Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic problem and is more common in obese people. It affects the large intestine due to poor gastrointestinal health. The enlargement of the intestine leads to bowel problems. In IBS, bowel movement or pattern is irregular due to the digestive tract being affected. IBS can cause constipation, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
A person diagnosed with IBS may not always be affected by it. There are days when the IBS is under control. However, unfortunately for some patients, it is a daily problem. Stress aggravates IBS and can escalate to become psychosomatic.
Abdominal pain and cramps
Alternating diarrhoea and constipation
Gas formation in the intestine
Heaviness and blotting
Changes in bowel pattern
Urge to defecate multiple times a day
Urge to defecate after food
Develops intolerance for some food items
The feeling of incomplete bowel movement
Along with medication, doctors suggest supportive treatments like:
Lifestyle changes: Sleeping, waking and eating on time, avoiding late-night munching, and losing weight if the person is on the heavier side.
Dietary changes: Avoid spicy and stale food. Excluding maida, gluten and dairy products, and including more fibre, and probiotics in the diet.
Alternate therapies: If your IBS is related to stress, seeking the help of a mental health expert will go a long way in controlling the problem. Apart from that, psycho-emotional therapy, meditation, yoga therapy, and Sujok therapy also help manage IBS.
Asanas like pavanmuktasana, uttanatadasana, dhanurasana anuloma viloma, yoga mudra, and abdomen toning exercises are useful. Meditation, deep shavasana prandharna and other relaxing techniques can reduce stress and anxiety.
For Sujok, massage on the line (see the palm photo) or apply seeds.
(The author is an obesity consultant, dietitian and nutritionist, Sujok therapist, counsellor, and a yoga therapist)