Irritable bowel syndrome is a group of symptoms includes abdominal pain and changes in pattern of bowel movements without any evidence of underlying damage. It negatively affects quality of life and may results in missed work. The causes of IBS are not clear. Since it is a functional gastrointestinal disorder diagnosis is based on symptoms in absence of worrisome features and once other potential conditions have been ruled out.
Worrisome features includes
- Onset of greater than 50 years of age
- Weight loss
- Blood in the stool
- Family history of inflammatory bowel syndrome
- Coeliac disease
- Microscopic colitis
- Bile acid mal absorption
- Colon cancer
Diagnosis through Signs and Symptoms
- Chronic or recurrent abdominal pain
- Abnormal stool form- hard or loose stool
- Abnormal stool frequency-less than 3 times/weaker more than 3 times/ day
- Straining for defecation
- Feeling of incomplete evacuation
- Passage of mucus per rectum
Management of IBS
1. GENERAL MANAGEMENT
COUNSELLING- Inform the patient regarding the triggering factors and avoidable risk factor of IBS and reassure the patient.
2. DIETARY MANAGEMENT
- Advice for balanced diet food
- Avoid the food which trigger the disease condition-Chocolates, Sodas, Highly spicy and seasoned foods, Alcohol, Junk food, etc.
- Maintain regular meal time
- Fiber rich diet and bulking agent like psyllium fiber as its relives the constipation
- Fiber content must be increased slowly to reduce the bloating and flatulence
- Avoid the dairy products if it found lactose and fructose intolerant
- Take sufficient fluid
3. LIFESTYLE MANAGEMENT
- Relieves stress factor
- Practice yoga and take regular exercise
- Take meals on regular time
4. HOMEOPATHIC MANAGEMENT
A few remedies which we can used in treatment of IBS include
- Anti Crudum- indigestion after a huge meal along with alternate constipation and diarrhoea.
- Staphysagria- IBS caused by suppressed anger.
- Arsenicum Album- intolerable abdominal pain with diarrhoea, restlessness and excessive thirst in sips.
- Aloe Socortina- IBS with abdominal pain, gas formation, diarrhoea and want of confidence in sphincter ani.
- Carbo Vegetabilis- flatulent colic, distended abdomen when simplest food disagrees and eructations give temporary relief.
Other important homeopathic medicines for irritable bowel syndrome- ARGENTUM NITRICUM, CINCHONA OFFICINALIS, LYCOPODIUM CLAVATUM, NUXVOMICA, PULSATILLA, SULPHUR.
If improvement on the basis of clinical assessment is not satisfactory after medication, you should notice and consider the red flags:
- Unintended weight loss
- Family history of rectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, Coeliac disease
- Persistent or progressive pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Abdominal/ rectal masses
- Raised inflammatory markers
- Nocturnal or large volume(> 300ml/day) diarrhoea