Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or also known as colitis, is an inflammatory bowel disease regarding bowel’s motility accompanied by a series of painful and annoying symptoms. According to reports, about 5-10% of population suffers from irritable bowel syndrome. It concerns relatively young people 20-45 years old, while its occurrence is more frequent among women.
Irritable bowel syndrome is associated with psychological causes. Studies suggest that stress is a major causative factor for the onset of IBS. Most people have some degree of psychological symptoms, such as anxiety or depression.
Poor nutrition plays an important role in the pathogenesis of the irritable bowel syndrome. A diet low in fibers which does not maintain the health and integrity of the intestinal mucosa, along with heredity, can lead to disruption of bowel motility and bloating, pain, cramp, diarrhea or constipation.
Absorption of nutrients from the intestine is affected. People who suffer from IBS exclude from their diet many food that cause or trigger symptoms. Diarrhea and decreased absorption of nutrients from the intestinal mucosa aggravate the problem, leading to micronutrients deficiencies. People with lactose or gluten intolerance should very careful, because symptoms may lead to a different diagnosis.
Exercise helps significantly in maintaining and restoring bowel motility. Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by changes in intestinal motility and habits, without any organic cause. Systematic exercise, especially aerobic one, contributes to intestinal tone and restores digestive system motility.
Taking probiotics is a key axis in the treatment of colitis. Probiotics and strains as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium, help restore intestinal mucosa, relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (constipation and diarrhea) and improve digestion and absorption of nutrients. Probiotics can be taken either as a treatment or in order to prevent remission of disease.
Increased intake of soluble and insoluble fibers ensures good gastrointestinal function. People with constipation should consume daily ~30gr of fibers, soluble and insoluble. Fibers help increase the volume of stools, normalizing the motility of bowel. According to studies, flaxseed and psyllium husk help significantly in the treatment of constipation, while also help reduce abdominal pain and gas.
Avoid substances that irritate the intestine. Nicotine, caffeine and black tea may cause several adverse effects on bowel movement and motility.
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