Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common, non-serious, but troublesome condition affecting the intestines and bowel. It is characterised by a number of uncomfortable symptoms including bloating, cramping, heartburn, diarrhoea, and constipation.

IBS is a complex condition for which there is no known cause. The condition is more likely to occur at times of stress: it may be associated with anxiety and occasionally it may be triggered by a bowel infection. Inadequate dietary fibre may also be of importance. It is possible that certain foods can irritate the bowel, but this is difficult to prove. Some sufferers pinpoint dairy products, caffeine and alcohol as triggers. Sufferers are recommended to keep a food diary in order to help pinpoint the type of food that results in onset of IBS.
There is no set medicine recommended for IBS as it depends on the symptoms being presented by the patient. Medication is usually recommended by patients troubled by diarrhoea, constipation and cramping.

Peppermint oil: This works as a smooth muscle relaxant to help control the motility of the gut, thus easing pain and cramping.

Mebeverine: This ingredient has an effect on the smooth muscle of the gut wall and can relieve the symptoms of pain and cramping. It is found in combination with the bulk laxative, isphagula.

Loperamide: Is used to treat diarrhoea when present.

Bulking agents: such as isphagula are recommended to help regulate bowel motion. Fluid intake should be increased with these products.

Osmotic Laxatives: Lactulose is beneficial in the relief of constipation.

Simethicone: This anti-flatulence agent may reduce the bloated feeling associated with trapped wind in IBS.
Visit your pharmacist or doctor:
  • If the patient is suffering frequent attacks of severe abdominal pain.
  • If the patient has a sudden change in bowel habit.
  • If the stools are dark or contain blood.
  • If the patient is losing weight.
  • If the patient is vomiting.
Helpful Tips from Mulligans Pharmacy:
  • At Mulligans Pharmacy, we understand that our customers may need treatment for symptoms of a personal or sensitive nature. Our pharmacists are always available for a discreet chat in our private consultation room at your request, or you can ask a Mulligans Pharmacist a question in confidence here.
  • Patients who suffer from constipation associated with their IBS should increase their fibre intake e.g. whole grain bread, cereals, beans, fruit and vegetables.
  • Patients are recommended to keep a diary of the foods that seem to trigger symptoms and eliminate them one by one to see if it helps ease the symptoms.
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The information provided is intended solely as a guide. Please seek the advice of your pharmacist to determine whether a particular service, medication, or treatment programme will be of value to you. Always check the dosage directions carefully on all medicines. Never combine medicines without consulting your doctor or pharmacist. All health facts and information contained herein should not be a substitute for medical advice. The use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions.
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