New Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
A new medication for adult patients with IBS-related diarrhea has recently been approved in Canada.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic gastrointestinal disorder. Symptoms vary from person to person, however a very common symptom is diarrhea. Depending on the severity, this symptom can be debilitating and significantly impact quality of life – it can make it very difficult for a person to manage their work and personal life.
Health Canada approved the new medication (VIBERZITM ) in May 2017. This medication has shown promising results in improving symptoms of diarrhea and abdominal pain.
However, it is best not to rely on medication alone. Diet and lifestyle factors are also very important in managing IBS.
Stress, anxiety and depression can be triggers for IBS-related diarrhea. It is important to find ways to manage these to help manage your IBS-related symptoms.
Those with IBS-related diarrhea should avoid foods that trigger the symptom. Although it differs from person to person, and different foods will bother different people, typical foods that trigger IBS-related diarrhea include fried foods, milk products, carbonated beverages, caffeine, sorbitol (an artificial sweetener) and alcohol. Consuming too much fibre can also trigger IBS-related diarrhea.
If you are not sure which foods are your trigger-foods, the low FODMAPs diet can help. FODMAP is an acronym for groups of poorly absorbed carbohydrates (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols). These carbohydrates tend to worsen IBS symptoms.
FODMAPs are found in many foods including fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, grains and dairy products, as well as sugar alcohols.
Most people will not be sensitive to all FODMAPs. The low FODMAP diet is a temporary diet designed to help identify which FODMAP group(s) you can and cannot tolerate. The diet is to be followed for 6 to 8 weeks until symptoms are improved; then foods are slowly re-introduced.