Knowledge of the nature of a condition helps us provide better treatment options. While doctors don’t know exactly the complexities that envelope Irritable Bowel Syndrome, we know for a fact that it may be due to irregularities in the spasms of the intestinal tract or any other related conditions.
Seeing your physician is the first step to knowing if you actually are affected by the disease. It is basically diagnosed by looking through the medical history of the patient and by characterizing symptoms as covered by Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
There is no defined test that is specifically made for diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome. Several tests are used, however, to help rule out this disease over other conditions. Tests include examinations such as stool sample testing, X-rays, and blood tests.
Normally, your doctor will perform a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. This is done by inserting a small flexible tube with an attached camera into your anus. The image will then register onto the screen that is connected to it. This will help facilitate a closer look at your colon.
If your test result yields negative, you will then be diagnosed depending on other symptoms that you might have endured during the past couple of months. He is likely to ask you how frequent your attacks are or the intensity of the attacks. He might as well inquire about the stool consistency and the changes in your bowel functions. Most doctors make use of a list of symptoms to help qualify your condition as irritable bowel syndrome.
Knowing if you have developed the syndrome or not, you can apply treatments that are necessary to alleviate the condition or to help in the treatment. Remember though that for some people, irritable bowel movement is a chronic condition. While treatment may be found, some symptoms will just subside for a period but will then return to their earlier state, or maybe worse.
There is simply no cure for irritable bowel syndrome. However, treatments are available. Your physician will provide you with the best treatment for your condition and may advise you to change your general lifestyle and learn to manage stress.
Medications, as part of the treatment plans, will help relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. He may give you laxatives and supplements for constipation and a number of medications for diarrhea. To control colon muscle spasms and to help in the reduction of abdominal pain, antispasmodic is frequently prescribed.
However, antispasmodic and antidepressants are known to trigger constipation. Thus, your doctor might provide you with options of medicines that will help muscles in the intestines and bladder to relax. Medications such as this can be addictive though, so be careful of using such.
Medications specifically created for Irritable Bowel Syndrome are:
Lotronex (Alosetron hydrochloride) is extremely recommended for women sufferers when all other conventional forms of treatments failed to work and when the most prominent symptom is diarrhea. However, even with this recommendation, patients must still exercise caution since extreme side effects include decreased blood flow towards the colon and severe constipation.
Zelnorm (Tegaserod maleate) is recommended for short term treatment among women whose significant symptom is constipation. It is used for a standard of 4-6 weeks.
With the use of any medications and treatment, it is always necessary that you follow your doctor’s prescriptions and guidelines. Patients often report worsened condition after failing to follow strict advice from their physicians.