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Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome Attacks With Wheat Bags And Heat Pads

Wheat bagWhat is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS for short, is not a disease; it is a functional disorder whereby the bowel has failed to function correctly. IBS affects the colon which forms part of your digestive tract that stores stool.   

The medical community has yet to uncover the specific causes of IBS but the nerves and muscles of the bowel system seem to become hyper-sensitive for those affected.  A little over-eating may cause the muscles to contract, causing cramping, pain and diarrhoea during or shortly after a meal.  Although IBS can be painful, it does not lead to any other health problems.  For some sufferers IBS can be disabling as they will be unable to work, attend social functions or make even short-distance travels.

The cause of irritable bowel syndrome is unknown which can make treatment problematic. The primary treatment for IBS is relief of symptoms and heat therapy is an effective way to ease the abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhoea and constipation associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

Prevalence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The estimated prevalence of IBS in the UK is 17% with prevalence among women being about 23% and among men about 11%.  This figure is thought to be low since the diagnosis of IBS is often difficult and it may take time and repeated flares before the diagnosis is determined. IBS is a chronic, recurring medical condition and there are no diagnostic tests for it at this time. The pain associated with IBS can be debilitating and there are few treatment options available.

What are the symptoms and cure?

IBS are normally accompanied by abdominal pain or heartburn or discomforts due to cramping, bloating, flatulence, haemorrhoid, diarrhoea and constipation.  These may also include whitish mucus in the stool, a bloated or swollen abdomen and the constant feeling of an unfinished bowel movement.  Additional symptoms may be headache, muscle and joint pain and chronic fatigue. Women suffering from IBS often experience the symptoms during their menstrual periods.  These symptoms may subside for a few months only to return subsequently.

At this time there is no specific treatment for IBS and symptoms are managed as they occur, usually with over the counter medications and heat therapy. Medications that treat diarrhoea and constipation may relieve some of the symptoms, but the abdominal pain is often the most difficult symptom to manage.

Treatments for IBS usually include medication, stress management and changes in eating as well as dietary habits.  Doctors will also probably include fibre supplements to alleviate the symptoms.  However, there is good news with several natural remedies or therapies that can work effectively to treat IBS.

Some of the Ways to treat IBS

Peppermint oil supplements which are usually bought over the counter at a local chemist or they can be prescribed. They work by reducing the gas and cramping, which is a major factor in IBS.

Probiotics taken on a daily basis can help to nurture the friendly bacteria in your gut and improve digestion.

Aloe Vera juice is available from health food stores and can be a great source of soothing and healing the digestive tract.

Diet and exercise can help, just by simply changing your diet and exercise regime you can experience an improvement in the symptoms of your IBS.

You may or may not have tried some of the above ways to treat your IBS. However, heat therapy can be used in conjunction with these methods, or as a standalone way to treat your irritable bowel syndrome.

Heat Therapy the Natural Way

One of the natural therapeutic therapies found to be effective in the relief of abdominal pain and easing spasms of the colon and providing IBS sufferers with a convenient home treatment is heat therapy. It can be carried out with the use of microwave wheat bags and heat pads or sometimes with steam baths and saunas.

Direct heat is tremendously effective to relax the muscle in the bowel system to alleviate most of the IBS symptoms. From a purely psychological point of view, heated wheat bags or heat pads can be very soothing providing immediate relief from pain when applied over cramped intestines. These heat packs are also great pre-emptive measures to stave off any attack prior to any upcoming stressful situations or events. The use of the heated wheat bags or heat pads is also particularly beneficial for women during their anticipation of menstrual cramps.

Heat therapyis effective for treating the general aches of muscles and joints which may occur with IBS, but unlike many other treatments it also provides fast relief for the severe abdominal pain caused by IBS. Intense heat applied to the lower abdomen can relax colon spasms. Since the heat relaxes the colon, it may also help to control the symptoms of diarrhoea and constipation. Microwavable heat pads or wheat bags can be used as quick and convenient heat therapy for IBS.

While there are a number of alternatives available on the market for heat therapy, the most common complaints are that they are difficult to apply the heat correctly. As such wheat bags have the advantage as they are flexible and contours the target area more effectively and efficiently. Moreover, they are quick and simple to be heated in a microwave to provide expedited relief.

Stress and IBS

There is some association between stress and IBS flares and heat therapy can help relieve stress and promote relaxation. By relaxing at the first sign of a flare, many people are able to reduce the severity of an attack or even stop the attack. Heat pads or wheat bags can be placed on the lower belly for the relief of abdominal pain or used on the neck and shoulders to promote relaxation. Unlike pain medications, heat therapy will not cause any digestive upset or adverse reactions.

Heat therapywith wheat bags and heat pads can be an inexpensive therapeutic alternative to treat IBS symptoms in the comfort of the home. Those who suffer from IBS should really try to experiment with heat therapy as recommended by doctors. Also try to apply heat therapy before you expect pain and not just when you are in pain. Changes in diet and relaxation exercises like yoga may also help in the management of symptoms. IBS affects a significant percentage of the population and research efforts to find the cause of the disease are still ongoing.