Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common functional disorder of the gut. A functional disorder means there is a problem with the function of a part of the body, but there is no abnormality in the structure. So, in IBS, the function of the gut is upset, but all parts of the gut look normal, even when looked at under a microscope. Irritable bowel syndrome commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation.
The symptoms vary between individuals and affect some people more severely than others. They tend to come and go in periods lasting a few days to a few months at a time, often during times of stress or after eating certain foods.
There are four types of the condition:
- IBS with constipation (IBS-C)
- IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D)
- Mixed IBS (IBS-M) alternates between constipation and diarrhea
- Unsubtyped IBS (IBS-U) for people who don’t fit into the above types
The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is unknown. Factors that appear to play a role include:
- Muscle contractions in the intestine: The walls of the intestines are lined with layers of muscle that contract as they move food through your digestive tract. Contractions that are stronger and last longer than normal can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea. Weak intestinal contractions can slow food passage and lead to hard, dry stools.
- Nervous system: Abnormalities in the nerves in your digestive system may cause you to experience greater than normal discomfort when your abdomen stretches from gas or stool. Poorly coordinated signals between the brain and the intestines can cause your body to overreact to changes that normally occur in the digestive process, resulting in pain, diarrhea or constipation.
- Severe infection: IBS can develop after a severe bout of diarrhea (gastroenteritis) caused by bacteria or a virus. IBS might also be associated with a surplus of bacteria in the intestines (bacterial overgrowth).
- Early life stress: People exposed to stressful events, especially in childhood, tend to have more symptoms of IBS.
- Changes in gut microbes: Examples include changes in bacteria, fungi and viruses, which normally reside in the intestines and play a key role in health. Research indicates that the microbes in people with IBS might differ from those in healthy people.
Symptoms of IBS can be triggered by:
- Food: The role of food allergy or intolerance in IBS isn’t fully understood. A true food allergy rarely causes IBS. But many people have worse IBS symptoms when they eat or drink certain foods or beverages, including wheat, dairy products, citrus fruits, beans, cabbage, milk and carbonated drinks.
- Stress: Most people with IBS experience worse or more-frequent signs and symptoms during periods of increased stress. But while stress may aggravate symptoms, it doesn’t cause them.
The signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can vary widely from person to person and often resemble those of other diseases like IBD (Inflammatory bowel disease). Among the most common are:
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- A bloated feeling
- Diarrhea or constipation: sometimes alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea
- Mucus in the stool
For most people, IBS is a chronic condition, although there will likely be times when the signs and symptoms are worse and times when they improve or even disappear completely.
Other symptoms which sometimes occur:
- Feeling sick (nausea).
- Poor appetite.
- Muscle pains.
- Feeling quickly full after eating.
- Bladder symptoms (an associated irritable bladder).
Some people have occasional mild symptoms. Others have unpleasant symptoms for long periods. Many people fall somewhere in between, with flare-ups of symptoms from time to time.
- Young age: IBS occurs more frequently in people under age 50.
- Female more compare to male
- Have a family history of IBS: Genes may play a role, as may share factors in a family’s environment or a combination of genes and environment.
- Have anxiety, depression or other mental health issues: A history of sexual, physical or emotional abuse also might be a risk factor.
A diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome depends largely on a complete medical history and physical exam, your symptoms and their severity are only part of the picture. Other causes need to be ruled out. Is it really IBS or possibly another condition?
To be diagnosed with IBS, the duration of symptoms should be at least six months, and should occur at least three times a month.
A doctor may order tests, including blood tests, stool tests, Lactose intolerance tests, colonoscopy, X-rays, or CT scans. There is no specific finding on these tests that can confirm the diagnosis of IBS, however, other problems can be ruled out by performing them.
Homeopathic remedies for IBS are made of natural substances having zero side effects do not treat diseases but rather human beings suffering from diseases, thus ensuring a complete cure. As a comprehensive holistic approach to healthcare, natural medicines are able to offer a solution to many of these problems.
Nux Vomica is the top natural medicine for IBS. The prominent symptom calling for its use is the passage of a small quantity of stool or poop very frequently with abdomen pain. The patient feels the constant urge to pass stool. The abdomen pain is relieved for a very short time after stool. But the pain in abdomen and desire for stool begins soon after stool expulsion. This is most of the times accompanied by a distended abdomen after eating. The peculiar food that worsens the condition is spicy food, coffee, and alcoholic drinks. The worsening of condition after anger spells is also an important marker for natural homeopathic remedy Nux Vomica.
