ROCHESTER, Minn. — Here are highlights from the November issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. You may cite this publication as often as you wish. Reprinting is allowed for a fee. Mayo Clinic Health Letter attribution is required. Include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit http://www.healthletter.mayoclinic.com/ or call toll-free for subscription information, 1-800-333-9037, extension 9771. Full newsletter text: Mayo Clinic Health Letter November 2014 (for journalists only). Full special report text: Mayo Clinic Health Letter Special Report November 2014 (for journalists only).
New approaches for relief from irritable bowel syndrome
There are new approaches to manage the frustrating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to the November issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.
IBS is a common disorder of the large intestine (colon), characterized by abdominal pain that occurs before or along with diarrhea or constipation. Symptoms can vary widely. For many people, flares of diarrhea may last for a few days followed by periods of remission. Constipation may last for days or even months, along with intermittent diarrhea or normal bowel function. A small number of people with severe IBS have unbearable pain that is constant at times.
Multiple factors may contribute to the bowel dysfunction. The foundation of IBS therapy is developing lifestyle, exercise and diet changes that generally facilitate smooth bowel function. Treatment often includes working with a physician or other care provider to develop a plan for regular exercise and management of stress, anxiety and other psychological factors.