Irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder involving the lower bowel or colon. Even though the main cause is unknown, it was discovered that the colon muscle among those with the condition readily contracts. There are also factors that can trigger the condition including certain foods, medications and emotional stress. In some studies, it indicated that the presence of excess bacteria in the digestive tract can contribute to the symptoms.
Irritable bowel syndrome often occurs during the late teens to early 40s, especially women. Luckily, this is not a life-threatening condition. The only downside is that the condition can come and go throughout one’s lifetime.
What are the indications?
The usual indications of irritable bowel syndrome include:
- Abdominal pain or cramping, usually in the lower region of the stomach
- Constipation, diarrhea or an exchanging sequence between the 2 conditions
- Excess gas
- Loose or hard bowel movements
Since the symptoms might arise repeatedly, an individual might feel strained or dismayed by his/her condition. These feelings every so often become less serious as the individual grows control over the condition.
Management of irritable bowel syndrome
Almost all individuals diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome can be treated, but no single treatment works for everyone. Generally, a few basic changes in the activities and diet will allow the improvement of the condition over time.
Some of the steps to minimize the symptoms include:
- Avoidance of caffeine
- Limit or cessation of smoking
- Reduce the intake of lactose-containing foods
- Drink 3-4 glasses of water daily
- Increase the amount of fiber in the diet such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains
- Relax by lowering the level of stress and regular exercise
If an individual has irritable bowel syndrome and worried about the calcium intake, other sources of calcium can be tried such as spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, yogurt, tofu, salmon and sardines with bones, calcium supplements, breads fortified with calcium as well as some calcium carbonate antacid supplements.