Could Physical Activity Help Me To Have More Satisfying Defecation
It is well known that people who undertake more physical activity have a lower prevalence and a better control of constipation. There is some evidence that bowel function can correlate to physical activity, but other factors may very well be involved. For instance, in the elderly many cofactors such as diet, medications, cognitive and psychological condition are likely to play a role and physical activity is only a part of a multifaceted and multidisciplinary therapeutic approach. On the other hand, in the young severely constipated patients physical activity probably does not improve bowel function.
Can Laxatives Cause Risks For My Health
Patients are obviously interested in the potential side effects of these products. Laxatives can determine electrolyte disturbances or abdominal complaints such as abdominal pain and intestinal bloating. However, this can be minimized with an appropriate selection of the drug and the tailored dose for a given patient. In particular, stimulant laxatives are preferred due to their rapid action even if, due to their mechanism of action, they tend to induce abdominal pain more frequently than osmotic laxatives. A typical fear of patients regards the risk of developing colorectal cancer after a chronic use of laxatives. Particularly pseudomelanosis coli, merely a pigmentation of the colon surface due to the accumulation of lipofuscin in macrophages as a consequence of the chronic use of anthraquinones, was considered in the past to be an expression of mucosal damage, should not in any way be considered as related to colon cancer. In general, constipation does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of cancer and there are no solid data supporting the idea that stimulant agents are a specific risk factor for colon cancer.
Dealing With Constipation From Ibs
Robert Burakoff, MD, MPH, is board-certified in gastroentrology. He is the vice chair for ambulatory services for the department of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, where he is also a professor. He was the founding editor and co-editor in chief of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
Constipation is a very common problem and is estimated to be the cause for approximately 2 million doctor visits each year.;Many people with irritable bowel syndrome experience;diarrhea, but a small group has either constipation or alternating constipation;and diarrhea as their main concern . Fortunately, there are several ways that constipation can be treated effectively or avoided altogether. In most cases, making some changes to diet and activity will get things moving again.
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Why Youre Not Pooping As Often As You Want To
There are several factors that could be at play, most of which are still not well understood, hence the fact that the mainstream medical community commonly prescribes things that dont actually fix any of the root causes of constipation. I want to focus on two known components of constipation: the first is gut bacteria and the second is digestion speed.
Poop is 50-70% dead bacteria. In my opinion this tells us two things: the first is that the amount of good bacteria we need in our system is important and second the proper mix of bacteria is important .
The speed at which you digest is not controlled consciously. After chewing your food, everything else is supposed to happen in harmony . For those of you with IBS-C, something is screwing this up. So, the question I often wondered was: what am I doing that is causing my digestive problems? Well, there are many factors that could be at play speeding up or slowing down digestion. But what if I am asking the wrong question?
How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diagnosed
There is no specific test for IBS. To diagnose it, doctors ask about symptoms and do an exam. They’ll ask if anyone in your family has IBS or other gastrointestinal problems.
Talking about things like gas and diarrhea can be embarrassing. But the doctor deals with issues like this every day and needs the information to help you feel better.
The doctor may suggest keeping a food diary to see if any foods trigger your IBS symptoms. The doctor might ask about stress at home and at school.
Although there’s no test for IBS, a doctor may send a patient for tests to make sure the symptoms aren’t being caused by other problems.
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Ibs In The Real World
In 2002, we contacted a random sample from our IFFGD database of U.S. adults diagnosed with IBS. A total of 350 people took part in telephone interviews. The information gathered reflects the tremendous burden IBS can impose upon a large proportion of sufferers.
Constipation-specific symptoms were varied and frequent. The most bothersome symptoms reported were
- abdominal pain,
- infrequent stools,
- bloating and/or gas.
The constipation sufferers reported episodes of gas, bloating, and abdominal pain each as occurring on average over 200 times per year. Episodes of straining, infrequent stool, unable to completely empty, and nausea were reported as occurring between 100 to 150 times per year.
When To Contact A Doctor
A person should speak with a healthcare professional if they are experiencing any persistent, recurring, or unexplained digestive symptoms.
While IBS is not life threatening, the symptoms can be similar to those of more serious conditions. A doctor can perform tests to rule these out.
People with IBS-C should also speak with a gastroenterologist if their symptoms change or worsen or if they are experiencing side effects as a result of a treatment they are trying.
A dietitian can help with making dietary changes for IBS in a safe and sustainable way.
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Doctor You Suggested A Lot Of Annoying Tests: Arent There Too Many Of Them Are They Really Necessary For My Constipation
Gut functional disorders should be diagnosed using the Rome criteria, but in clinical practice they are frequently dealt with by means of an exclusion criteria approach that takes into account the exclusion of organic diseases .
