spastic colon explanation - How to Help Teenagers Cope with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
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How to Help Teenagers Cope with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Many irritable bowel syndrome sufferers first develop symptoms of IBS during their teenage years. Symptoms like stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation and bloating are difficult even for an adult to deal with, and if you also have to cope with peer pressure, new relationships and exams it can make life very miserable indeed.

A study titled ‘IBS in the Real World' - IBS Research Findings by IFFGD, August 2002, found that the effects of IBS can seriously effects sufferers quality of life and functionality.

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 Having said that, stress and anxiety can be triggers for IBS, just as certain foods can be triggers for IBS, and so anything you can do to relieve stress may help relieve symptoms to a certain extent. Remember that your child may be worried about not reaching a bathroom in time and having an accident, or having to leave class during school time and being made fun of. They might also have problems with teachers who think that they are missing out on too much school.

For more information about IBS and other digestive problems, visit

With IBS the nerves and muscles in the bowel are extra sensitive. The muscles may contract too much when you eat. These contractions can cause cramping and diarrhoea during or shortly after a meal. Or the nerves can be overly sensitive to the stretching of the bowel, (because of gas, for example). Cramping or pain can result.

IBS symptoms include stomach cramping and pain, abdominal bloating and distention and either diarrhea, constipation, or any of these symptoms combined at different stages of the day or week.

Relaxation and Visualisation used together offer sufferers a drug and diet free solution to the symptoms of IBS. Using simple and easy relaxation techniques the body is calmed down and a good state of relaxation is achieved. This prepares the sufferer for the visualisation part of the cure.

Enough of the bad news - there must be some good news, right? Correct. There is some great, although little-publicised news for IBS sufferers. A clinical study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998, reported long-lasting, side-effect free results, with a 64-76% improvement rate for the IBS patients in the treatment group.

The contents of the bowel are moved along by a succession of rhythmical contraction and relaxation of segments of the intestine. This process is called peristalsis. In irritable bowel syndrome peristalsis is stronger and more common than normal. Causes The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome is still unknown. The disorder seems often to begin during a time of emotional stress, and symptoms get worse in stressful situations.

Because of this problem, it is vital that we trust our children when they're say that they're having bowel problems. Of course, most kids will try to get out of school once in a while, but very few will pretend to have embarrassing symptoms like diarrhea or wind. In fact, it may have taken a great deal of courage for them to even admit to these symptoms in the first place. It's very important that when they do manage to talk about their problem, they receive a sympathetic ear.

IBS can be divided into four types depending on which is the main symptom - diarrhoea, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhoea alternating with constipation.

If you have had IBS for years, you would be familiar with its daily effects. As a primary health care provider, I am all too familiar with the disappointments and limitations that IBS brings to my patients lives.

About the author:
Dr. Maia Dodds has compiled international clinical research and
professional experience in her new book 'Irritable Bowel
Syndrome Improvement Program', demonstrating 76% IBS improvement
rates, with side-effect free and long-lasting results.

Fully a third (34%) of IBS sufferers report loss of bowel control which has impacted significantly on daily life, causing frequent absences at work or school as well as missed leisure activities.

Using certain simple visualising techniques the sufferer can significantly reduce pain and bowel dysfunction and even cure IBS completely. As this is a home treatment it can be used in the comfort of your own home.

Once a diagnosis has been made, you need to work alongside your teenager to help them find some treatments that work for them. This may be in the form of medications, dietary change, or supplements, and it may take a while to find something that works for each individual, but there certainly are treatments out there - don't let your child feel that they're going to suffer forever, or that just because IBS is still poorly understood there's no hope for the future. Most IBS sufferers find a treatment program that works for them, but it may take time and a trial and error approach.

About the author:
Sophie Lee has suffered from IBS since the age of 12. She runs
the website Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment where you can read
reviews of all the treatments available for IBS.

These patients were treated using Chinese medical herbs (available in capsules). Not only were the positive results dramatic, they were also long-lasting, with patients reporting significantly improved IBS symptoms 14 weeks after treatment.

If you have lived with IBS for a while, you may also be aware that there is no targeted medical treatment for IBS, only management approaches such as dietary changes and end-agents, such as laxatives and anti-diarrheal agents.

Natural muscular contractions push the contents through the bowel. If the bowel is overactive, the contents move more quickly and the person gets diarrhoea, whereas slow action causes constipation

What is IBS? IBS, which stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a chronic disorder in which the bowel doesn't work, as it should. The bowel is part of the digestive system that makes and stores stools. The large bowel, or colon, links the smaller bowel to the rectum and anus, (back passage), and seems to be the starting position of most of the symptoms of IBS.

It's also vital that teenagers receive a definite diagnosis of IBS from a doctor - bowel symptoms can mean IBS, but they can also mean Crohn's Disease, celiac disease, and a range of other disorders, so please get these ruled out before you assume that it's IBS.

When constipation is present, recommended over the counter irritable bowel syndrome remedies may include laxatives. But, taking laxatives may lead to diarrhea, can be habit forming and become ineffective after continued use. Aloe is a recommended herbal remedy. Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation may be relieved with products containing aloe, but may worsen diarrhea. A product containing slippery elm may be an effective herbal remedy. Irritable bowel syndrome with constipation or diarrhea may be relieved by using a product containing slippery elm. It has been used historically by native peoples to treat both constipation and diarrhea.

