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How To Control Ibs Bloating

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Dr Sarah said: “The pain usually comes and goes, but the severity, length of episodes, and area of the stomach affected often vary.

“If you think you might be suffering from IBS, keep an eye on whether the pain starts to ease after going to the toilet, or after passing wind, as this is a common experience amongst IBS sufferers.”

Ibs 101 What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a common condition that affects the digestive system and causes abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. It is a chronic condition which means it requires long-term care and treatment. The symptoms can vary in their severity and duration. They can last from a few days until multiple months.

The symptoms can be linked to various foods, stress, family history, and others.

Luckily, only a small number of people are faced with more severe symptoms, and the majority learns how to successfully deal with them by changing their way of life, especially by balancing and adjusting their nutrition to their condition. Of course, it is also important to accept other healthy habits as well primarily physical exercise and avoiding stress.

Foods To Avoid With Ibs

These foods commonly spark a cascade of symptoms for people with irritable bowel syndrome:

  • High-fiber products, found in cereals, grains, pastas and processed foods
  • Gas-producing foods, like beans, lentils, carbonated beverages and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower
  • Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and many processed foods
  • Fried foods, which often cause gas and bloating especially in those who have reflux
  • Coffee, which stimulates bowel activity in some who have reflux symptoms
  • Spicy foods, which can worsen IBS symptoms for some people who contend with reflux
  • Milk sugar, or lactose

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How Can I Control Ibs

It may be frustrating trying to get a handle on IBS. Treatment can often be trial and error. But the good news is that nearly everyone with IBS can find a treatment that helps them.

Usually, diet and activity changes improve symptoms over time. You may need some patience as you figure out your triggers so you can take steps to avoid them. But after a few weeks or months, you should notice significant improvement in how you feel. A nutritionist can help you plan a healthy, filling diet that meets your needs.

I Learned That Medication Isnt Always The Answer

8 Ways to Eliminate Bloating Caused by IBS

Whether over-the-counter or prescription only, I have tried pretty much every IBS medication on the market. I initially thought I was going to find a miracle cure, but after a few years Id become sceptical. Often, medications made my symptoms worse, or simply masked them altogether. Like that time I was prescribed extreme strength diarrhea tablets for my 12-plus per day trips to the toilet, only for them to make me go the other way.

This wont be the case for everyone. For example, I know many people find peppermint oil to be very helpful. For me, however, it just isnt effective. Instead, the key to preventing a symptom relapse has been identifying my trigger foods, managing my stress levels, and making sure my gut flora health is in check.

I now take daily probiotics which help maintain equilibrium in my gut. Unlike other probiotics, they dont need to be stored in the fridge, so theyre great if youre constantly on the go. Plus, theyre effective regardless of what time of the day you take them .

Learn more about probiotics »

I recommend experimenting by giving each potential solution a month to work its magic. Its easy to give up after a few weeks of it not working, but unfortunately theres no overnight fix for IBS, so consistency is key.

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The Role Of Altered Pelvic Floor Function

Abnormal pelvic floor reflex function has been associated with bloating. In patients who have constipation and bloating, abnormal balloon expulsion is correlated with abdominal distension.42 Patients who have abdominal distension have been shown to have an altered rectoanal inhibitory response, a locally mediated rectal reflex, further supporting the hypothesis that altered evacuation may be contributory.43 A cause-and-effect relationship is supported by the fact that therapeutic interventions targeted at correcting anorectal dyssynergia, such as biofeedback, result in a decrease in the frequency and severity of bloating.20,44

How Is Ibs Diagnosed

If youve been having uncomfortable GI symptoms, see your healthcare provider. The first step in diagnosing IBS is a medical history and a physical exam. Your provider will ask you about your symptoms:

  • Do you have pain related to bowel movements?
  • Do you notice a change in how often you have a bowel movement?
  • Has there been a change in how your poop looks?
  • How often do you have symptoms?
  • When did your symptoms start?
  • What medicines do you take?
  • Have you been sick or had a stressful event in your life recently?

Depending on your symptoms, you may need other tests to confirm a diagnosis. Blood tests, stool samples and X-rays can help rule out other diseases that mimic IBS.

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Why Are People With Ibs Often Bloated

People with IBS often report having a bloated stomach, especially in the evening. The situation might get quite extreme, requiring them to change into loose-fitting clothes to minimise the discomfort throughout the day.

Contrary to popular belief, the cause for IBS bloating does not necessarily seem to be excess wind, although the exact reason is not clear. The main one is believed to be erratic propulsion of contents through the bowel due to disorganised peristaltic contractions. The propulsion can cause sudden, explosive elimination of stools, or can delay any elimination, which results in bloating.

Problems with defecation may cause a sudden, explosive stool excretion or postpone the excretion of the content, which eventually results in bloating. The answer to the question whether IBS causes bloating is, unfortunately, yes. However, we can give you some tips on how to deal with this symptom more easily.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for IBS but bloating can be quite successfully managed or even prevented by avoiding common triggers and changing your diet.

