Irritable bowel syndrome, also called irritable bowel syndrome, is a chronic disease of unknown origin that affects the colon. This disease does not cause damage to the colon. It does not cause inflammation, ulcers, tissue changes in the colon or an increased risk of developing colon cancer.
That said, even if the colon is not structurally affected, the patient affected by this disease may suffer from diarrhea, episodes of constipation, flatulence. Irritable bowel syndrome is a set of symptoms that manifest over a long period (months or years). In the past, this syndrome was considered more of a psychological problem.
Nowadays it is considered to be truly a physical disorder. It is an affection which evolves by phase, that is to say that there can be moments of crisis then of remission. This syndrome mainly affects people under the age of 45. Women are about twice as affected as men.
Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The exact causes of irritable bowel syndrome remain poorly known, particularly because this condition presents often opposing symptoms such as diarrhea and constipation. However, certain factors could trigger the disease. One of these factors would be of psycho-emotional origin. About 50% of patients with this disease report an emotional stress event just before the onset of symptoms.
Other studies indicate that acute infections can alter gut immunity and cause disease. Gastroenteritis is a possible risk factor for irritable bowel syndrome.
Diet also appears to be a factor that may contribute to triggering this syndrome. Some patients have observed a worsening of symptoms by eating certain foods such as milk, chocolate or spices. It should be noted that the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can be easily confused with lactose intolerance.
Another factor in irritable bowel syndrome would be the influence of hormones. As women are affected more than men, it is assumed that female hormones play an important role in triggering the symptoms.
Possible complications if not supported
Irritable bowel syndrome in most cases does not cause serious complications. However, diarrhea and constipation can cause or worsen hemorrhoids. In addition, constant diarrhea can cause rapid weight loss. This syndrome can also cause emotional and psychological disturbances. The fear of impending diarrhea can stress the patient and affect their daily activities, quality of life and self-confidence. In addition, abdominal discomfort and constipation can leave the patient in a nervous state and disturb their emotional state. which can make symptoms worse.
The two scientifically recognized diets: FODMAP and the ketogenic diet
The “Low Fodmap” diet is scientifically proven to be effective. Many doctors also recommend changes in the patient’s diet to improve symptoms. The “Low Fodmap” diet is particularly recommended.
This Australian diet consists of reducing the consumption of certain foods and increasing others. The term Fodmap is an acronym that characterizes different carbohydrates meaning: F for fermentable, o for oligosaccharides, d for disaccharides, m for monosaccharides, a for and (and in English) and p for polyols.
“Low” in English means “to lower”.
In this diet, the objective is to reduce the intake of these carbohydrates: fermentable carbohydrates, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols which can cause flatulence, diarrhea or constipation. These sugars are poorly absorbed in the intestine.
This scheme allows you to:
Certain foods rich in these carbohydrates such as artichoke, onion, garlic, celery, apple, mango, peach, watermelon, black beans, ice cream or cream should be reduced.
The consumption of foods low in these carbohydrates such as: eggplant, carrot, bean sprout, alfalfa, green beans, strawberries, bananas, grapes, oranges, pecans, peanuts.
Another diet that seems effective against IBS is the ketogenic diet, a diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in fat.
Natural Remedies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Certain herbal medicines can improve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Like abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation. Here are some interesting herbal remedies for IBS:
– Peppermint: EO acts as an antispasmodic and to relieve pain. This plant is recognized for its effectiveness in treating irritable bowel syndrome in certain countries such as Brazil (reimbursed by health authorities).
Consume 1-2 capsules (containing 0.2ml of peppermint essential oil) daily. It is best to consume enteric coated softgels or capsules. This protection avoids a diffusion in the stomach which can cause heartburn.
– Chamomile, lemon balm, valerian and rosemary can also help relieve pain associated with IBS.
– Bilberry: to fight against diarrhea.
– Buckthorn, rhubarb and psylli: against constipation.
– Aloe vera: helps the colon and the digestive system.
– The artichoke may have a positive effect against irritable bowel syndrome according to a small study.
– Flax, in capsule form.
– Turmeric: a study showed a reduction of up to 60% in the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Take one capsule of 300 to 400 mg of turmeric active ingredients 3 times a day.
Before using any herbal medicine, talk to your doctor to see if you have any contraindications with your current conventional treatments.