Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the most underdiagnosed conditions of all time, and many people are unaware of it because the symptoms frequently overlap with other conditions such as lactose intolerance. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder of gut-brain interaction which can have a considerable impact on quality of life. Whether it’s mild or severe, it is life-changing. Here are some suggestions from top gastroenterologists about how to manage irritable bowel disease.
Dr. Ajay Choksey, MD, DM (Gastroenterology and Hepatology), ESEGH (MRCP), Consultant Gastroenterologist – Zydus Hospitals, Ahmedabad
IBS patients may get anxious by the fact that the reports are normal and feel that their condition is not being diagnosed- but the fact remains that IBS is functional condition meaning that reports will be normal but their pain and discomfort are real. Patients with IBS may require treatment for an extended period of time, ranging from a few weeks to a year in some cases. Apart from the usual treatments that include gastric medications, your doctor may prescribe low doses of medications that have the effect of reducing discomfort in IBS. It is important that patients take the medications and follow the dietary advice. Yoga and exercise have been found to help in relieving symptoms and patients do successfully get off medications with good results.
Dr. Neeraj Nagaich, MBBS, MD, DM (Gastro), Senior Consultant- Fortis ESCORTS Hospital, Jaipur
Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be classified as a group of diseases which bring about a variety of problems associated with the gut and hamper the quality of life. IBS might be associated with abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, or both, and in turn, changes in bowel movement and routine. To manage the symptoms, changes must be made in accordance with your gut, as it varies from person to person. Generally, changes in dietary habits such as including more fibre in the diet, avoiding trigger foods that advance the patient’s problems, and most importantly, following a healthy regime with regular exercise and avoiding stress are recommended.
Dr. Sunny Bherwani, MBBS, MD, DM (Gastro), Director – Indore Institute of gastroenterology
Irritable bowel disease is primarily a lifestyle disorder that significantly reduces patients’ quality of life, increases the burden on family members, and jeopardises personal and professional life. It is more common in the younger population nowadays because of increased anxiety, competition, horse racing to become the best in sports, studies, peer pressure, eating unhygienic food. The best way to manage the disease is to eat good food that contains a low fodmap diet, which you can easily get from a good gastroenterologist. Control your anxiety, and mood swings, regular exercise, and connect with a good gastroenterologist who focuses on managing IBS patients with a multidisciplinary approach and can prescribe you a nice medicine with a Midas touch and heal you.
Dr. K. S. Somasekhar Rao, MBBS, MD, DM (Gastro), Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad
The majority of gastrointestinal problems these days are related to the changes in lifestyle (dietary and sedentary lifestyles) Increasing awareness among the public and educating children about good dietary habits would definitely decrease the incidence of many commonly seen gastrointestinal problems like dyspepsia (indigestion) and irritable bowel syndrome. Many gastrointestinal infections and viral hepatitis can be avoided if you stop eating outside. Hepatitis B vaccination can save your liver. The rising incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases in India is a concern and is again related to our shifting preferences to westernised diets. In conclusion, following our traditional diet and doing regular workouts (exercise) prevents many common gastrointestinal disorders.
Dr. Pabitra Sahu, MD, DM, (Gastroenterology and Hepatology) – AIIMS, Consultant – Max Superspeicality Hospital, New Delhi
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common bowel disorder that manifests as nonspecific abdominal pain and irregular bowel habits in the absence of any organic cause. IBS is one of the most common clinical problems a gastroenterologist or physician encounters in their day-to-day clinical practice. It has a significant impact on patients’ physical well-being and quality of life. As the pathogenesis of IBS is poorly understood, management revolves around symptomatic relief and improving quality of life. Adhering to a regular meal pattern, reducing intake of insoluble fibres, alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, and fat, as well as engaging in regular physical activity and staying hydrated. Some medications and specific dietary modifications can help, but should be taken in consultation with a specialist doctor.
Dr. MN Pavan Kumar, MBBS, MS, M.CH (Surgical Gastro), Bariatric Surgeon, New Delhi
Irritable bowel syndrome is diagnosed when patients experience a change in the frequency or discomfort of passing stools. This is to be diagnosed only after excluding structural bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease or coeliac disease after evaluation with colonoscopy and/or CT enteroclysis. Previously, this was solely attributed to psychological issues with the patients, but recently, evidence for the role of changes in the gut microbiome as the cause of the symptoms is becoming increasingly available. It is understood that when the ratio of abnormal or harmful bacteria in the gut increases due to changes in food or antibiotic usage, symptoms of IBS aggravate. Hence, the present mode of treatment includes long-term probiotics targeted at normalization of gut flora along with lifestyle and psychological changes.
Dr. Nishant Nagpal, MBBS, MD, DNB (Gastro), Institute of Gastroenterology Hepatology & Advanced Endoscopy (MV-IGHAS), Additional Director – Max Hospital, Delhi
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is quite common in India, with a prevalence ranging between 4.2 and 10. However, certain common factors to be avoided are: avoiding trigger foods (high FODMAP diet), reducing stress, meditating, exercising or walking daily and reducing caffeine intake. Generally, sugary foods, sodas, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods may be bad. Instead, eat whole, natural foods. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids are all good sources of antioxidants.
Food is chewed well and takes your time to help digest your meals. If you think some foods or drinks may trigger your symptoms, keep a food diary for a few weeks and identify your triggers. If symptoms persist, feel free to consult your nearest gastroenterologist.
Dr. Vishal Khurana, MBBS, MD, DM (Gastro), MNAMS, Senior Gastroenterologist -Metro Hospital, Faridabad
Irritable bowel disease (IBS) is a common disorder affecting the intestine leading to bouts of diarrhoea or constipation, abdominal cramps and a feeling of fullness. IBS is common in people younger age. IBS is commonly caused by signal issues between brain and intestine, gut motility disorder, post infection, and certain food items. In order to treat IBS it is important to manage stress and psychological issues, do dietary and lifestyle changes and to use certain prescribed medications. In terms of causes, symptoms, or treatment, IBS requires a very individualized approach and your doctor is the right person to discuss with and decide your management strategy.