Archive for the 'irritable bowel syndrome' Category

The Colon And Irritable Bowel Syndrome

In order to understand the etiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) one needs to learn more about the functioning of the colon.

The colon (large intestine), a tube about 2.5 in. in diameter, forms the last 4 ft of the gastrointestinal tract. The cecum forms a blind-ended pouch below the junction of the small and large intestines. The appendix, a small fingerlike projection from the end of the cecum, has no known function. The colon is not coiled but consists of three relatively straight segments, the ascending, transverse, and descending portions. The terminal portion of the descending colon is S-shaped, forming the sigmoid colon, which empties into a short section of tubing, the rectum. Although the large intestine has a greater diameter than the small intestine and is about half as long, its epithelial surface area is only about 1/30 that of the small intestine because the mucosa of the large intestine lacks villi and is not convoluted. The large intestine secretes no digestive enzymes and is responsible for the absorption of only about 4 percent of the total intestinal contents per day. Its primary function is to store and concentrate fecal material prior to defecation.

Chyme enters the colon through the ileocecal sphincter separating the ileum from the colon. This sphincter is normally closed, but after a meal when the gastroileal reflex increases the contractile activity of the ileum, the sphincter relaxes each time the terminal portion! of the ileum contracts, allowing chyme to enter the large intestine. Distension of the colon, on the other hand, produces a reflexive contraction of the sphincter, preventing further material from entering.

About 500 ml of chyme from the small intestine enters the colon each day. Most of this material is derived frame the secretions of the small intestine, since most of the ingested food has been absorbed before reaching the large intestine. The secretions of the colon are very scanty and consist mostly of mucus.

The primary absorptive process in the large intestine is the active transport of sodium from the lumen to blood with the accompanying osmotic reabsorption of water. If fecal material remains in the large intestine for a long time, almost all the water is reabsorbed, leaving behind dry fecal pellets. The cells lining the large intestine are unable to actively transport either glucose or аmino acids. There is a small net leakage of potassium into the colon, and severe depletion of total body potassium can occur as a result of repeated enemas and diarrhea.

The large intestine also absorbs some of the products synthesized by the bacteria in it. For example, small amounts of vitamins are synthesized by intestinal bacteria and absorbed into the body. Although this source of vitamins generally provides only a small part of the normal vitamin requirement per day, it may make a significant contribution when dietary intake of vitamins is low. The intestinal bacteria digest cellulose and utilize the glucose released for their own growth and reproduction.

Other bacterial products contribute to the production of intestinal gas (flatus). This gas is a mixture of nitrogen and carbon dioxide with small amounts of the inflammable gases hydrogen, methane, and hydrogen sul-fide. Bacterial fermentation produces gas in the colon at the rate of about 400 to 700 ml/day. In the cow, where bacterial fermentation makes a major contribution to the digestive process, as much as 300 to 600 liters of flatus may be produced each day.

The longitudinal smooth muscle in the human colon is incomplete, and the walls of the large intestine are folded into sacs called haustra by the contraction of the circular smooth muscle. Contractions of the circular smooth muscle produce a segmentation motion which is not propulsive. This movement is considerably slower than in the small intestine, and a contraction may occur only once every 30 min. Because of this slow movement, material entering the colon from the small intestine remains for 18 to 24 hr. Bacteria have time to grow and accumulate in the large intestine because of its slow movements; in the small intestine they do not have sufficient time to accumulate before being swept into the large intestine. During sleep and most of the day there is generally little or no movement in the large intestine, but three to four times a day, generally after meals, a marked increase in motility occurs. This usually coincides with the gastroileal reflex, described earlier, and probably has similar reflex mechanisms. This increased motility may lead to the phenomenon known as mass movement, in which large segments of the ascending and transverse colon contract simultaneously, propelling fecal material one-third to three-fourths of the length of the colon in a few seconds.

Constipation, Diarrhea and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

There are several types of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The most common of them are constipation and diarrhea predominant types.