Balance Out Bacterial Overgrowth

How to Manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment

The microorganisms in your gut play a starring role in digestion and immune functionso when the bacteria in your gut is out-of-whack and pathogenic bacteria starts calling the shots, the imbalance can lead to an increase in IBS symptoms.

Antibiotics are often to blame for this gut disruption, but theres one antibiotic that might actually ease IBS symptoms. Rifaximin, a narrow spectrum antibiotic, focuses its attention on specific types of bacteria responsible for creating some of the bloating and diarrhea that many IBS patients suffer from, says Nandi, who recommends chatting with your doc to see if testing for bacterial overgrowthor taking a round of this antibiotic for a spinmay improve your symptoms.

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Common Medical Treatments For Ibs

Since the exact cause of IBS is not known, the goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms. If diet and lifestyle changes donât improve your symptoms, your healthcare provider may recommend IBS medications. Some common medications include:

  • IBS medications: Some medications can help with IBS by either slowing the movement of material through the bowel to reduce diarrhea or by increasing fluid production in the small intestine to reduce constipation. Alosetron or Lubiprostone are two common IBS medications.
  • Antispasmodics: These are designed to relax the smooth muscles of the colon to ease cramping and spasms. Two such medications are hyoscine and dicyclomine . They may cause side effects that include dry mouth, palpitations, and difficulty urinating.
  • Antidiarrheals: These medications can be useful in treating severe diarrhea. But they should be taken with cautionâ antidiarrheals may have side effects such as nausea and vomiting and should be taken under close supervision. Loperamide is an example of an Antidiarrheal medication.
  • Antidepressant medications: Certain antidepressants can help relieve diarrhea and constipation and may treat pain in IBS. They are often prescribed in lower doses for IBS than for depression. Antidepressants for IBS should be taken under supervision as side effects can include insomnia, nausea, and weight gain or loss. Some tricyclic antidepressants used for IBS include imipramine and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as citalopram .

Dietary And Lifestyle Modifications

The bowel responds to how and when a person eats, so it is important to eat regular, well-balanced, moderately sized meals rather than erratic, variable meals. Occasionally, IBS symptoms improve by allowing sufficient time for regular eating and bathroom routines. In addition, maintaining a healthy sleep schedule and getting a moderate amount of exercise can help reduce symptoms.

Some individuals report that dietary fats and the food additive monosodium glutamate trigger symptoms. Some find symptoms worsen when consuming a large volume of liquids with meals. Others find that cooking vegetables and fruits lessens IBS symptoms, compared to when eating them raw. Those with IBS might need to avoid or decrease consumption of GI stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, particularly if the predominant symptom is diarrhea.

Having IBS does not necessarily mean you produce more gas, but your intestines might be highly sensitive to the passage of gas. Reducing the ingestion of air, which is the major source of intestinal gas, and avoiding large quantities of gas-producing foods can help. To decrease swallowed air, avoid chewing gum, gulping food, drinking carbonated beverages, washing food down with liquids, and sipping hot drinks. Poor-fitting dentures, a chronic postnasal discharge, chronic pain, anxiety, or tension may also contribute to increased air swallowing.

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What Are The Different Types Of Ibs

Researchers categorize IBS based on the type of bowel movement problems you have. The kind of IBS can affect your treatment. Certain medicines only work for certain types of IBS.

Often, people with IBS have normal bowel movements some days and abnormal ones on other days. The type of IBS you have depends on the abnormal bowel movements you experience:

  • IBS with constipation : Most of your poop is hard and lumpy.
  • IBS with diarrhea : Most of your poop is loose and watery.
  • IBS with mixed bowel habits : You have both hard and lumpy bowel movements and loose and watery movements on the same day.

Possible Causes Of Ibs


While we do not know for sure what causes IBS, it is a multifactorial disorder that likely involves an interaction between the GI tract, bacteria in the gut, the nervous system, and external factors, such as stress.

Although not proven, theories exist as to factors that influence IBS symptoms, including:

  • neurological hyper-sensitivity within the GI nerves
  • physical and/or emotional stress
  • the amount or pattern of physical exercise
  • chronic alcohol abuse
  • abnormalities in GI secretions and/or digestive muscle contractions
  • acute infection or inflammation of the intestine , such as travellers diarrhea, which may precede onset of IBS symptoms

The GI system is very sensitive to adrenalin the hormone released when one is excited, fearful, or anxious and to other hormones as well. Changes in female hormone levels also affect the GI tract, so IBS symptoms may worsen at specific times throughout the menstrual cycle. Since these hormones can affect the transit time of food through the digestive tract, this might account for the predominance of IBS in women, although direct evidence is still lacking.

It is important to note that since there is no definitive cause of IBS, many promoted potential causes and advertised cures of this syndrome are simply speculation.

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Prosecretory And Promotility Agents

Prosecretory and promotility agents, such as linaclotide , prucalopride, and lubiprostone , are emerging as safe and efficacious treatments for chronic constipation and IBS-C. Data suggest that their use is associated with a concurrent decrease in bloating, but it remains uncertain whether this is a secondary response to reduced colonic loading or a direct effect on visceral sensation. The drugs have not been assessed in patients who have bloating without constipation.

