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Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder that affects the large intestine (colon).
Spastic colon is another term for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), The term “spastic” describes spasms of muscles in the small and large intestines. But this term spastic colon isn’t always accurate, because IBS may also be associated with decreased motility/movement of the intestine.
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome vary from person to person. The most common symptoms are:
Abdominal pain or cramping
Feeling bloated
Gas
Diarrhea or constipation — sometimes in alternating bouts.
Mucus in the stool
For most people, IBS is a chronic condition. The symptoms might get better or worse or even disappear completely over time.
But there are symptoms that may indicate a more serious condition, such as:
Rectal bleeding
Abdominal pain that progresses or occurs at night
Weight loss
Diarrhea and constipation can aggravate hemorrhoids. Also, when you avoid certain foods, you may not get enough of the nutrients your body needs.
IBS may negatively affect your quality of life, leading to discouragement or depression.
Diagnosis
Because there are usually no physical signs to definitively diagnose IBS, your doctor will diagnose it by ruling out other conditions.
If you don’t respond to that treatment, you’ll likely require more tests. So, be ready for a lengthy process of diagnostic tests sometimes, like: Imaging tests:
and Laboratory tests:
Treatments and drugs
Because it’s not clear what causes irritable bowel syndrome, treatment focuses on the relief of symptoms so that you can live as normally as possible.
In most cases, you can successfully control mild problems of irritable bowel syndrome by learning to manage stress and making changes in your diet and lifestyle. If your problems are moderate or severe, you may need more than lifestyle changes. Your doctor may suggest medications.
Dietary changes:
Eliminating high-gas foods. items as carbonated beverages, vegetables — especially cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower — and raw fruits, should be avoided.
Eliminating gluten. Research shows that some people with IBS report improvement in diarrhea symptoms if they stop eating gluten (wheat, barley and rye).
Eliminating FODMAPs. Some people are sensitive to types of carbohydrates found in certain grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy products. You may be able to get relief from your IBS symptoms on a strict low FODMAP diet and then reintroduce foods one at time. Talk to your dietitian about it.

Fiber supplements.
Anti-diarrheal medications.
Anticholinergic and antispasmodic medications.
Antidepressants.
Antibiotics.
&
Counseling.
Lifestyle and home remedies
In many cases, simple changes in your diet and lifestyle can provide relief from irritable bowel syndrome. Although your body may not respond immediately to these changes, your goal is to find long-term, not temporary, solutions:
1- Chew very well on your food. Take the time to chew your food into smaller and smaller pieces until it’s essentially a liquid before swallowing. The interaction that your saliva has with your food is very important for the digestion process. It will make
2- Experiment with fiber. Although it helps reduce constipation, it can also make gas and cramping worse.So, the best approach is to slowly increase the amount of fiber in your diet over a period of weeks. Foods that contain fiber are whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans.
3- Avoid problem foods. Keep a food diary, find out what upsets your colon, and eliminate it from your diet. If certain foods make your signs and symptoms worse, don’t eat them. These may include alcohol, chocolate, caffeinated beverages such as coffee and sodas, medications that contain caffeine, dairy products, red meat, and sugar-free sweeteners such as sorbitol or mannitol.
If gas is a problem for you, foods that might make symptoms worse include beans, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Fatty foods also may be a problem for some people. Chewing gum or drinking through a straw can lead to swallowing air, causing more gas.
Take care with dairy products. If you’re lactose intolerant, try substituting yogurt for milk. Or use an enzyme product to help break down lactose. Consuming small amounts of milk products or combining them with other foods also may help. In some cases, though, you may need to stop eating dairy foods completely. In this case, make sure to get enough protein, calcium and B vitamins from other sources.
Herbs. Fresh Peppermint and peppermint may provide short-term relief of IBS symptoms.
Probiotics. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that normally live in your intestines and are found in certain foods, such as yogurt, and in dietary supplements. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, you may not have enough good bacteria. Adding probiotics to your diet may help ease your symptoms.
Drink plenty of fluids every day. Water is best. Alcohol and beverages that contain caffeine stimulate your intestines and can make diarrhea worse, and carbonated drinks can produce gas. So, water and herba teas are your best options.

