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IBS Treatment: How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treated?

IBS Treatment: How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treated?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a complex disorder of the large intestine. Patients with IBS usually experience stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, stomach cramps, and constipation. While there is no definitive cure for IBS, patients can undergo an IBS treatment diet and other similar methods to help manage their condition.

IBS treatment

What is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is a condition that causes abdominal pain and problems with bowel movement. It is hard to find the exact cause of IBS. However, it is known that IBS generally affects how a person digests food.

There are a number of factors that contribute to IBS, namely:

  • Changes in the bacterial population of the gut
  • Stressful events, especially in early life
  • Infections, such as gastroenteritis
  • Problems in the nerves of the digestive system
  • Contractions of muscles in the intestine

All of these things can potentially cause a person to experience IBS as well as the symptoms associated with it.

Additionally, IBS can also be triggered by eating certain types of food, as well as being under stress. This is why when it comes to treating IBS, focusing on these triggers is a good strategy.

Signs of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: All You Need to Know

What IBS treatment is best?

IBS is a self-limiting condition. This means that it cannot be cured by medicine, or various forms of treatment. However, treatments are often given to reduce the pain and other symptoms of IBS, which includes diarrhea and constipation..

When it comes to IBS treatment, there are a number of options available for patients. Most of these treatments involve lifestyle changes, but patients can also take certain types of medication to help with their condition.

In terms of what treatment is best for IBS, there isn’t any single form of treatment that’s better than others. It all depends on how severe the patient’s IBS is, as well as their current state of health and various other factors.

Here are some common types of IBS treatment:

Monitor symptoms

The first step in treating IBS is to monitor the symptoms attributed to it, daily bowel habits and any other factors that can affect one’s bowels. This helps in identifying the factors that trigger IBS, or the factors that worsen the symptoms in people with IBS. Keeping a daily diary to track diet and bowel symptoms can be helpful.

Change in diet

Because IBS affects the digestive system, a change in diet can help with managing this condition.

In particular, the IBS treatment diet is a diet that’s designed to help reduce the impact of IBS. Here are some guidelines for this type of diet:

  • Eating foods rich in fiber such as leafy, green vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Avoiding foods with gluten such as wheat, bread, beer, and other types of cereals.
  • Avoiding fatty foods, dairy products, and foods that increase intestinal gas such as beans, cabbage and broccoli.
  • Eating probiotic foods such as yogurt and other fermented foods.

Aside from a change in diet, doctors also recommend a person with IBS to stay active and engage in exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. Exercise also promotes a sense of well-being, which can have a favorable effect on the bowels.

Reducing stress

Because stress is a trigger for IBS, taking measures to manage stress is a good idea. Here are some things that you can do in order to lower stress:

  • Get enough sleep; ideally, 8 hours of continuous sleep every night is ideal.
  • Take some time to relax, especially if you’re stressed from work.
  • Engaging in a new hobby can help relieve stress.
  • Exercise is also a good way to relieve stress and stay healthy.

Your mental health is also very important when it comes to IBS. If you feel that there might be something wrong, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor to seek help.

IBS treatment


In some cases, patients can take medication to help with the symptoms of IBS. Typically, the following types of medication are usually prescribed by doctors:

  • Laxatives to help treat constipation
  • Anti-diarrhea medication such as loperamide can also help
  • Hyoscyamine, and other antispasmodics can help with contractions caused by IBS
  • If a patient has mental health concerns that trigger IBS, anti-anxiety medication and anti-depressants can sometimes be prescribed

Be sure to listen to your doctor’s advice regarding these types of medicine, and only take them as your doctor prescribed.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to IBS treatment, a combination of methods usually works best. By changing your diet, keeping stress levels low, and taking medication as needed, you can manage the symptoms of IBS.

Learn more about Digestive Health here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Irritable bowel syndrome – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20360064, Accessed December 9, 2020

Treatments for IBS, https://www.aboutibs.org/what-is-ibs-sidenav/treatments-for-ibs.html, Accessed December 9, 2020

Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome | NIDDK, https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/treatment, Accessed December 9, 2020

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment | Johns Hopkins Medicine, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/irritable-bowel-syndrome-treatment, Accessed December 9, 2020

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs/, Accessed December 9, 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated May 31
Medically reviewed by Mike-Kenneth Go Doratan, M.D.