IBS is a debilitating condition. If you're having trouble getting your symptoms under control using traditional methods, consider adding some of these to your treatment routine.
The pain caused by IBS and the lifestyle changes that result can be extremely stressful. And stress is a trigger for IBS symptoms. So how do you stop yourself from stressing out and making your symptoms worse?
Some patients have found that therapy is useful when fighting against IBS. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, where your therapist works with you to change negative thought processes, is one form of therapy used for IBS patients. Other types include hypnotherapy, talk therapy, and biofeedback (where you learn to lower your heart rate and control your physiological response to stress and pain).
Mindful meditation involves focusing the mind completely on the present. During meditation, thoughts may enter the head, but they are then set aside for later. The benefits of entering this zen state include better focus, improved sleep, and reduced stress. And, possibly, a reduction in IBS symptoms.
One study found that mindfulness-based stress reduction (e.g. mindful meditation,) helped improve the severity of symptoms in IBS patients for six months after the trial.
Exercise is another useful tool against IBS. Yoga and Tai Chi can work alongside meditation to help reduce stress. And if you suffer from IBS-C, 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week may help relieve constipation.
If pain prevents you from getting moving, experiment and try to find something you can do even when you're not feeling well. Swimming, for example, is low-impact and gentle but still provides a good cardio workout.
Acupuncture involves having needles inserted in the top few layers of skin. Trained acupuncturists place needles in pressure points throughout the body. Rooted in ancient Chinese tradition, acupuncture is said to unblock the meridians through which energy flows through the body. Leaving the meridians blocked can lead to pain and illness. Alternatively, if there is an area that needs healing, acupuncturists use needles to guide the body's energy to that location.
Although more research is needed, there is some indication that acupuncture may help relieve the symptoms of IBS. In one study, those who received acupuncture experienced relief from pain afterwards-- and that relief was still present four weeks after the study.
Acupuncture, meditation, therapy, and exercise may be able to help you get your IBS symptoms under control. Talk to your doctor (like those at Naugatuck Valley Gastroenterology Consultants LLC) about adding these into your regular treatment routine.