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How is irritable bowel syndrome treated?

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Quick Answer

There is no known cure for irritable bowel syndrome, but the symptoms can be managed with therapy, dietary changes, probiotics and medications, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The combination of treatments used to manage the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome differs from person to person and is determined by a patient's doctor. Doctors may first begin treating their patients' irritable bowel syndrome symptoms by suggesting that they make changes to their diet and eat foods that are high in certain nutrients.

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How is irritable bowel syndrome treated?
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Full Answer

Some of the medications used to treat the physical symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are loperamide, fiber supplements, laxatives, prescription antibiotics, antispasmodics, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms relieved by these medications include diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, discomfort and colon muscle spasms.

Probiotics, which can be obtained from foods like yogurt and dietary supplements such as powders, tablets and capsules, have been shown to relievesymptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics work to relieve symptoms by introducing healthy bacteria or microorganisms into the GI tract.

Psychological treatment can also be used tohelp people to relieve their irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. One type of therapy called gut-directed hypnotherapy utilizes hypnosis to help patients learn to relax the colon muscles. Anothercommon type oftherapy is talk therapy, which is used to reduce patients' stress and promote relaxation.

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