The presence of alarm features alerts the clinician to the possibility of an organic, rather than a functional disease process, and usually signals the need for testing in order to rule out an underlying organic disorder. These alarm features include rectal bleeding, weight loss, iron- deficiency anemia, nocturnal symptoms, and a family history of certain organic diseases such as colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. Their presence may indicate the need for colonoscopy, colon-CT, or barium enema to exclude the presence of organic lesion or an associated disease.
In patients without alarm symptoms, a step-by-step diagnostic approach is suggested, even if it frequently overlaps with life-style changes or a pharmacological treatment to resolve symptoms.
In patients with unsolved, recurrent signs and symptoms haematological, faecal and radiologic or instrumental approaches are considered necessary and advised.
In Figure we report a diagnostic flow-chart approach to chronic constipation.
What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Constipation
One of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome is constipation , which is often characterized by a change in either the consistency or frequency of bowel movements that may be chronic or recurrent.
IBS-C is typically defined as abdominal pain with infrequent, hard pellet-like bowel movements. Additionally, an individual suffering with IBS-C may have difficulty or straining with bowel movements, have a feeling of being unable to completely empty their bowels, or have the sensation of needing to have a bowel movement but not being able to go.
The cause of IBS-C remains unknown, however, it is believed that there are various factors involved, including:
- Sensitive nerves
- Increased fluid absorption in the colon
- Miscommunication between the brain and bowel
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Ibs Flare Up Symptoms
Some people will experience IBS on a daily basis, while others can go long periods of time without symptoms. An IBS flare up means that you are experiencing a sudden increase in IBS symptoms over a period of time. So what does an IBS flare up feel like? Common symptoms of an IBS attack can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Feelings of anxiety or depression
*when To See A Doctor
To determine if your symptoms are due to IBS or some other factor, consult with your doctor if:
- You are older than 50, with constant or severe symptoms
- The pattern of your symptoms has change
- Your symptoms are associated with alarm symptoms, such as weight loss, progressive , or bleeding.
Its also important for your doctor to know if there is any underlying or family history of , inflammatory bowel disease;or celiac disease.
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Lower Stress With Mindfulness Meditation
The brain and the digestive tract are so closely linked that researchers have coined the term gut-brain axis.
Digestive symptoms like constipation can lead to anxiety and psychological stress. In turn, stress strongly affects the gut.
Chronic stress is known to modify the gut microbiota and to alter nerve action in the intestines .
Psychological stress influences the gut both directly and indirectly. Availability of coping mechanisms and social support helps determine severity of symptoms and impact on quality of life. Click to enlarge.;Image source.
Its important to manage stress, both for overall health and to ease digestive symptoms.
Mindfulness meditation has shown particular promise in reducing IBS symptoms .
In one high-quality study, IBS patients who received online mindfulness training reported a 42% reduction in symptoms at 3 months. By contrast, IBS patients who had access to an online discussion forum reported a 12% increase in symptoms .
The study also showed that the benefits of mindfulness training appear to be long-lasting. Participants who completed all mindfulness training sessions reported sustained benefits 1518 months after the study ended, even without seeking additional treatment .
The cell phone app Headspace offers a free trial of guided mindfulness meditation sessions. There are also many resources online that teach how to practice mindfulness.
Test For Ibs Triggers
The first step to curing IBS permanently is identifying the IBS trigger that is causing your irritable bowel syndrome.
One or more of these IBS triggers may be to blame:
Some IBS triggers are more common than others. For instance, up to 84% of IBS patients have SIBO, which may trigger IBS symptoms. That is why we always test for SIBO in our IBS patients.
In some cases, we may trigger more than one IBS trigger that applies to an individual IBS patient.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Ibs
IBS itself is a relatively common digestive disorder that affects an estimated 7 to 21 percent of people in the United States.
IBS-C is just one type of IBS. Other types include IBS with diarrhea , as well as IBS with alternating diarrhea and constipation .
While all types of IBS can cause changes in bowel movements along with abdominal pain, there are more distinct symptoms if you have IBS-C.
Some of the more common signs and symptoms of IBS-C include:
- painful bloating
- feelings of a rock or block in your stomach
- infrequent bowel movements
- stools that are more hard or lumpy
- feeling that your bowel cant pass stools completely
Once you do have a bowel movement with IBS-C, your bloating and pain may go away temporarily. However, these symptoms tend to come back.
What makes IBS-C different from regular constipation is that it causes significant bloating and pain that you likely wouldnt have if you were constipated. IBS does not cause bloody stools or unintentional weight loss.
Eat More Fiber Especially Soluble Non
To treat constipation, doctors often tell people to increase their dietary fiber intake.
