Spastic colon; Irritable colon; Mucous colitis; Spastic colitis
The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms.
Lifestyle changes can help in some cases of IBS. For example, regular exercise and improved sleep habits may reduce anxiety and help relieve bowel symptoms.
Dietary changes can be helpful. However, no specific diet can be recommended for IBS, because the condition differs from one person to another.
The following changes may help:
Talk with your doctor before taking over-the-counter medications.
No one medication will work for everyone. Medications your doctor might try include:
Therapy may help in cases of severe anxiety or depression.
Irritable bowel syndrome may be a lifelong condition. For some people, symptoms are disabling and reduce the ability to work, travel, and attend social events.
Symptoms can often be improved or relieved through treatment.
IBS does not cause permanent harm to the intestines, and it does not lead to a serious disease, such as cancer.
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or if you notice a change in your bowel habits that does not go away.
Irritable bowel syndrome. NIH Publication No. 07-693. September 2007. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC).
Talley NJ. Irritable bowel syndrome. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2010:chap 118.
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