Learn to deal with stress
Anyone with an upset stomach knows that the more anxious they are, the more the symptoms increase, leading to tension and a vicious circle. Of the approaches to stress modulation, three have been shown to be effective – though not all – in IBS.
Regular physical activity: According to the results of a Swedish study published in 2011, a moderate to the high-intensity activity of 20 to 30 minutes three to five times a week shows great improvements after three months of training.
Hypnosis: The starting point for people suffering from chronic digestive disorders is control. Typical IBS sufferers are afraid of pain, they are tense while waiting for the next crisis, and this permanent internal tension maintains the problem. The aim of hypnosis is to help them lose this distrust through visualization exercises, simulations, and metaphors. According to several studies, it improves pain and decreases flatulence which improves the quality of life and reduces the frequency of treatment, but it gives better results in people under 50 years old. Between three and ten hypnosis sessions are needed, sometimes accompanied by self-hypnosis exercises performed at home.
Relaxation: Although not yet tested, with some people it’s a great support and worth a try. Among the recommended exercises is one that uses abdominal breathing: Lie on your back, place your hands on your stomach and let them breathe into this area of your body, concentrating on your movement. As you inhale, your hands are raised; as you exhale they are lowered. Concentrate on moving your breath back and forth, reflecting the abdominal wall. Little by little the tensions are released, the breathing is calmed, and all the abdominal organs are relaxed. It is necessary to count at least twenty breaths. This exercise is ideal before or after a strenuous day to calm down the bowels and yourself.
Medication for IBS
As there is no one class superior to the others, one often has to try several classes before finding the right one.
Antispasmodics: They work on pain those containing phloroglucinol and simethicone seem to be the most effective.
Anti-diarrheal agents (Imodium type) and/or laxatives.
Low-dose antidepressants are usually prescribed as second-line drugs in this indication because of their analgesic effect.
Peppermint essential oil: Several studies have shown an overall improvement in symptoms at doses
from 180/200 mg three times a day to 225 mg twice a day.
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