Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment
Stress is thought to increase IBS symptoms in some people. This is why healthcare providers may recommend stress-reduction techniques. The specific recommendation will depend on the severity of your symptoms and your particular situation. Exercise, yoga, and meditation are some options. Counseling may also be recommended.
(Click Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Stress for more information on this topic.)
There are a couple of other lifestyle changes that may help decrease IBS symptoms. For example, in people who smoke, quitting can improve symptoms.
(Click Living With Irritable Bowel Syndrome to learn about living with this condition and possible changes that can help minimize symptoms.)
Medications to Treat Irritable Bowel SyndromeUnlike many other chronic conditions, medications are not prescribed for everyone with IBS. Instead, healthcare providers will look at the person's most bothersome symptoms before deciding if medicines are an option.
Depending on the symptoms, some types of medications that may be prescribed include:
- Antidepressants or antianxiety medications.
There are also medications specifically approved to treat irritable bowel syndrome. They include alosetron hydrochloride (Lotronex®) and lubiprostone (Amitiza®). Not everyone with IBS can take these medicines. Alosetron is approved for women with severe IBS who have not responded to conventional therapy and whose primary symptom is diarrhea. Lubiprostone is approved to treat IBS in women with severe constipation.
(Click IBS Medications for more information on these different types of medicines.)