First of all, let’s face it: there is no cure for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for the time being. However, you can have it under control by a variety of treatment options. And these days digestive enzyme therapy is often recommended by many competent doctors who are good at managing IBS cases.
A brief introduction to IBS
Today, this epidemic affects 10 to 20% of the total world population. This is why you see so many television commercials for OTC medicine for IBS these days. As the manifestations of an imbalance in the body system, this functional bowel disorder is mainly characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort, accompanied by changes in bowel habits and stools. The possible symptoms may include diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or gas. The initial attack usually occurs in the sufferers when they are 10 to 12 years old. The bad news is that its pathogenesis is not well understood yet. But it is generally considered to have a link with abnormal gastrointestinal motility, abnormal gut flora, abnormal visceral sensation, mental stress, intestinal infections, and the like.
This disease can cause a lot of discomfort and pain to the patients because it tends to keep coming back even after the treatment. But don’t despair and the symptoms can be well controlled by proper diet, home remedies, stress management, or prescription medications. Once diagnosed, the patient will be usually given antidiarrheal drugs or laxatives according to the symptoms. If a person still shows signs of worry and anxiety, the doctor will prescribe anti-anxiety medications (anxiolytics) or recommend him or her make lifestyle changes. Sometimes a psychiatric medication called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) will be recommended too. This is because this condition is related not only to intestines, but also to serotonin. And this is where SSRIs come in since they are known to effectively promote the serotonin balance.
Controlling symptoms with diet
For many people, eating the right food can relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Before making a change to your diet, it is a good idea to record those foods that make the symptoms worse. And you can also consult some diet experts for proper recipes. For example, you can reduce the consumption of dairy products if they are bad for you. In many cases dietary fiber can provide some relief. High-fiber foods, such as cereals, beans, fruits and vegetables, can cause mild expansion in colon and prevent progressive muscle spasms. What’s more, some dietary fibers can lock the moisture in the stools and then prevent constipation. It should be noted that high-fiber foods can cause flatulence and bloating, which however will soon disappear after the body adapts to these foods. In addition, reducing meat intake and eating smaller more frequent meals can help alleviate the symptoms since eating too much meat cause cramps and diarrhea in patients with irritable bowel syndrome.
Adding digestive enzymes to your diet
Although IBS patients have no organic pathologic changes, this condition will somewhat harm people’s health. The current treatment is mainly dealing with spasm, diarrhea, and inflammation. Unfortunately, the effect is far from satisfactory. As mentioned above, some doctors believe that abnormal gastrointestinal motility and abnormal gut flora are the two main causes for IBS and dealing with these two problems will be the first priority. For that reason, an attempt has been made and they combined digestive enzymes with probiotics to treat IBS. Since digestive enzymes aid digestion and probiotics maintain intestinal flora balance, the results showed that this is a salutary attempt.
Similarly, some doctors recommend eating foods with added digestive enzymes. As you know, enzymes are catalysts or substance that can cause a change in the body’s chemical reactions. The fact is that in your body there are thousands of enzymes, which work differently, for example breaking down the food into energy or speeding up chemical reaction rates. Although your body can produce enzymes, increased enzyme through diet can work better in alleviating the symptoms.
In addition to the use of nutritional supplements, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and sprouted whole grains can be the easiest way to add digestive enzymes. And remember: don’t overcook these greens since the cooking process tends to destroy high amounts of therapeutic nutrients that include enzymes.