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How can irritable bowel syndrome be treated?

Q: I am a 27 years old boy having a peculiar stomach problem. I had outside food for 2-3 years till 6 months back. I had burning sensation, bloating and gas in my stomach (near the navel area and below) throughout the day. Endoscopy, ultrasound, stool examination and complete blood count were normal. The doctor said that it was hyperacidity and irritable bowel syndrome and gave me Sporolac and Pantocid. The burning sensation subsided but the problem of gas remained. The problem aggravates after lunch. The gas is odourless and it begins about half an hour after lunch. Also, I have to go to pass stools 2-3 times in the morning. Recently, I took a course of Norflox TZ for 7 days and after that the gas problem resolved. However, it has started again after 2-3 days and the need to go to pass the stools 2-3 times in the morning is still there. Now I eat 5-6 small meals a day and don’t leave my stomach empty. I have a hectic lifestyle and have to travel almost 2.5 hours a day for work in a bus. However, I am very active physically. I brisk walk for an hour and do exercise in the evening and do yoga / pranayama for an hour early in the morning. Also, I am a pure vegetarian and don’t take any spicy or oily food. I also eat a lot of fruits and start my day with muesli and milk in the morning. I eat very healthy food and avoid uncooked food completely. Please help.

A:I note that you have had endoscopies and scans for your digestive symptoms and no abnormality was found and you get some symptom relief from antacids. Your symptoms predominantly are due to irritable bowels and this strictly speaking is not a disease of the bowels but a disorder where the intestines and the colon do not contract in a normal and regular pattern, which tends to become varied and irregular. Sometimes there could be spasms, which can give rise to pain as well as irregularity in the bowel movements. Stress can bring it on and so can a lot of other factors. It is best to avoid food, which upsets you, and try and stick to high fibre diet and consult a gastro-entrologist for appropriate medication.

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