Constipation is usually the result of a diet low in fibre and high in processed foods. It can cause headaches, fatigue, bad breath and poor skin. Although many people go without passing a stool for several days, it really is best for your body to have a bowel movement at least once a day, so that toxins are not sitting around for too long. In peak bowel health, it takes about 8-12 hours for food to be fully digested, nutrients absorbed and for waste to be passed out.

Fibre-rich foods, such as raw fruit and vegetables, brown bread and wholegrains, can make an enormous difference to your regularity, but so too can juices, even though they do not contain much fibre. All fresh juices have an excellent cleansing effect on the gui and bowel and have a gentle laxative effect. The dark green juices, such as kale, spinach, and watercress can be particularly useful (they are rich in minerals and the В complex group of vitamins), as can the fruit juices pear, papaya, grape, and watermelon (which ali have a cleansing effect).

Food poisoning, stress and viruses can all cause diarrhea, which can also go hand in hand with uncomfortable stomach gripes. Anyone suffering from it should drink plenty of liquids, including some mild fresh juices, diluted with water. Varieties that can help settle a disturbed digestive system are apple, carrot and pineapple, best drunk on their own and diluted.

Diarrhea interspersed with constipation are the classic symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, which can be brought on by stress, as well as other causes. Mild, yet nutritious juices {containing В vitamins and vitamin C) may help settle the stomach and bring a little relief. It is best not to overwhelm the stomach with combination juices, and the juices should be diluted before drinking.

1 apple

4fl oz/115ml still water


1 pear

4fl oz/115ml still water


l 1/2 carrots

4fl oz/115ml still water


2 stalks celery

4fl oz/ll5ml still water

Each juice recipe makes approximately one 8fl oz/230ml glass of juice. Juice each ingredient then blend using a spoon. And have a good luck with your IBS.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Medications

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that can be characterized most often by diarrhea (loose stool) or constipation, cramping, bloating, and abdominal pain. Irritable bowel syndrome leads to a lot of discomfort and suffering, but it does not constantly damage the bowels and does not cause a dangerous or mortal disease (such as cancer). The majority of IBS patients can cope with their symptoms by resorting to dieting, stress management, and prescribed medicaments. For other patients, however, irritable bowel syndrome can be distressing and disabling. In other words these people can’t work, attend social events, or even change their location or travel for short distances.

Unfortunately, a great deal of patients suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) for many months or years before taking any medical treatment. More than seventy percent of patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome are not having proper medical care for their IBS symptoms. No absolute remedy has been discovered for irritable bowel syndrome, but there are many alternatives to treat symptoms of IBS. Since there many different patterns of irritable bowel syndrome, consult your physician and he will give you the most appropriate treatment for your specific symptoms, encourage you and suggests how your diet should be changed.

A preparation that was developed especially to treat irritable bowel syndrome is Lotronex (alosetron hydrochloride). It has been reapproved with large limitations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for women with severe irritable bowel syndrome who have not made any progress with conventional treatment and whose basic irritable bowel syndrome symptom is looseness of the bowels or diarrhea. Nonetheless, even in these women, Lotronex should be used with great care and caution as it can have dangerous side action such as severe constipation or reduced bloodstream to the large intestine.

Drugs are an important part of relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Your health care provider can advise you to use fibre supplements or purgatives for constipation or medications to ease loose stool or diarrhea, such as Imodium. An antispasmodic preparation is commonly prescribed, which aids to control alleviate bowel muscle spasms and smooth abdominal pain. Antidepressant drugs may also ease some IBS symptoms. Nonetheless, both antispasmodics and antidepressants can aggravate constipation, so some physicians also prescribe medicaments that make muscles in the bladder and bowels relax (such as Librax or Donnapine). These drugs have a mild sedative that can be addictive, so they should to be taken only under the control of your doctor.

With any medical preparation, even nonprescription drugs such as purgatives (laxatives) and fiber additives, it is necessary to keep up to your physician’s recommendations. Some patients complain of a worsening in abdominal bloating and gas. Moreover, purgatives can be addictive if they are used too often.

Drugs influence people variously, and no drug or combination of drugs will be effective for everybody with irritable bowel syndrome. You should talk with your health care provider to find the best combination of medication, dieting, counselling, and supporting to control your symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.