and pictures are transmitted to a monitor, which will give your doctor a pretty good view of your insides. Sometimes a biopsy is required to help with the diagnosis.
If nothing specific is found to qualify for diagnoses like acid reflux, diverticulitis, intestinal/colon cancer, Crohn’s disease or colitis, then you may indeed have a generalized disorder like IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. The point is, to re-emphasize, that it is important to exclude these diagnoses first.
Unfortunately, Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic condition. Though can be treated, some symptoms will settle down for a time period, then may go back to the same status or may even increase. It is related to stress and possible foods which may exacerbate your symptoms.
Ultimately there is no curative remedy for many patients with IBS. There are definitely treatments which can reduce your symptoms, but your doctor should also recommend altering your lifestyle and learn to control the stress which may partly cause the problem. As you know, having IBS also increases your stress levels, so it can be a never-ending circle unless you start getting at the root of the problem before symptoms get worse.
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Symptom control medications may help while you identify and get your lifestyle issues under control. The doctor may prescribe certain purgatives and supplements for constipation while giving other medicines for diarrhea. Usually antispasmodics are given for the regulation of colon muscles and reducing the pain in the abdomen.
But usually both antidepressant and antispasmodic will induce constipation, again causing a never-ending circle of problems. Also this type of medication can cause addiction problems, so you need to be careful and restrict it for use only until you get to the root of your problems.
Medicines that are used for Irritable Bowel Syndrome are as follows:
Alosetron HCL also called Lotronex is highly used for women who suffer from this disorder when all other traditional methods didn’t work out and when the prime symptom is diarrhea. However the patient need to be careful as its worst side effects are reduced flow of blood towards colon which can be followed by serious constipation.
Tegaserod maleate is another medicine commonly called as Zelnorm, which can be considered as a remedy for a short time period. It is taken for about 4-6 weeks before you can expect some results.
So, work with your physician. Exclude treatable conditions. Consider some symptom control medications. Look at foods which seem to make things worse. Eliminate them and see if you are better. Look at your lifestyle and try to reduce your stress or take steps to control it, using biofeedback and other methods.