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Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is a new age functional gastrointestinal disorder affecting almost 20 % of the world Population. The story of irritable bowel syndrome started with Rocky Mountain Medical Journal, The journal categorised the people having diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation into a group called “irritable bowel” .Though idiopathic in onset later with the advanced researches, several theories came forward with the causative factors as post infection, environmental factors, stress, and gut-brain interaction. The disease usually has a younger age onset with females more affected than males. Symptoms related to the irritable bowel syndrome cannot be generally categorized and has a wider range from gastrointestinal to extra intestinal, but chronic abdominal pain and discomfort, diarrhea, altered bowel habits with change in stool form and frequency, nausea and abdominal bloating are some of the most common problems people find difficulty with.  Diagnosis is made based on the persistence of these symptoms for at least three days per month during the past three months from the onset of symptoms.

Pathogenesis

IBS affects the normal gastro-intestinal movement and absorption of nutrients from intestines and changes in the gut bacterial flora and result in a complex pathogenic mechanism. IBS can be seen in four bowel patterns 1.IBS-D(diarrhea-predominant). 2. IBS-C (constipation-predominant). 3. IBS-M (mixed diarrhea and constipation). 4. IBS-A (alternating diarrhea and constipation). In Ayurveda irritable bowel syndrome cannot be addressed under a particular name. Ayurvedic system of Medicine considers the pathogenesis of disease in 6 stages. First accumulation of toxins take place by the causative factors followed by changes taking place in the gut flora by the innate toxins. This will lead to the formation of inflammatory products called “aama” which result in symptoms of varied severity. Genetic factors also are found to play a major role in the development of the disease. Care should be taken that several other diseases like Colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, thyroid disorders etc. also present with the same symptoms.so always try to avoid self-medication because many of them goes undiagnosed and wont receive appropriate treatment.

Diet Modifications

The diet should be based on improving the gastric and bowel function with a focus on the systematic relief. Never skip meals. Fresh fruits and vegetables especially green leafy vegetables should be taken with caution as this may be hard to digest. Red meat, fried foods, chocolates, chewing gums regular intake of caffeine and carbonated drinks should be taken with caution. Use skimmed milk instead of whole fat milk. Drink enough fresh water, better 1 hour before meals. Probiotics and prebiotics help with the gut friendly bacteria reducing abdominal pain and discomfort. A self-diet diary should be prepared to know about the allergy causing foods instead, allergy tests are also available at laboratories. Chemically processed foods should be avoided.Alcohol, apricots, peas, bananas, beans, sprouts carrots, celery, onions, prawns, prunes, wheat germ, fennel, cashews, raisins pistachios, lentils, garlic, apples, cherries, mangoes, mushroom, cheese etc. should be taken with caution as they may cause abdominal distention.

Treatment

Ayur Healthcare team’s helping hands closely listens to your problems, provide solutions, hope and support with all the suggestions for a continuous follow up to cope up with the disease .To start with, an open discussion about the condition of the patient with the consultant will help in remodelling the condition with precautionary medical care and lifestyle modifications, because education and reassurance is an important area which helps you in reducing the anxiety related to disease. Herbs like turmeric in various formulations help in repairing mucosal injury and reducing abdominal pain. Aloe Vera has a soothing and laxative action on the constipation subtype of IBS.Peppermint-oil helps in relieving abdominal symptoms. The herbs are Deepana and Pachana (Digestive and carminative).Tablet, Ghee and decoction Formulations with compound drugs are found to be very effective. Various herbal buttermilk preparations, ginger and pomegranate preparations can be used as a drink.

Considering the Prakriti (genetic constitution) researches shows vata constitution people tend to have more constipated IBS, Pitta predominant people tend to have diarrheal type IBS and kapha predominant people tend to have mixed type. So treatment is very much personalized based on this Tridoshic dominance. These treatments work not by acting on the microbes but by strengthening the immune system so that the body’s innate capability to fight against external factors are regained.

Never Control your natural urges nor forcibly initiate an urge

Ayurveda stresses the importance of the maintaining homeostasis of the body. Urges are body’s way of managing physiological balance of the body. Among the thirteen non-suppressible natural urges mentioned by Ayurveda ,the natural urges like Urge of passing flatus,Urge of faeces,Urge of urine ,Urge for hunger are never to be forcefully initiated or controlled because these have a direct effect on the metabolism of the body resulting in the symptoms of IBS.

Panchakarma therapies of Ayur Healthcare are of great help in managing the IBS related condition. Preparatory procedures like Snehapaana (drinking medicated ghee/oil) and swedana followed by Virechana (purgation in constipation subtype) will help in detoxifying the entire body. Externally Abhyangas(Ayurvedic Oil Massage), Paada Abhyangas (Foot Massages) and Sirodhara (Pouring Luke warm herbal streams of oil in forehead) helps in reducing stress there by reducing the severity of symptoms. Vasthi is another remedy which will help in the deep cleansing in the form of herbal enemas.

Concluding the treatment diet, mental faculties and herbs together can do wonders in assuring a quality life for an IBS patient.