Irritable Bowel Syndrome Home > Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment

Lifestyle changes, such as dietary changes and stress reduction, are the first line of treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Although IBS is a chronic (and incurable) condition, it is not a life-threatening problem. For some people, medication may also be an option. Because treating this condition can be a trial-and-error process, it is important to be patient when determining your treatment plan.

How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treated?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition. This means that in most people, it cannot be cured. However, it's not a life-threatening condition, it doesn't affect longevity, and most people don't develop serious health conditions because of it.
 
Once diagnosed with IBS, a person will work together with their healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan. A successful plan can control a person's symptoms and keep them from interfering with daily activities. Treatments can include lifestyle changes and, if necessary, medication.
 

Lifestyle Changes for IBS Treatment

Lifestyle changes are the first line of treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. This can involve changes to the diet and stress reduction.
 
Diet Changes
There have been many studies looking at the possible impact of diet on IBS symptoms. The results have been inconclusive. No single food or groups of food have been shown to absolutely affect a person with IBS.
 
The key to dietary changes is to understand that foods can worsen (or improve) symptoms and then experiment to see how various foods affect you.
 
Eating smaller, more frequent meals may also be helpful.
 
(Click Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diet for more information on dietary changes and how these changes can affect IBS.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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