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IBS Treatment

STOP!! Read these next few lines carefully.  THERE IS NO STANDARD TREATMENT FOR IBS.  There is no magic cure.  For the most part there isn’t even a well mapped out strategy for the best approach to treatment.  There for it is important to understand how the disease affects the individual sufferer. What will be suggested as or stipulated to being acceptable treatments for irritable bowel syndrome are individually subjective.

Now with that being said, it is estimated that upwards of 65 to 70% of people suffering from IBS are not actively seeking “medical” treatment. Those that do seek treatment may suffer for long periods of time, meaning many years, before they actually seek professional help. Many that are not currently seeking treatment at one time may have, but gave up in frustration and now silently suffer, many in reclusion away from public knowledge and even private family awareness. Hopefully those that suffer in silence have not given up hope totally, and will pursue treatment through education, meaning that they should never stop learning about this malady that affects them.

True there is no cure, but there are many options available to sufferers that many lend some relief of symptoms.  In many instances the discussed measures may bring almost 100% relief to some, where by, the same exact approach might yield little or no results for another.  Again it is important to stress that a proper diagnosis is first and foremost, going back to the idea that what ever is left after everything else has been eliminated must be correct.  If it isn’t some determinable type of inflammatory bowel disease, or Crohn’s Disease or anything else that can be proven, it most likely will be classified as irritable bowel syndrome.  Professional Medical advice is a must in obtaining the proper diagnosis.  In no manner should you arrive at a diagnosis based on symptomology or from personal knowledge of the disorder.

It is at this point that the two camps have their differences, the two camps being those of the medical community and those of the herbalist or homeopathy communities.  Medical doctors might suggest that the best available treatment for a particular set of symptoms might be something such as: Stress Management, increased fiber intake (good ideas from any stand point) and the proper medications.

The medications that might be prescribed could range from things such as Loperamide, more commonly know by its brand name Imodium to control diarrhea, an antispasmodic such as prescription only Dicyclomine to control cramping and pain in the bowels.  An antidepressant to help with the psychological affects of IBS as well as for pain.  Antidepressants are commonly prescribed for IBS even though the Food and Drug Administration does not at this time, specifically approve them for the purpose unless clinically diagnosed depression is present.  The down side to both antispasmodics and antidepressants is that they can worsen constipation; as a result it is a common practice for physicians to prescribe medications that relax muscles in the bladder and intestines, such as Librax or Donnapine which can be habit forming.

Currently there is one medication specifically for women that suffer from IBS, whose symptoms are primarily those associated with diarrhea. Alosetron Hydrochloride (Lotronex) currently holds FDA approval, after being repositioned with very strict prescribing criteria only for women. It is noted that Lotronex should be used with extreme caution because of its potential for very severe side effects.

With the scenario that has just been painted, you may have picked up on some possible fallacies in the method of treatment used. It may seem strange that a physician would prescribe 3, 4 or even 5 different medications trying to eliminate a patient’s symptoms. Especially when if you recall earlier it was stated in our text that physicians themselves believe that medicines may be a large contributor to what actually causes IBS in the first place.

So do these types of drug treatment methods work? For some, yes, they can realize relief. For how long this type of treatment will continue to produce results is unknown, and the possibility of adverse reactions to a greater and greater combination and number of drugs in the system becomes a huge risk.

For others, they don’t work at all, often times aggravating the symptoms and have to be abandon completely, usually putting the patient back into the mix of having more and more tests, or being subjected to clinical trials for upcoming pharmacological wonders that may never come.

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