Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

There are people who suffer from unexplained intestinal problems. Constipation alternating with severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea are the main symptoms. Doctor’s research shows nothing and there is nothing or not much that can be done about it.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, what is it?

With Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) you suffer from abdominal cramps, diarrhea alternating with constipation, and a bloated abdomen. You may also suffer from fatigue and nausea. The diagnosis of IBS can only be made when other intestinal disorders have been ruled out by a doctor, ie when nothing can be found after extensive examination. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is also called Spastic Bowel.


There are no real causes for Irritable Bowel Syndrome . Sometimes this is preceded by an intestinal infection, sometimes also by a period of stress. In girls during puberty it can sometimes be caused by hormone fluctuations. There is also sometimes thought in the direction of food hypersensitivity or food allergy. In any case, it is clear to many IBS patients that they react to certain foods.

IBS in practice

IBS ( Spastic Bowel ) can have a major impact on your daily life. Because you regularly suffer from diarrhea, the desire to have a toilet nearby is constantly present. Sometimes your complaints can hinder you so much that going to school or work normally is not possible. If possible, it is wise to start a little later in the morning, so that you start the new day well rested.
Making (long) trips can also be hampered by this health problem. Many people no longer dare to take public transport to travel to work or school . If this really becomes an obstacle, psychological assistance to learn to deal with the complaints is good advice.

Possible treatments

No medicine has yet been found that can alleviate the symptoms. There are various treatments available that can alleviate the complaints. However, the result is different for many patients. It often takes a bit of “figuring out” yourself what you should or shouldn’t do or not do.
The treatments that may provide relief are:

  • Fiber products (soluble fibers such as psylium give the best results)
  • Antispasmodic medications
  • Antacids
  • Probiotics (e.g. Activia, Yakult)
  • Painkillers
  • Colon cleansing (but also has a negative effect for some)
  • Some people benefit from a glass of carbonated drink or old cola that has lost its spark (water, cola).
  • Avoiding certain foods that you think may bother you (e.g. abstain from spicy food, mushrooms, citrus fruits, red meat)
  • Do not use sweeteners (so no diet soft drinks, sugar-free chewing gum or sugar-free candy!)
  • Do not use apple juice or pear juice (so avoid all drinks that contain apple juice! Apple juice and pear juice naturally contain sorbitol, if you drink a lot of it or are sensitive to it you can get diarrhea. Check the ingredients on the packaging)
  • In some cases, eating little fiber helps


Misunderstood condition

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a misunderstood condition. As a result, patients may often feel that they are not being taken seriously. Therefore, if you suffer from IBS, try to explain clearly what is going on with you without any embarrassment. Take your time to rest and try to find balance in what you can and cannot do. Try to avoid stress as much as possible. This can be a “trigger” that makes your complaints worse. Make a food diary to see what you can and cannot tolerate. There are people who discover over time that they have a gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance or an allergy to flavor enhancers (Vetsin, commonly found in soups and Chinese food). After eliminating these foods, they no longer suffer. However, this is not a case of IBS, but of a food allergy or intolerance.

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