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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – A Comparison of Modern (Allopathic) and Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects many people and is quite debilitating, although mostly benign in nature. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, discomfort, cramps, bloating, and loose movements or constipation. Symptoms vary from person to person and therefore treatment can vary significantly between affected individuals. The diagnosis is usually made based on the symptoms and by ruling out all possible organic causes. Typically, most patients have a chronic history but do not present with symptoms of weight loss or other serious symptoms such as fever, rectal bleeding, or anemia. Stress and food allergies are considered important causal factors. This condition can usually be satisfactorily managed with diet and lifestyle changes.

Modern IBS management includes advice to avoid trigger factors, eat high-fiber foods, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. Treatment includes fiber supplements, laxatives, medication for diarrhea and abdominal pain, and antidepressants. Depending on the indication, other drugs are also used to reduce intestinal spasms, hypermotility, increased intestinal secretion, and antibiotics.

Ayurvedic herbal treatment also aims to treat the causal factors in a targeted manner. Herbal medicines used for irritable bowel syndrome strengthen the intestinal walls, aid in the digestion and absorption of food, reduce and normalize excessive intestinal movement, regulate intestinal secretions, and reduce allergies or sensitivity of the intestinal mucosa. Ayurvedic treatment is also performed to treat stress and anxiety which are known causative factors of IBS.

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Successful long-term management of IBS patients requires not only symptomatic treatment, but also medications to improve the body’s overall immune status and strengthen all body tissues, especially blood and muscle tissue. The ultimate treatment goal for IBS is to create a healthy mind along with a strong, healthy body. Modern treatment is usually required on a regular or intermittent basis for a long-term or even life-long period to satisfactorily control symptoms. In contrast, patients with chronic or severe irritable bowel syndrome improve dramatically after about six to eight months of Ayurvedic herbal treatment, and most of them can gradually learn to live near-normal lives without major medication, although diet and lifestyle changes are required could be. After a complete remission of symptoms, the dose and frequency of drugs can be gradually reduced and then tapered off completely.

Ayurvedic herbal treatment therefore plays a significant role in the successful treatment and management of irritable bowel syndrome.

Thanks to Abdulmubeen Mundewadi

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