Medicine for IBS is Not the Only Answer



I do not like to take medicine for IBS, but I also do not like taking medication for anything unless, of course, it is a life threatening condition. Okay, now that it is clear how I feel about medication, I do believe there is certainly a time when we can use medicine for IBS. Medications DO help in your most desperate times. But there are more natural ways to treat IBS. One type of medicine for IBS I have tried is called Bentyl, and it did work. I did not enjoy the side effects, of sleepiness, dizziness, headache, and and overall dopey feeling (think about the scene from “Pretty In Pink” when the bride is doped up on muscle relaxants walking down the isle! No, my side effects were not that bad, but it sure makes me smile to think that could happen!) I did enjoy the fact that my IBS pain was greatly relieved within about 45 minutes.

I was taking the Bentyl before I was pursuing natural and home remedies for IBS. I knew it was not a medication I cared to be on long term, but I also knew I needed something to get me through the abdominal pain, gas and bloating. And I guess since there were times when I actually wanted to check myself into the hospital because I was so miserable, medication was a good compromise to get me through the misery.

Sometimes I have found an over the counter pain reliever, like Advi,l to be an effective pain reliever. Again, I only take these when I feel I must do so to get through the day or a special event, because I know these pain relievers can cause more irritation to the digestive tract.

Thank goodness, IBS is not life threatening. It may feel like it some days, but it is not. So medication is not absolutely necessary as would be the case with medications for heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes.

So when your gastroenterology doctor gives you the diagnosis, he or she may prescribe one or a combination of three types of medicine for IBS.

  • Anti spasmodics - Bentyl, Anaspaz, Cystospaz, Levbid, Levsin all help to relax and improve the function of the muscles of the intestines, but only temporarily. This relaxation also helps with pain relief, but again, the relief is only temporary.
  • Antidepressants - Of course, anti depressants in general help you relax, but apparently they also work to help create more normal muscle activity in the digestive tract, reducing cramps and spasms and helping with constipation and diarrhea. Antidepressants are also believed to help reduce the extreme hypersensitivity to pain that IBS sufferers experience.

  • Medicine to reduce diarrhea and constipation - Available over the counter, products like Immodium for diarrhea, and Milk of Magnesia for constipation are recommended by doctors. In very severe cases, a prescription strength anti diarrheal or laxative may be recommended by your doctor.
  • The biggest thing to keep in mind is that these medications will only treat the symptoms of IBS. They will not address the cause. Which is why it is beneficial to explore the natural and home remedies for IBS.

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