Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Long-term disorder that affects the stomach and intestines
  • Symptoms may include abdominal pain, constipation alternating with diarrhea and abdominal bloating
  • Cause unknown
  • Cannot be spread from person to person
  • Affects males and females
  • Can occur at any age
  • May be mild to severe

  • Avoid skipping meals
  • Eat several small meals every day
  • Limit intake of dairy foods
  • Drink plenty of fluids (especially water)
  • Exercise regularly
  • Reduce stress
  • To decrease belching, eat and drink slowly, avoid fizzy drinks and limit alcohol, gum and hard candy
  • Quit smoking

 

FOR DIARRHEA

  • Drink plenty of fluids (especially water)
  • Home oral rehydration solution (ORS):
  • Six (6) level teaspoons of Sugar
    • Half (1/2) level teaspoon of Salt
    • 1 L (5 cupful’s) of clean drinking or boiled water and then cooled
    • Eat the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Apple sauce, Toast)
  • If accompanied by nausea, suck on small pieces of ice (not small enough to choke on!)
  • Avoid strenuous exercise
  • Over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medicines (refer to manufacturer’s recommendation for dosage):
    • Loperamide
    • Bismuth subsalicylate

 

FOR CONSTIPATION

  • Eat more fiber (1 tablespoon of raw bran with plenty of water at each meal)
  • Increase exercise (30 minutes per day)
  • Drink plenty of fluids (especially water)
  • Over-the-counter laxative medicines (refer to manufacturer’s recommendations for dosage):
    • Bulk forming laxatives
    • Stool softeners (emollient laxatives)
    • Lubricant laxatives
    • Stimulant laxatives
    • Saline laxatives
    • Enemas and suppositories

 

FOR FLATULENCE

  • Avoid foods that are known to increase bloating, such as fizzy drinks, hard candy, fruits, starches, certain vegetables or whole wheat products
  • Over-the-counter anti-flatulent medicines (refer to manufacturer’s recommendations for dosage):
    • Simethicone
    • Calcium carbonate/simethicone
    • Aluminum hydroxide/magnesium

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