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Latest Approaches in Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome

photo of stressed woman with hands on stomach having bad achesThe causes of the irritable bowel syndrome also referred to as spastic colon, are unclear. Thus, the aim of treatment is to relieve the symptoms of the disease so that you can live as normally as possible.

Most often, you can successfully control the mild signs and symptoms of this disease by changing your diet and lifestyle and learning to manage stress. Also, drink lots of fluids, get enough exercise and get enough sleep.

If your problems range from moderate to severe, you may require more than lifestyle changes. Your doctor may also suggest medications.

Dietary Changes

Some of the dietary changes recommended by the staff at GI North include:

Eliminating high-gas foods. If you are passing high amounts of gas or are experiencing bothersome bloating, your doctor may suggest eliminating items such as vegetables— especially cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli— carbonated beverages, and raw fruits.

Eliminating gluten. Studies show that some people with a spastic colon report a reduction in the diarrhea symptoms if they cut out on gluten (rye, wheat, and barley). This recommendation is, however, controversial and there is not much evidence to support it.

Eliminating FODMAPs. Some people show a higher sensitivity to certain types of carbohydrates such as lactose, fructose, fructans, and others, often referred to as FODMAPs (fermentable, oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and polyols). FODMAPs are usually found in certain vegetables, grains, dairy products, and fruits. You may get relief from spastic colon symptoms by adhering to a strict low-FODMAP diet, and then reintroducing other foods as time goes.

Medications for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Currently, two drugs have been approved for treating spastic colon.

Alosetron (Lotronex). Alosetron has been specially designed to relax the colon and slow down the movement of waste products of digestion through the lower bowel. However, this drug may only be prescribed by doctors who are enrolled in a special program, and it is supposed to be used for severe diarrhea-predominant IBS in women who have not responded to other forms of treatment. However, it has not approved for use by men. This drug should only be considered when other forms of treatment have failed because it is linked with rare but significant side effects.

Lubiprostone (Amitiza). Lubiprostone functions by increasing the secretion of fluids in your small intestines to help in the passage of fluids. It is approved for use by women aged 18 and above who have spastic colon with constipation. So far, it has not been proved to be effective in men. Besides, its long-term safety has not been determined. This drug may cause side effects that include diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain. Lubiprostone is prescribed for women suffering from IBS with severe constipation in cases where other forms of treatment haven’t been successful.

If you are in pain due to irritable bowel syndrome or other liver problems, visit or contact GI North to speak with a professional. Dr. Cofrancesco and Dr. Quijano of GI North are more than ready to attend to your needs and they serve the residents of Cumming, GA, as well as the surrounding areas of Alpharetta, Roswell, Canton, and Suwanee. Dr. Quijano also speaks fluent Spanish, which is an added advantage for all Spanish-speaking people.

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