This is because increasing fiber intake increases the bulk and consistency of bowel movements, making them easier to pass. It also helps them pass through the digestive system more quickly 01386-6/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”>14).
In fact, one 2016 review found that 77% of people with chronic constipation benefited from supplementing with fiber .
However, some studies have found that increasing fiber intake can actually make the problem worse. Others report that dietary fiber improves stool frequency but may not help with other symptoms of constipation, such as stool consistency, pain, bloating, and gas .
This is because different types of dietary fiber have different effects on digestion.
There are many different dietary fibers, but in general, they fall into two categories: insoluble fibers and soluble fibers.
Insoluble fibers â present in wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains â add bulk to stools and may help them pass more quickly and easily through the digestive system.
Soluble fibers â present in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and peas, as well as some fruits and vegetables â absorb water and form a gel-like paste, which softens the stools and improves its consistency.
Non-fermentable soluble fibers, such as psyllium, are the best choice for treating constipation (
Bottom line: Exercise may reduce the symptoms of constipation in some people.
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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 proof of the source of IBS, many promoted potential causes and advertised cures of this syndrome are simply speculation.
Adjust Your Fiber Intake
Fiber is a type of indigestible carbohydrate thats found in plant foods.
There are two types of dietary fiber.
- Soluble fiber dissolves in liquids and is found in legumes, nuts, oats and fruits.
- Insoluble fiber is found in the skins and seeds of fruits and vegetables, as well as grains.
The research around whether fiber is beneficial for constipation is a bit confusing. It depends to some degree on the type of fiber, as well as constipation symptoms.
Soluble fiber helps soften and bulk the stool. It has shown better results in reducing constipation than insoluble fiber .
In fact, insoluble fiber can worsen constipation for some IBS patients. Lower insoluble fiber intake is advised for those with constipation from slow bowel transit or pelvic floor dysfunction .
Incorporating more foods rich in soluble fiber may be useful, but use caution if youre sensitive to FODMAPs. A registered dietitian can help you plan a low-FODMAP diet that includes adequate soluble fiber.
Some people may find it difficult to reach the recommended 2230 grams of fiber per day through diet alone. Psyllium fiber supplements may be helpful here. Theyre available over the counter in generic form or in products like Metamucil or Konsyl.
In a clinical trial of 275 IBS patients , 10 grams of psyllium fiber per day reduced self-reported abdominal pain and discomfort by a significantly greater margin than equal doses of bran fiber or placebo .
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Other Ways To Relieve Ibs Constipation
We have looked at what to eat and what not to eat with IBS constipation, as well as natural remedies, but what about other ways to relieve uncomfortable signs and symptoms? Here are a few options, but keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another person. Often times, it is a matter of trying a few different treatments until you find one that suits you.
- Laxatives: These can help you have a bowel movement but come with a warning. They work for occasional constipation but can be harmful if you take them regularly. They also do not treat all the symptoms of IBS such as bloating and cramping.
- Prescription medications: There are medications that individuals can take for IBS-C when other treatments dont work. Some of them do have side effects, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea. Certain IBS medications are not appropriate for those under the age of 17.
- Antidepressants: A low dose of antidepressant may be used in some cases to treat IBS symptoms. They are able to block the brains perception of pain in the abdomen.
IBS-C can be challenging, so you should not try to find a remedy all on your own. Work with a doctor to find a good treatment plan. Remember that a combination of different approaches might be required and dedication to a specific diet has strong potential to keep symptoms at bay.
With proper management, many people are able to manage IBS-C and live happy, active lives.
What Is Ibs Treatment
No specific therapy works for everyone, but most people with IBS can find a treatment that works for them. Your healthcare provider will personalize your IBS treatment plan for your needs. Typical treatment options include dietary and lifestyle changes. A dietitian can help you create a diet that fits your life.
Many people find that with these changes, symptoms improve:
- Increase fiber in your diet eat more fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts.
- Add supplemental fiber to your diet, such as Metamucil® or Citrucel®.
- Drink plenty of water eight 8-ounce glasses per day.
- Avoid caffeine .
- Limit cheese and milk. Lactose intolerance is more common in people with IBS. Make sure to get calcium from other sources, such as broccoli, spinach, salmon or supplements.
- Try the low FODMAP diet, an eating plan that can help improve symptoms.
- Try relaxation techniques.
- Eat smaller meals more often.
- Record the foods you eat so you can figure out which foods trigger IBS flare-ups. Common triggers are red peppers, green onions, red wine, wheat and cows milk.
What happens if medications dont work?
In some cases, symptoms dont respond to medical treatment. Your provider may refer you for mental health therapies. Some patients find relief through:
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