If you are standing beside your child saying "IBS is real, painful, and depressing, but we're going to beat this together" then you should find that your teenager is far more hopeful about the future, and far more willing to talk to you about what can be a very embarrassing and painful disorder.

If you are unhappy with your current IBS treatment approach, again, you are not alone, with less than one-third of IBS sufferers reporting satisfaction with the drugs and remedies they use to treat their ISB. 62% of those taking prescription drugs experienced side effects, and 45% of prescription drug takers reported moderate to severe side effects.

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IBS treatment

There are many products which may be effective irritable bowel syndrome remedies, but their effectiveness may depend on whether diarrhea, constipation or both are present. The same is true of an herbal remedy. Irritable bowel syndrome is typically diagnosed when the following symptoms are present: abdominal pain is relieved by a bowel movement, there is a change in the appearance of the stool, and there is a change in the frequency of bowel movements. And, also after other more serious conditions are ruled out.

Nearly half (47%) of IBS sufferers reported daily symptoms, with 43% experiencing severe symptoms. If you suffer from IBS, the good news is that you are not alone, with between 10-22% of the population being affected. The bad news is that IBS can be a seriously unpleasant and persistent condition.

About the Author Prad Uttamlal suffered from IBS for two years, and has been free from it for over 10 years, (since 1995). He is the author of the ebook "How To Cure Your IBS", which offers sufferers an alternative choice for curing their IBS.

The condition sometimes develops after a gastrointestinal infection. An increased sensitivity or intolerance to certain foods may also be a contributory factor.

IBS Seriously Impacts Daily Life Dr. Maia Dodds Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a crippling condition for 43% of IBS sufferers who report severe symptoms.

My personal clinical experience has supported these findings. Chinese herbs can now be dispensed in capsules, or brought pre-made, and the benefits for IBS patients is often life-changing

So where does Relaxation and Visualisation come in? The Power of Visualisation is a tried and tested technique and is often compared to positive thinking, self hypnosis, prayer, meditation, faith healing, mind control, etc. It is a completely safe and highly enjoyable process.

Symptoms The syndrome features recurring abdominal pain and occasional diarrhoea, frequently alternating with constipation, rapid transit of food with frequent bowel motions, a sense of fullness, abdominal tenderness and swelling, an awareness of the bowel action, gas, regular headaches and anxiety.

See for more information.

In the large bowel, semi-liquid residue from the absorption of food is temporarily stored while it absorbs water and salt. This leaves a more formed motion to be passed through the anus.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Dr. Maia Dodds is the author of ‘The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Improvement Program' See for details, further research and articles. Write directly at - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .

Another important point to remember is that because of the general lack of understanding of IBS, there are some long-standing myths which your child might be subjected to. The most damaging, and most common, of these myths is that IBS is "all in your head" - the implication being that if the sufferer would stop being so neurotic or anxious the IBS symptoms would magically go away. This is nonsense, and you should make sure that your child knows that their symptoms are NOT their fault, and are certainly not caused by emotional problems.

On top of this, teenagers often find that their parents, and even their doctors, do not take them seriously when they try to seek help. The number one complaint I hear from teenagers who have been diagnosed with IBS, often after many months or years of asking for help, is that "no-one believed I was sick". This is horrible for the teenager, as not only do they have the physical pain and discomfort to deal with, they also have to get past the fact that everyone around them thinks they are 'faking it'. Can you imagine anything worse?

If the stool is loose and more frequent, then the diagnosis may be IBS with diarrhea, but if the stool is hard and less frequent; IBS with constipation. Over a period of several months or several weeks, individuals with IBS may have times of constipation and times of diarrhea. All of this makes recommending irritable bowel syndrome remedies difficult and treating IBS complicated. Dietary changes and a complete treatment plan will be more effective in the long run than any herbal remedy. Irritable bowel syndrome remedies may provide only temporary relief.

At all stages of your teenager's illness, the best thing that you can do is be their advocate, whether it is with doctors who are not offering treatment options, teachers who are blaming your child for missing school, or family and friends who have decided that IBS is not a big deal.

Irritable bowel syndrome remedies are heavily marketed and highly advertised. IBS has become a fairly common diagnosis, affecting as many as one in five people at some point in their lives. It is important to remember that, while most irritable bowel syndrome remedies are safe for temporary use, some may worsen symptoms and/or cause other problems when used for long periods of time. This is true of an IBS herbal remedy, irritable bowel syndrome over the counter products and prescription drugs as well. A complete treatment plan including changes in diet and lifestyle is believed to provide the most relief for the most symptoms of IBS.

When diarrhea is present, recommended over the counter irritable bowel syndrome remedies may include an anti-diarrhea product like Immodium or Kaopectate. These products may reduce diarrhea, but researchers have found that they do not relieve other symptoms such as stomach ache and bloating. Both aloe and slippery elm have an anti-inflammatory effect which may relieve stomach ache. Bloating and gas may be relieved by antacids, anti-gas products or an herbal remedy. Irritable bowel syndrome remedies made from herbs and botanicals often include several ingredients (several different herbs and plants) in an attempt to relieve all of the symptoms of IBS. Gastronic Dr. is one such herbal remedy.

Patsy Hamilton has more than twenty years experience as a healthcare professional and currently writes informational articles for the Digestive Disorders Guide. Read more at


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