Fiber supplements can be tremendously beneficial for IBS sufferers. Although supplements such as Metamucil and Citrucel are generally marketed as laxatives, and are very useful for constipation sufferers, they can also be used to combat diarrhea because they add bulk to the diet and can make waste food more solid.
Do check, though, that the supplement you choose is just made up of fiber and nothing more, as you will occasionally find one that has added chemical laxatives or other ingredients that can upset your stomach.
The exact causes of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms are unknown, but patients can often determine what triggers the symptoms by keeping a foods and symptoms journal; noting what foods or beverages were consumed before the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome began. Products containing caffeine, alcohol and carbonated beverages may trigger symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, though these products do not cause the condition. Food sensitivities often trigger symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Some people are sensitive to wheat products; others are sensitive to milk products. And still others find that fructose, a simple sugar found in fruit and fruit juices triggers symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. This is why a food and symptoms diary is helpful. By avoiding certain foods, some people are able to keep the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome under control.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common condition, but in some ways it is still a mystery. There are many different theories about what causes the syndrome, and different doctors will give you different reasons for your illness ' anything from stress to bad bacteria to food intolerance. And once you have been diagnosed, there is no set form of treatment ' instead, sufferers tend to try two or three supplements or therapies to find a combination that works for them.
Peppermint oil is widely used for irritable bowel syndrom. It is thought to decrease the abdominal pain and bloating of irritable bowel syndrome, possibly by blocking the movement of calcium into muscle cells in the intestines. Partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG) is a water soluble, non-gelling fiber that may help to reduce constipation and to a lesser extent diarrhea and abdominal pain in people with irritable bowel syndrome. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, and carbonated soft drinks can aggravate symptoms and should be limited, especially in the initial stages of dietary modification.
Most people prefer to take one dose of fiber in the early morning, perhaps with their breakfast, and then another with dinner or just before their evening meal. You will need to experiment to find the right dosage for your symptoms and the best time to take the fiber, but if you can find a supplement and dose that works for you it will be well worth the effort, because you will have found a cheap, drug-free way to help keep your IBS under control.
These days there are many different ways to take fiber supplements. You can buy the traditional powder form, which is swallowed with water or soft food, or you can buy wafers, tablets or capsules, which can be very handy if you need to travel and don't want to carry a whole can of fiber with you.
These supplements are not really medications ' most are simply fiber products with no added drugs or herbs, and so they can be taken long term on a daily basis without worrying about side effects. They're just the equivalent of adding lots of fruit and bran to your diet, but without having to eat daily apples or worry about bloating from the bran.
Finally, there are several alternative therapies which can be effective for IBS. Hypnotherapy has proved very effective, and a special form called gut-directed hypnotherapy has been developed just for digestive problems. Acupuncture may also be worth looking into.
It is very important that you receive a diagnosis of IBS from a medical professional rather than self-diagnosing, as bowel symptoms can be present in many other health conditions.