As of 2014, Mayo Clinic states there is no known cure for irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, because the cause remains unidentified. Treatment methods are used to manage symptoms and provide individual relief.
Mayo Clinic explains that IBS is often a chronic condition. At times the symptoms are worse than others, and sometimes they completely vanish for a period of time. What triggers IBS varies from one individual to another. Some triggers include food, stress, hormones and other illnesses. Mayo Clinic reports that women experience IBS more often than men, which may indicate that changes in hormone levels play a role in causing it.
WebMD states some foods worsen the symptoms. Foods including chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, fructose and fried foods can intensify the diarrhea. Avoiding these foods when experiencing IBS helps ease the diarrhea. Some ways to alleviate the symptoms of IBS include over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medication, eating a balanced diet, consuming a daily probiotic, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and managing stress. WebMD also states some studies have shown that acupuncture and some low doses of antidepressants have helped to manage the abdominal cramping and pain of IBS. Other prescription drugs used in the treatment of IBS include Levbid and Bentyl.