IBS with diarrhoea, or IBS D, can be incredibly distressing and, as controlling bowel movements can be difficult, also extremely embarrassing. Thankfully, there is a variety of IBS diarrhoea treatment options available. Here are some of these options.
IBS Diarrhoea Treatment and Diet
One of the first steps in IBS diarrhoea treatment is to identify and avoid certain trigger foods, which may include some or all of the following:
- Bran, wheat bran and fibres like isphagula husk
- High dose vitamin C and magnesium supplements
- Caffeine (coffee, tea, cola drinks and pain medicines (fast acting)
- Lactose and fructose (milk and fruit sugar). Trying lactose free milk and avoiding fruit juice helps to determine whether one or both of these natural sugars are triggers, especially if the diarrhoea is accompanied by bloating.
- Sweets/sugar-free gums containing xylitol, malitol, sorbitol and/or mannitol, all of which are artificial sweeteners that can cause diarrhoea even in comparatively small amounts.
Keeping a food & symptom diary may be helpful in the identification of trigger foods. It should be noted that eliminating certain foods/food groups from your diet should always be supervised by your GP or a registered dietitian. Drinking plenty of water, having meals at regular times and never skipping meals is a highly recommended part of IBS diarrhoea treatment.
IBS Diarrhoea Treatment and Medication
In the course of your IBS diarrhoea treatment, your GP may also prescribe some medication, which may consist of antispasmodics; antimotility medication, antidepressants and/or probiotics.
Antispasmodics – Mebeverine, peppermint oil and similar antispasmodics can assist in relieving cramping and abdominal pain. As one of their side effects include constipation, thy can also help reduce diarrhoea. Other possible side effects include blurred vision, drowsiness and dryness.
Antimotility Medication – Also likely to cause constipation, antimotility medication like loperamide can also be helpful in reducing diarrhoea. Here, other potential side effects include a dry mouth; drowsiness, fatigue and/or vomiting; stomach pain, enlargement and/or discomfort.
Antidepressants – Prescribed to reduce cramping/abdominal pain, tricyclic antidepressants can also cause constipation, which, of course, makes them particularly useful in IBS diarrhoea treatment. Side effects may include blurred vision, a dry mouth and/or drowsiness.
Silicic Acid – many IBS sufferers see great results using colloidal silicic acid products. These work by coating the stomach and intestine, binding toxins, irritants and gases and then allowing these to pass naturally through the body.
Probiotics – Some IBS sufferers have found that regularly taking probiotics helps relieve their symptoms, although there is currently no scientific evidence to support this. A minimum of 5 g guar gum per day has also been shown to help.
Alternative IBS Diarrhoea Treatment Options
Other IBS diarrhoea treatment options include stress management (relaxation, exercise, Yoga, breathing exercises); counselling, hypnotherapy and/or cognitive behavioural therapy; massage, acupuncture and/or reflexology.
IBS is a very complex condition, and symptoms can change during the course of treatment. Working closely with your GP in order to determine the most suitable IBS diarrhoea treatment plan for you is subsequently an absolute necessity.