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Digestive Diseases

Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) usually involves medicine, dietary changes, stress management, and exercise.

Medication for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Laxatives may be prescribed to treat constipation, anti-diarrheals to treat diarrhea, antispasmodics to help control colonic spasms and pain, and low doses of certain antidepressants can help reduce the pain, diarrhea and constipation seen often in patients with IBS. A new drug, alosetron, can help women with severe IBS whose major symptom is diarrhea.

Dietary Changes for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Addressing diet is important. Your physician may ask you to keep a food diary to track symptoms and food eaten to determine what foods may exacerbate symptoms. Foods that worsen IBS should be avoided, including fatty foods, milk products, alcohol, chocolate, carbonated drinks, and caffeine. Adding foods with fiber to your diet gradually can also help, as can eating smaller meals. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day is also important.

Stress Management for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Stress management – yoga, exercise, and counseling – can also reduce symptoms, and exercise can help the bowel function better as well as reduce stress.

Contact

Digestive and Liver Diseases, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia
Directions
(212) 305-1909
Gastroenterology and Hepatology, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell
Directions
(646) 962-4463
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