Bhubaneswar: April 26: Are you constantly plagued by chronic bowel issues, such as abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in stool consistency and frequency? If so, there’s a high likelihood that you may be suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a condition that can be managed through lifestyle modifications.
According to Dr. Preetam Nath, Associate Professor of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at KIMS, other signs of IBS can include the presence of mucus in stool and a feeling of incomplete emptying after defecation.
While the exact cause of IBS remains unclear, it is widely believed to be a multifactorial disorder involving a complex interplay of factors such as intestinal hypersensitivity, psychological stress, and gut bacteria.
IBS is quite common, with it being the most frequently diagnosed disease by gastroenterologists and one of the primary disorders seen by primary care physicians. It’s estimated that 10-15 per cent of adults experience symptoms of IBS. Fortunately, the Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at KIMS offers advanced care and treatment at its state-of-the-art facilities.
There are three different patterns of IBS, namely IBS-C (constipation-predominant), IBS-D (diarrhoea-predominant), and IBS-M (mixed, involving both constipation and diarrhoea). It’s possible for a single patient to experience different patterns at different times.
The good news is that relief from IBS symptoms can often be obtained by adopting a healthy lifestyle. This includes consuming the right foods that do not trigger symptoms and engaging in regular exercise.
“By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a person with IBS can lead a normal life and find relief from their symptoms,” says Dr. Nath on the occasion of World IBS Syndrome Day observed to create awareness about the condition and its prevention. “It’s important to stick to homemade meals with fresh ingredients, avoid fatty, spicy, or processed foods, and not skip or delay meals. Eating at a slow pace, staying hydrated with plenty of water, and incorporating regular physical exercise, breathing exercises, and meditation for relaxation can also help controlling the symptoms.”
It’s worth noting that tea intake should be limited to no more than three cups per day, while alcohol, fizzy drinks, and tobacco should be avoided altogether. While some fruits may be beneficial for overall health, those with IBS should reduce their intake of apples, apricots, blackberries, canned fruit, dates, and dried fruits. Instead, they should opt for bananas, muskmelons, grapes, kiwis, lemons, oranges, and pineapples.
Recommended vegetables include carrots, cabbage, corn, cucumbers, and green beans. Lactose-free milk and dairy products can be consumed as alternatives for those with lactose intolerance.