Natural medicine Aloe is the best remedy for the urge to pass stool soon after eating or drinking anything. Aloe helps in regularizing the intestinal movements and put them under normal limit since they are at an increased pace in patients with IBS. Aloe, which is a natural medicine without any side effects, is also of great help for persons who rush to the toilet for stool soon after eating or drinking anything and the stool is loose and may be accompanied by passage of a large quantity of gas. In a few persons, mucus may be expelled along with stool. The patient also experiences pain in the abdomen before and during stool. The abdominal pain vanishes after passing stool.
Alumina is a natural medicine for treating patients of IBS in whom constipation predominates. Alumina can provide a great helping hand when the patient suffers from constipation of the most obstinate kind. The intestines work at a very slow pace in such patients. The stool remains in the rectum for many days without any urge to pass stool. The stool is expelled out by putting much strain. The stool in a few patients is hard and in others it is soft. But passage of stool is difficult with much effort in both cases. Potatoes seem to be the most intolerable food for patients requiring natural Homeopathic remedy Alumina.
The patients of IBS who suffer from a bloated abdomen can benefit greatly from natural remedy Carbo Veg. The patients requiring this natural medicine complain of a heavy and tense abdomen soon after eating. Even the simplest kind of food seems to worsen the condition. The passage of gas or belching provides slight relief. The patients may also complain of acidity with burning in stomach. This is accompanied by frequent loose stool of offensive odor. Cramping pain in the abdomen may also be present.
Lycopodium is a very useful natural medicine for dealing with IBS with heaviness in the abdomen after eating a small quantity of food. The abdomen feels full and distended. Gas fills the abdomen. Alteration between diarrhea and constipation is often noticed. The patient’s condition gets worse by taking food that usually leads to gas formation like cabbage. The desire for very hot food and drinks is a very important indicator of Lycopodium.
Use of Croton Tiglium are urging for stool soon after eating or drinking, watery stool, copious stool, weakness after passing stool.
Podophyllum Peltatum is given where the attending features include profuse and highly putrid/offensive stool, fetid flatus, diarrhea that worsens after eating fruits.
Bryonia Alba is another significant medicine for IBS with constipation and dry, large, hard stool. The stool is excessively dry as if burnt. Burning in anus on passing stool may be observed. A headache from constipation is another indication for using Bryonia Alba.
Colocynthis is a medicine for irritable bowel syndrome with loose stools attended with abdominal cramps. Eating or drinking in the smallest quantity leads to cramping. Bending double or pressure over abdomen may provide relief. Stools are watery, yellow and frothy and attended with the passage of flatulence.
China Officinalis is the most recommended medicine for IBS with weakness and weight loss from chronic diarrhea. The diarrhea is painless. Persons in need of China Officinalis have a chronically loose stool, marked flatus and bloated abdomen. Abdominal colic from flatus in abdomen is also present.
Pulsatilla Nigricans is one of the top grade medicines for irritable bowel syndrome where taking milk or milk products worsens the complaint. Symptoms include rumbling in abdomen, flatulence, bitter taste in the mouth, belching that tastes like ingests and changeable stool. These symptoms worsen upon consuming milk.
Argentum Nitricum will best treat irritable bowel syndrome with marked diarrhea in people with chronic anxiety. Such persons have marked anticipatory anxiety levels. Anticipatory anxiety means anxiety arising from overthinking about events that are to take place in the future. Anxiety also appears every time they have to appear in public, crowds or in public meetings. The anxiety results in diarrhea with frequent stools. Such persons are impatient by nature and do everything in haste.
This remedy is often indicated when a sudden urge toward diarrhea wakes the person early in the morning (typically five a.m.) and makes them hurry to the bathroom. Diarrhea can come on several times a day. The person may, at other times, be constipated and have gas with an offensive and pervasive smell. Oozing around the rectum, as well as itching, burning, and red irritation may also be experienced. A person who needs this remedy may tend to have poor posture and back pain, and feel worse from standing up too long.
A feeling of constriction all along the digestive tract (especially if muscular contractions in the intestines and esophagus seem to be moving in the wrong direction) strongly indicates this remedy. The person may have a feeling that a bubble is stuck in the throat, or that a lump is moving up from the stomach. The abdomen feels inflated, but the person finds it hard to pass gas in either direction to get relief. Constipation brings on griping pains. Diarrhea can be explosive, and the person may even regurgitate food in small amounts. The person may exhibit a strong emotional or “hysterical” element when this remedy is needed.
This remedy is often indicated for mild people who have trouble digesting and assimilating many foods and have to stay on restricted diets. Indigestion, heartburn, and even ulcers may occur if offending foods are eaten. The person often is intolerant of milk, and drinking it or eating dairy products can lead to gas and sputtery diarrhea with an empty feeling in the stomach. The person may have cravings for potatoes and for sweets (and sometimes also milk, but has learned to avoid it). A person who needs this remedy usually makes an effort to be cheerful and considerate, but, when feeling weak and sensitive wants to be alone to rest.