Lubiprostone Lubiprostone, a member of the prostone class of compounds, also acts on chloride channels to relieve constipation and improve colonic transit.66 Most studies use the primary endpoint of increased frequency of spontaneous bowel motions, with decreases in abdominal pain and bloating as secondary endpoints. Once again, there appears to be a significant decrease in abdominal bloating.6769 The effect on bloating would appear likely due to reduced colonic volume and improved transit because lubiprostone appears not to have an effect on visceral sensory thresholds.70 Further studies are required.

How To Get Control Of Your Irritable Bowel Syndrome

If youre one of the 10-15% of Americans affected by irritable bowel syndrome , the chronic digestive disorder can disrupt your life and make everyday interactions at work, school, or home a challenge. It can cause unpleasant symptoms that occur each week for at least 6 months, including:

  • Alternating between constipation and diarrhea
  • Difficulty sleeping or fatigue
  • Anxiety and depression

Symptoms range from moderate to severe, and they can make it feel like your life isnt within your control. Fortunately, the team at the Rivas Digestive Center in Hollywood, Florida, is here to help.

Board-certified gastroenterologist John M. Rivas, MD, specializes in diagnosing and treating different types of IBS. Through in-depth exams and tests, Dr. Rivas identifies the root cause of your IBS and uses his expertise and experience to create a customized treatment plan to help manage your symptoms.

While theres no known cure for IBS, there are steps you can take to improve your condition and quality of life. Lets take a look at some of the ways you can get your IBS under control and take charge of your life again.

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Find An Experienced Health Professional

People with IBS can become frustrated and feel their symptoms are not treated seriously. These frustrations, along with sometimes inappropriate therapy, can often make the symptoms worse. Finding a therapist with experience in the successful treatment of IBS is important. Being treated by a multidisciplinary team is optimal.

What Foods Trigger Ibs Bloating

Treating IBS

There are certain foods to avoid if you are dealing with bloating. Even though the best diet for IBS bloating might require some extra work and time, it is worth the pain as it can help you minimise the symptoms.

An important word to remember if you are dealing with IBS problems is FODMAPs, which stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Simply put, a low FODMAP diet focuses on limiting foods rich in certain types of carbohydrates, as they are not easily absorbed by the small intestine. Such foods include most dairy products, fruits like apples and cherries, legumes, wheat and rye, as well as sweeteners.

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Yoga Brings Ibs Symptom Relief

While mindfulness may reduce symptoms, physical activity is an integral part of the mind-body connection. One of the most effective ways to pair mindfulness and exercise is through the ancient practice of yoga. And, studies suggest it can be helpful in managing IBS, but the quality of the data is limited.

A review published in December 2019 in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences analyzed several studies that looked at the benefits of various yoga practices focused on the mind-body-breath connection. It found that a majority of participants saw improvements in their IBS symptoms, their digestion, and their physical health, as well as improvements in mood, anxiety, and their outlook on life. The results suggest that practicing yoga can lead to improvements in physical health and a more positive outlook on life, which helps decrease IBS symptoms.

The Role Of Luminal Contents

Intestinal Gas Endogenous gas production via the fermentation of luminal contents is a significant contributor to raised intra-abdominal volume. Lactulose, which is poorly absorbed in the small bowel and therefore fermented in the colon, has been shown to be associated with bloating and distension in healthy volunteers1 and in patients with chronic constipation,9 suggesting luminal gas production as a contributing mechanism. Fermentation and thus gas production are influenced by the substrate and intestinal bacterial species, and studies show that alterations in the dietary intake of indigestible carbohydrates influence symptoms of bloating. In addition, reported alterations in the fecal microbiota of patients with IBS in comparison with those of healthy controls have been postulated to result in alterations of luminal fermentation,10 supported by the observation that patients with IBS have a lower cecal pH, presumably as a consequence of the increased production of short-chain fatty acids.11 Furthermore, the role of bacteria in the pathogenesis of bloating is supported by studies in which the modulation of bacteria with antibiotics resulted in symptomatic decreases in bloating.8

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Keep Track Of Triggers

IBS affects people differently. For example, many people with IBS notice their symptoms are triggered by stress or strong emotions. Some may notice certain foods cause problems while others can eat the same foods without issue.

Use a notebook or diary to keep track of the foods you eat, and when. Make note of your symptoms and any emotions or stress you face each day. Jot down any major events as well as how much sleep you get each night.

Work to keep a detailed record for at least two weeks. The longer you track these factors, the clearer your IBS picture will be. Youll be able to identify your specific triggers and learn to avoid or deal with them as they arise so you can avoid unpleasant IBS symptoms.

Understanding which foods bother your IBS is especially important. Some common foods that trigger IBS symptoms for many patients include:

  • All processed baked goods
  • Refined breads and grains

In addition, many IBS patients also notice carbonated beverages, with or without caffeine, can serve as a trigger. By noting what you eat and drink, youll be able to create your own foods to avoid list.

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