Q: I am suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for the last 25 years. I have been taking several medications but none seem to have a lasting effect. Is there any solution in Ayurveda?

A: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. IBS commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhoea and constipation. Pain associated with IBS get relieved by bowel movements.

In simple terms, what happens in IBS is this: The walls of the intestines contract and relax in a coordinated rhythm as they move food from stomach to rectum. In IBS patients, the contractions may be stronger and last longer which force food through your intestines more quickly, causing gas, bloating and diarrhoea. In some cases, food passage slows, and stools become hard and dry.

According to Ayurveda, IBS falls under the category of a certain disease called Grahani, which is disturbed functions of the bowels and intestines.

Treatment tips:

• The treatment of IBS varies from type to type. Deepana (carminative) and Pachana (Digestive) drugs would be helpful in some cases. Try drinking water boiled with coriander seeds and dried ginger; you may prepare 1 litre of water boiled with 2 teaspoons coriander seeds and 1 teaspoon dried ginger.

• Dried powder of pomegranate or ground curry leaves mixed with honey may be taken if it is a diarrhoea predominant IBS.

• In many cases, you can control IBS by managing your diet, lifestyle and stress. A doctor will be available to offer guidelines.

• Dietary fibre can have mixed results. Although it helps reduce constipation, it can worsen gas and cramping.

• Avoid alcohol, chocolate, caffeinated beverages such as coffee and sodas, and sugar-free sweeteners.

• Have pomegranate. Include ginger, fenugreek in your cooking.

• Avoid fatty or greasy foods; drink plenty of water each day; eat small meals more frequently.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based award-winning Ayurveda practitioner. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.

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