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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Digestive System

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Alternate Names : IBS, Spastic Colon

Irritable Bowel Syndrome | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome often focuses on treating the symptoms and preventing flare-ups. This may include:

  • a diet low in fat and calories, and high in fiber. Eating several smaller meals during the day rather than large meals, particularly in the evening, may also decrease the symptoms.
  • antidepressants to decrease the pain as well as the stress and depression
  • stress management
  • fiber supplements or laxatives for constipation
  • medications to stop diarrhea
  • medications to decrease nerve sensitivity in the bowels
  • antispasmodic medications to relieve bowel spasms
  • behavioral therapy
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Antidepressants may cause diarrhea, sleep disorders, headaches, irritability, and decreased libido.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can and often do reoccur. A person with IBS needs to continue dietary management for the rest of his or her life. Antidepressants may not be needed after stress management or behavioral therapy helps a person gain control over emotions.

    How is the condition monitored?

    Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
    Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

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