Lomentum has been specifically designed for nutritional support purposes; ensuring that lacking dietary needs are met. The ingredients found in lomentum may act to decrease digestive problems and alleviate general IBS symptoms, while promoting the overall health of the gastrointestinal tract.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Defined:
Technically, IBS is a syndrome rather than disease, due to the fact that it exists as a group of symptoms rather than just one major influence. The top scientists in the world classify this condition as a diffuse (spread about the GI tract) process. However, the standard and most accepted definition of IBS remains within the arena of functional bowel disorders. IBS is characterized by abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, and abnormal contractions of intestinal muscles; being either faster or slower than normal.
There are two forms of IBS:
Spastic colon is marked by post-meal diarrhea, constipation, or both, as well as pain.
Painless diarrhea IBS involves the abrupt onset of diarrhea either during or after eating. It may also occur immediately upon waking.
What Causes IBS?
Despite advancements in research, the underlying cause of Irritable Bowel remains unknown. IBS prevalence in Western societies has lead many scientists to speculate that certain environmental, dietary, and cultural factors may be to blame. Yet others look to psychological causes, such as stress, as the primary mechanism for IBS. In addition, research has indicated that socially stressful situations may indeed play a role in the symptom incidence. However, stress's link to Irritable Bowel's underlying cause remains undefined. IBS has even been shown to occur after episodes of enteritis. Although all of these theories are promising, again, no clear cause has been established.
Diagnosis, Signs and Symptoms of IBS:
Today, your family physician can receive a definitive diagnosis by assessing one's symptoms and excluding other medical conditions that may have similar clinical presentations. Diagnostic criteria has been refined (i.e. Manning and Rome II Diagnostic Criteria) on the basis of disease presentation, personal history, physical exam, and specific tests; all procedures that result in a high (95%) success of outcome/diagnosis.
Symptoms resulting from IBS vary from individual to individual, and can include:
Upper GI disturbance and Heartburn (25% to 50% of patients)
Early feeling of fullness (satiety)
Abdominal fullness and bloating
Intermittent upper abdominal discomfort or pain (dyspepsia)
Feelings of urgency, and a feeling of "incomplete" emptying of the bowels may also be experienced
Other non-gastrointestinal symptoms reported by IBS sufferers include; fatigue, muscle pain, sleep disturbances, and sexual dysfunction. However, the consensus among physicians is that these symptoms may be due to the coexistence, or overlap, of IBS with another condition (e.g. fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or interstitial cystitis). Lower back pains or headache may also occur and are thought to be correlated with the severity of the IBS. Additionally, some symptoms may seem contradictory to patients, such as alternating diarrhea and constipation.
Lastly, a "deregulation" between the brain, the gut, and the central nervous system (usually caused by stress) causes the bowel to become irritated, or overly sensitive to external stimuli. Irritation has also been shown to occur as a result of normal life events.
Standard Treatments for IBS:
A study conducted in early, 2006, sought to identify patient perceptions regarding IBS, and the major concerns for treatment options that currently exist. The survey discovered that diet (i.e. learning what foods to avoid) accounted for some 60% of concerns garnered from the questionnaire. Medication concerned 58% of patients, coping strategies were next at 56%, followed by the psychological factors of IBS at 55%. These findings prove useful because of the varying, and often contradictory symptoms that arise from this condition.
Diet: Changes in dietary standards for IBS sufferers remains a standard in conventional treatments aimed at lessening disorder symptoms. The elimination of certain foods can reduce the over-reaction and gastrocolic response of those with IBS, as some food sources appear to aggravate the symptoms and discomfort associated with the condition. Food to be avoided include; red meat, dairy products, fatty and fried foods, coffee, alcohol, carbonated beverages, solid chocolate, and artificial sweeteners. In addition the inclusion of soluble fiber, substitution of soy or rice products for dairy, and being cautious when consuming insoluble fiber sources and fresh fruits and vegetables, are all methods that lessen the potential disruption of the gastrointestinal tract in persons with IBS.
Medications: Numerous medications have proven useful in symptom management and symptoms reduction. The administration of stool softeners and laxatives has been successful in constipation-related IBS, while antidiarrheal medications seem to help those suffering from diarrhea-predominant IBS. As well, antispasmodic drugs (e.g. hyoscine) may also benefit some IBS patients. Low-dosage tricyclic and SSRI anti depressants are also commonly employed as a means to relieve symptoms of visceral pain, sensitivity, diarrhea, and constipation.
Cognitive Therapy: Hypnotherapy or self-hypnosis is one of the newer and most promising areas of current IBS treatment. Some research has concluded that such therapy can result in the reduction or even elimination of IBS symptoms for years after therapy completion. Because of the possible brain-gut component in IBS, cognitive therapy may improve symptoms in a large number of IBS patients. However, more investigational research is necessary to substantiate the findings of preliminary trials.