Do you have Irritable Bowel syndrome with constipation? If the answer is yes, read on as I am going to give you more information about the symptoms and treatment options available to you.
So what is constipation? Well we know it's a common problem and affects many suffers of IBS. What it really means is you can't poo or open your bowels. It can also mean difficulty in opening your bowels due to straining and a hard stool.
The condition is often associated with other symptoms such as tiredness, wind, bloating, nausea and abdominal pain so you can really feel very rough with it at times.
Constipation isn't difficult to diagnose. It is diagnosed from the IBS Rome Criteria and basically symptoms have to be present for at least 3 months or at least need to be present during those three months with associated abdominal pain.
Stool frequency (or how often you go to the toilet) needs to be reduced to 3 or less bowel movements a week, with change in consistency of the faeces and form (such as rabbit pellet stool).
You may have noticed mucus (saliva stuff from your bottom) which is often associated with this along with bloating and wind.
Is constipation difficult to diagnose in the over 55’s? The answer to this is no, but investigations to exclude other causes of these symptoms such as colon cancer and diverticular disease need to be considered by your doctor.
Relieving your constipation requires a lot of different approaches Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation treatment. T
he best ways of dealing with Irritable Bowel and constipation don’t involve drugs. Things that you should consider are lifestyle changes, diet, a review of any drugs you are taking by your doctor, maybe a bowel cleanser or colonic irrigation as well as laxatives in relieving constipation when all else fails.
IBS lifestyle changes changes are probably the single most important constipation treatment. Do you exercise enough?
Well we know that a lot of people don't and lack of exercise, poor fluid intake, psychological issues and poor diet are common causes of constipation and should all be considered in managing your Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation.
Maybe you recognize yourself in this situation? A lot of people I see just don’t exercise. This maybe because of physical disability, but more often than not, it is due to lack of motivation or time in the pressured world in which we all live.
There are always exercises that can you can try and enlisting the help of a physiotherapist or trainer can be helpful. The use of community sports facilities, swimming pools etc. can be helpful and there are usually trained members of staff who can help you determine the most appropriate level of exercise for you. The important thing is this can be fun and you should involve friends and family in this too.
How much fluid do you drink, not enough I'm sure? Poor fluid intake or inappropriate fluid intake is common in Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation.
In the western world, the intake of excessive caffeine in the form of Tea and Coffee is common. Whilst these are fluids, they can actually have a detrimental effect on your bowel and should be limited if constipation is an issue as they can make things worse.
It is quite clear that you should be aiming for a fluid intake of at least 3 litres a day and this often surprises people when I say this. This should be in the form of water or juices if possible.
I would challenge you to physically measure the volume of fluid rather than relying on judgement as you will be surprised how little you probably drink.
Constipation has been connected with psychological issues. A lot of people don't understand this and almost become phobic at the thought of this, but its true.
It can occur due to negative life experiences such as previous physical or psychological abuse, concern of inducing pain during defecation, depression and anxiety.
These issues need addressing by professionals and should be discussed with your doctor who can put you in touch with the appropriate services.
Diet for constipation Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a very important treatment in my opinion and also a very important factor in both the relief of your Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation and in preventing an IBS attack.
In this pressured world in which we live, trying to maintain a healthy diet is both difficult to achieve and also takes time.
I'm sure that I'm not alone in saying that a lot of sufferers don’t take regular meals and often skip meals because of the pressures they are under.
This can have a significant effect on your bowel and can change the way in which it handles your foods.
Your bowels, like humans, need regularity and if there is any disruption to this, your bowel can become constipated. Do you eat processed foods?
There is often a reliance on pre-packaged foods that tend to be high in carbohydrates and fats, but low in fiber which is necessary to maintain a healthy bowel motion.
Whilst I'm not knocking "ready meals", ensuring that you have an intake of the recommended 5 daily fruits or vegetables is so important and critical to your long term health.
Increasing the fiber intake in your diet to as much as 20 to 30G often has a positive response to relieving symptoms in constipation.
Bowel cleanse is a popular way of treating constipation and has been used in diarrhea too.Not something I have ever tried myself, but clearly there is a role in some sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation. They have been around for centuries in the form of oral treatments (teas, laxatives and enzymes), enemas and colonic irrigation.
The science behind a colon cleanse works on the basis of clearing toxins from your colon thus promoting a sense of wellbeing, reduced fatigue, headache, producing more energy and an improvement in symptoms. This is how they are promoted as a treatment for you as well as part of a healthy lifestyle.
I must point out, a colon cleanse has no confirmed scientific basis, although popular with a lot of constipation and diarrhea sufferers as a natural alternative to chemical laxatives.
From my own inference, patients who have had strong laxatives such as Picolax and Klean Prep prior to colonoscopy often comment that their symptoms significantly improve for a few weeks after the procedure.
Bearing this in mind, the use of colonic irrigation equipment in Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation, where a tube is passed into your rectum with a warmed, gravity fed irrigation fluid infused into your colon, might seem an option for you.
The risks of having this done are thought to be similar to colonoscopy risks particularly perforation (putting a hole in your bowel) so the procedure should only be carried out by an experienced practitioner. Irrigation's should be avoided in bowel conditions such as IBD, diverticulitis, bowel cancer and other pathological bowel conditions where the risk of complications are potentially increased.
Colon cleansing clearly does have a role in IBS with constipation symptoms, but which colon cleanse should you use? The answer to this is its your choice although this would be a great topic for you to discuss in the forum below.
They are all based on variations of herbs, electrolytes and enzymes and finding one that works for YOU is the most important thing. There are many different ones available, some of which are advertised on this site. A trial may be helpful to your IBS symptoms.
If you want to know how to relieve your Irritable Bowel Syndrome and constipation by changing your medication, it really needs to be undertaken by a qualified healthcare professional.
Under no circumstances should it be done by yourself as stopping medicines could have a detrimental rather than advantageous effect on your problems.
There are a lot of medications that can result in constipation, some of which are outlined in the constipation remedies section.
I’m sure you have heard of constipation remedies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation from your family or friends. There is no absolute science to them, but most are sensible and easily achieved and may help in relieving constipation.
Usually they involve fruits which are sensible because of their fiber content. The main ones are Grapes, Figs and raisons and can be taken as the fruit itself or as syrup. Vegetable greens in the form of Spinach, Lettuce and cabbage are important.
Cutting out foods that bind, in particular, eggs can help as well as reducing complex carbohydrates and refined sugars can reduce wind and discomfort which is often associated with constipation.
Taking a teaspoonful of of Castor Oil or Corn oil with water is an old fashioned remedy that can help in relieving constipation.
Laxatives should be thought of as your last resort in Irritable Bowel Syndrome with constipation and there are various types that can be tried. By clicking on the links to each, you can gain more information on these.
The ones that I will highlight include Fybogel, Sterculia, lactulose, methylcellulose, docusate, Sodium Picosulphate (Picolax) and Klean Prep. Zelnorm or Tegaserod, a 5-HT4 agonist was licensed for use in abdominal pain, bloating and constipation, but is currently off license because potential side effects.
Magnesium for constipation has long been used in the management of constipation. It can help regulate the bowels in sufferers of IBS-C or constipation predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It’s available in various forms including powder, liquid and as a tablet too.
Feedback about your Constipation and how you manage your symptoms, to help other sufferers! By feeding back you are letting other sufferers know your experiences of constipation and also contributing to the IBS Help Online community. You may be helped from the comments of others too!
It’s so easy to do and you will remain totally anonymous unless you provide your name for others. No one will be able to contact you directly apart from through the comments and there is absolutely no registration, so it couldn't be easier!