Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Effective Remedies for Functional Colopathy
More than 3 million French suffer from functional colopathy or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Women are more affected: they represent two to three patients out of four. And contrary to popular belief, " it's a real disease that generates six painful episodes on average per month "Says Prof. Jean-Marc Sabaté, gastroenterologist at Avicenne Hospital Bobigny and author of Irritable bowel, the reasons for anger (Larousse edition). The symptoms are mainly digestive. Patients suffer from sometimes violent intestinal spasms, bloating and flatulence, associated with transit disturbances: constipation, diarrhea or both. " It is considered an IBS if these chronic disorders have occurred at least one day per week in the last three months ", Says Professor Sabaté. A support is needed then.
A diet low in enzymes
" A single food is rarely incriminated as a factor triggering pain "Explains Professor Sabaté. But lactose intolerance or gluten hypersensitivity is common in patients with IBS (about 20%, compared to 3.8% in the general population). The ingestion of fermentable sugars (fructose, polyols, galactans ...) - the famous fodmaps - is also often involved: by amplifying the production of gas by the bacteria of the colon, they promote the appearance of symptoms. Drastically reducing their consumption is therefore wonderful for many patients. Foods not recommended for a diet low in fodmaps: milk, ice cream and fresh cheese (mozzarella, cottage cheese), wheat, barley, rye, apple, pear, peach, apricot, watermelon, mango, nuts and almonds, artichokes, asparagus, garlic, onions, barbecue sauce, tomato paste, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup and dietary foods containing sweeteners.
In practice : to test their impact on your digestive tract, exclude all fodmaps from your plate for 6 to 8 weeks. If there is persistent improvement, test by type of food, reintroducing them one by one every 48 hours, to determine which are the most irritating to your gut. Apps for smartphones can help you, like Monash University Fodmap Diet (€ 8.99) or Fodmap Diet Assistant (€ 1.09).
Irritable bowel syndrome: how to rebalance your intestinal flora?
" Several studies have shown a difference in composition between the faecal flora of IBS patients and that of healthy subjects ", Says Professor Sabaté. Some bacteria of the microbiota are in excess, like the firmicutes, others in insufficient number, like bacteroidetes. It is estimated that two-thirds of patients have a disrupted digestive flora, which induces an increase in intestinal permeability and micro-inflammation in the nerve endings that carry painful messages from the intestine to the brain. " To have one's microbiota analyzed is of no interest "Says the gastroenterologist. But taking specific probiotics can restore this imbalance. Their effectiveness is difficult to predict because it differs according to the bacterial strains, the quantity and the mode of administration (sachet, capsule ...). " There is no other way than to try oneself to know it ", Adds Professor Sabaté
In practice : Few probiotics have been studied extensively. Two of them seem to prove themselves against IBS: Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 (Biocodex laboratory) and ArkoBiotics Vivomixx (Arkopharma laboratory). Preserved cold, the latter is one of the most dosed on the market, with 450 billion bacteria guaranteed per dose, the equivalent of 45 yogurts. Independent studies have shown that it minimizes abdominal pain by 49% and intestinal distention by 42%.
The right dose: 1 or 2 sachets per day in the attack phase, then one sachet every other day during the maintenance phase. But if you do not see improvement after one month, you do not need to continue treatment.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Hypnosis Works!
This complementary medicine, capable of curbing stress and shorting painful messages, is one of the most effective treatments for irritable bowel syndrome. A new Dutch study, published in January 2019 in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, showed clear symptom relief in 40% of patients who received individual hypnotherapy for three months. This beneficial effect was maintained until nine months after the end of treatment. The improvement is even greater (75%) in patients whose disorders result from abdominal surgery that has damaged intestinal nerves.
In practice : when hypnosis sessions are not performed in a hospital pain clinic, they are not reimbursed by Social Security. Count 50 to 80 € the session. To find a hypnotherapist: French Confederation of Hypnosis and Brief Therapies, French Institute of Hypnosis or French Society of Hypnosis.
My homemade recipe: licorice to calm spasms
Recommended for its digestive properties, it reduces inflammation and intestinal spasms. It is also slightly laxative. Bring to a boil 1 tbsp. to c. of chopped root in 250 ml of water, turn off the heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Drink 2 cups / day, in cure of 2 weeks maximum.
IBS treatment: which medicines in case of crisis?
The most used treatments are the antispasmodic taking punctual during a painful or long-term access to avoid the occurrence of seizures. " Intestinal bandages are also prescribed for adsorbing gases that distend the intestine, especially for forms with dominant diarrhea ", Says Jean-Marc Sabaté. Antidepressants may also be used as second-line therapy to reduce hypersensitivity of the digestive tract at doses lower than those used for the treatment of depression. The effectiveness of all these drugs varies from patient to patient. More than half feel dissatisfied. Transit regulators can also be of great help. Against recalcitrant diarrhea: loperamide or colestyramine in case of malabsorption of bile salts. Against constipation: mild laxatives (Forlax, ispaghul ...). Talk to your doctor about the most appropriate dosage.
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