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How can chronic irritable bowel syndrome be treated?

Q: I am a 28 years old male suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for over the last seven years. The condition has worsened during the last four years. I am also suffering from haemorrhoids due to severe constipation and diarrhoea. I have undergone so many tests like endoscope, gastroscopic and abdominal X ray several times both in India and abroad but the results are normal. Although I drink plenty of water and do not have alcohol, my condition is not improving. Kindly let me know how can I take up behavioural therapy and is there any other way to cure this problem as it's really troubling me.

A:IBS, is one of the greatest therapeutic challenges gastroenterlogy, as a speciality, has ever has had to face. The problem basically is altered intestinal contractions which change the bowel habit to either diarrhoea or constipation and most commonly a mixture of both. Various researches have not come forth with a definite therapeutic answer. So the treatment continues to be one to relieve the symptom/s i.e., diarrhoea or constipation or pain. Unfortunately, many patients become depressed and a small dose of anti-depressant can help.

Allergy, post-hysterectomy in young ladies and previous bowel infections have all been considered and may be a factor in many. So, in short what one is able to do is to have full investigations for infective, inflammatory and neoplastic bowel conditions and exclude them and once this is done get treated symptomatically. There is a continued need to be under the supervision of a gastro-enterologist. I am unable to comment on alternative medicine.

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