Treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects the intestines and causes abdominal pain and discomfort. IBS is caused by impaired movement of the digestive tract. There may be abnormal muscle contractions occurring in any part of the intestines in persons affected. Constipation, diarrhea, and bloating are all symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Women are two to three times as likely as men to be affected by this condition. Symptoms may be triggered by stress and eating habits. Lifestyle changes such as stress management and dietary changes are the main treatments for this condition. Taking fiber supplements with fluids may help control constipation. Examples of fiber supplements include psyllium (Metamucil) and methylcellulose (Citrucel). Over-the-counter medications are available for the treatment of diarrhea, such as loperamide (Imodium). Anticholinergic medications alleviate painful spasms of the bowel. Antidepressants may be prescribed for persons who are also experiencing pain and depression. Tricyclic antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) are two classes of antidepressants that may be prescribed. Fluoxetine (Prozac) and paroxetine (Paxil) are two types of SSRI’s that may help with depression and/or pain.