4- Eat at regular times. Don’t skip meals. If you have diarrhea, eating small, frequent meals makes you feel better. But if you’re constipated, eating larger amounts of high-fiber foods may help move food through your intestines.
5- Exercise regularly. Exercise helps relieve depression and stress, stimulates normal contractions of your intestines, and can help you feel better about yourself. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have a medical problem.
6- Use anti-diarrheal medications and laxatives with caution. In the long run, these medications can cause problems if you don’t use them correctly. So, always check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medications, and read the patient information leaflet. You will find it packed with your medicine.
Always remember that a healthy lifestyle is the key factor to overcome IBS. All the best.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
There are many of options for psychotherapy, with different treatment approaches working best for different conditions.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage several psychological problems by changing the way you think and behave.
CBT will not remove your problems, but it can help you deal with them in a more positive way.
The concept of CBT is that your thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and behavior are all interconnected. Negative thoughts cause negative feelings can can lead to negative actions, and that can trap you in a vicious cycle.
In CBT, problems are broken down into five main areas:
-situations
-thoughts
-emotions
-physical feelings
-actions
Then showing you how to change these negative patterns to improve your feelings and and actions.
Unlike some other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current problems, and will not focus on your past. It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.
CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a number of different mental health conditions: for example depression or anxiety disorders, OCD, panic disorde, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias, eating disorders, sleep problems, problems related to alcohol misuse. CBT is sometimes used to treat people with long-term health conditions, such as chronic

What happens during CBT sessions?
You will usually have a session with a therapist once a week or once every two weeks. The course of treatment will take an average of 10 sessions, with each session lasting 30-60 minutes.
During the sessions, you will work with your therapist to break down your problems into their separate parts – such as your thoughts, physical feelings and actions.
You and your therapist will analyse these areas to work out if they are unrealistic or unhelpful and to determine the effect they have on each other and on you. Your therapist will then be able to help you work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.
Common CBT interventions include:
– Setting realistic goals and learning how to solve problems learning how to manage stress and anxiety
– Identifying situations that are often avoided and gradually approaching feared situations
– Identifying and engaging in enjoyable activities
– Identifying and challenging negative thoughts
– Learning to become aware of feelings, thoughts
The eventual aim of therapy is to teach you to apply the skills you have learnt during treatment to your daily life. This should help you manage your problems and stop them having a negative impact on your life – even after your course of treatment finishes.
Types of CBT
CBT can be carried out in several different forms, including:
– Individual therapy – one-to-one sessions with a therapist
– Group therapy – with others who wish to tackle a similar problem
– A self-help book – where you carry out exercises from the book
– Acomputer program – known as computerised CBT (CCBT)

If applied correctly, CBT can change your life.

Best of luck

Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in the base of your neck. It releases hormones that control metabolism—the way your body uses energy.
Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs to affect many different processes, including
Growth and development
Metabolism – how your body gets energy from the foods you eat
Sexual function
Reproduction
Mood
The thyroid’s hormones regulate vital body functions, including:
Breathing
Heart rate
Central and peripheral nervous systems
Body weight
Muscle strength
Menstrual cycles
Body temperature
Cholesterol levels
and more
The thyroid gland is about 5 cm long and lies in front of your throat below the prominence of thyroid cartilage sometimes called the Adam’s apple. The thyroid has two sides called lobes that lie on either side of your windpipe, and is usually connected by a strip of thyroid tissue known as an isthmus. Some people do not have an isthmus, and instead have two separate thyroid lobes.
How the Thyroid Gland Works
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, which is made up of glands that produce, store, and release hormones into the bloodstream so the hormones can reach the body’s cells. The thyroid gland uses iodine from the foods you eat to make two main hormones:
Triiodothyronine (T3)
Thyroxine (T4)
It is important that T3 and T4 levels are neither too high nor too low. Two glands in the brain—the hypothalamus and the pituitary communicate to maintain T3 and T4 balance.
The hypothalamus produces TSH Releasing Hormone (TRH) that signals the pituitary to tell the thyroid gland to produce more or less of T3 and T4 by either increasing or decreasing the release of a hormone called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).
When T3 and T4 levels are low in the blood, the pituitary gland releases more TSH to tell the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormones.
If T3 and T4 levels are high, the pituitary gland releases less TSH to the thyroid gland to slow production of these hormones.

Why do we Need a Thyroid Gland
T3 and T4 regulate your heart rate and how fast your intestines process food. So if T3 and T4 levels are low, your heart rate may be slower than normal, and you may have constipation/weight gain. If T3 and T4 levels are high, you may have a rapid heart rate and diarrhea/weight loss.
If too much T3 and T4 in your body (hyperthyroidism):
Anxiety
Irritability or moodiness
Nervousness, hyperactivity
Sweating or sensitivity to high temperatures
Hand trembling (shaking)
Hair loss
Missed or light menstrual periods
Some people might experience exopthalmus;
If too little T3 and T4 in your body (hypothyroidism):
Trouble sleeping
Tiredness and fatigue
Difficulty concentrating
Dry skin and hair
Depression
Sensitivity to cold temperature
Frequent, heavy periods
Joint and muscle pain
Call your doctor immediately if you’re suffering from any symptoms of the mentioned above. All the best