6 Tips for Outsmarting IBS

Talk with your doctor about medications.
The first line of treatment for IBS is typically diet and lifestyle changes. But if you can’t get your symptoms under control, and if the pain and other symptoms are affecting your life, ask your doctor about medications that have been approved for IBS. There are a variety of possible medications, including antispasmodics, antidiarrheals, and antidepressants. Yes, antidepressants — because they seem to modulate intestinal pain and regulate gut function. Many antidepressants regulate the neurotransmitter serotonin and — surprisingly — 95 percent of serotonin is found in your gut, where it helps maintain smooth, regular contractions of the intestines. Some scientists believe that in people with IBS, the intestines aren’t getting enough serotonin. More research needs to be done before antidepressants are a first-line treatment, but if you’ve tried everything else, you may want to discuss this possibility with your physician.