Emergency IBS Treatment for FAST relief of IBS SYMPTOMS, PROLAPSE & Pelvic Floor Problems (Video)

Emergency irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) treatment for fast relief from IBS symptoms, prolapse and pelvic floor problems with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway.

IBS Treatment for IBS Symptoms Video

IBS treatment for relieving IBS symptoms including bloating, constipation and diarrhoea along with pelvic floor problems:

  • Pelvic organ prolapse (bladder, vaginal and bowel prolapse)
  • After prolapse surgery
  • Bladder or bowel urgency and/or incontinence
  • Anorectal problems including hemorrhoids, anal fissure or rectal prolapse
  • Pelvic pain and pelvic muscle spasm

Prolapse Exercises e-Book

Prolapse Exercises Book

Complete prolapse exercise guide for women with prolapse and after prolapse surgery.

Prolapse Exercises teaches you how to:

  • Exercise safely after prolapse surgery
  • Reduce your risk or repeat prolapse
  • Avoid unsafe exercises
  • Choose pelvic floor safe exercises
  • Reduce your risk of prolapse worsening
  • Improve prolapse support
  • Increase your strength and fitness
  • Strengthen your core
  • Lose weight

Typical IBS Symptoms

IBS symptoms include:

  • Bloating with increased gas and fluid in the belly
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Constipation with hard lumpy stool (Type 1-2 Bristol stool chart shown below)
  • Diarrhoea (Type 6-7 Bristol stool chart)
  • Straining with bowel emptying
Bristol Stool Chart

IBS symptoms often worsen as the day progresses. Symptoms with IBS can come and go intermittently or alternatively they may occur daily.

Always consult your doctor if you have a change in your bowel habits or other signs or symptoms of IBS rather than self diagnosing irritable bowel syndrome.

IBS Bloating Symptoms

IBS bloating is caused by increased gas and fluid in the bowel.

Cause of IBS Bloating

IBS Bloating occurs when sugars in some foods (FODMAPS) are not well absorbed as they travel through the bowel. 

  • When sugars aren’t well digested as they pass through the bowel, they can draw extra water into the bowel causing bloating (and gurgling noises in the belly). 
  • The gut microbiome (gut bugs shown below) survive by living off the food and drink you consume. These bugs release gas as they ferment wastes creating gas and bloating. Bloating with gas and fluid can cause abdominal pain and cramping. As the belly expands with gas and fluid, this also increases pressure on the pelvic floor.
  • Foods rich in carbohydrates, as well as fatty food, coffee, alcohol and hot spices have been most frequently reported to cause symptoms. Initial IBS treatment involves eliminating foods with specific sugars (FODMAPS) and other bowel irritants.
IBS symptoms causes

IBS, Prolapse and Pelvic Floor Problems

IBS can exacerbate pre-existing pelvic floor problems including:

  • Worsening pelvic organ prolapse symptoms such as bulging and heaviness towards the end of the day
  • Increased bladder and/or bowel leakage (incontinence)
  • Pelvic pain with pre-existing pelvic floor muscle spasm
  • Increased risk of rectal/anal problems including hemorrhoids, anal fissure or rectal prolapse
  • Postoperative abdominal pain after prolapse surgery or hysterectomy

IBS Bloating Worsens Pelvic Floor Symptoms

IBS bloating can have 2 major effects on the pelvic floor:

  • Increased pressure downwards
  • Reduced ability to withstand pressure

As the bowel expands like a balloon, the weight and volume increase downward pressure on the pelvic organs including the bladder, bowel, uterus and rectum. This increase in load can exacerbate prolapse symptoms.

The effect is worsened when repeatedly passing gas or straining to pass gas. As a result, the pelvic floor muscles may not work as they should to support your insides (pelvic organs) and withstand downward pressure. Repeatedly passing gas with IBS can also worsen prolapse symptoms.

IBS Treatment for IBS Bloating Symptoms

IBS treatment

IBS treatment for IBS bloating includes:

  • Low FODMAP diet is a key IBS treatment strategy that reduces the intake of specific sugars most likely to cause IBS symptoms
  • Apply warm packs through the course of the day to the lower abdomen
  • Relaxation techniques including warm baths to reduce stress and slow the nervous system
  • Over the counter medications including Buscopan or Mintec to relieve gas pain (discuss with your pharmacist first)
  • Herbal remedies for IBS bloating include Iberogast or peppermint oil. Peppermint oil should be consumed in enterically coated tablet form to ensure that it passes through the stomach undigested to reduce the risk of gastric upset.
  • Warm drinks throughout the day to stimulate bowel movement.
  • Gentle exercise including walking, gas relieving exercises and abdominal massage to relieve gas pain.
  • Leaning forwards or kneeling positions to relieve gas.
  • Avoid straining to pass gas.
  • Gentle Kegels (pelvic floor exercises) especially after passing gas with prolapse and incontinence problems (but not with pelvic pain).

2. IBS Constipation and Diarrhoea Symptoms

IBS food and stress triggers can affect the movement of wastes through the bowel. The sugars in some foods and/or stress triggers can slow down or speed up bowel movements causing constipation, diarrhea or both symptoms to coexist.

IBS Constipation and/or Diarrhoea, Prolapse and Pelvic Floor Problems

IBS constipation and diarrhoea can contribute to pelvic floor problems in 2 key ways:

1. Straining with Bowel Emptying

Straining with constipation or diarrhoea can cause or contribute to worsening prolapse and pelvic floor problems.

Bearing down and straining with constipation or diarrhoea can stretch the pelvic floor muscles and supporting tissues. Straining can also cause ano-rectal conditions including hemorrhoids and anal fissure.

2. Increased Load on Pelvic Organs

When constipated, the bowel contains increased undigested food and wastes. The weight of undigested food and waste increases the load and downward pressure on the pelvic organs which can worsen prolapse symptoms, bladder and bowel problems.

Constipation can also increase gas and bloating, thereby loading the pelvic floor.

IBS Treatment for IBS Constipation

IBS Constipation treatment

IBS treatment for IBS constipation includes:

  • Adopting a low FODMAP diet
  • Never straining with bowel emptying
  • Using the correct bowel emptying position and technique
  • Always emptying the bowel when you feel the first urge, don’t wait
  • Gentle exercise and regular movement promotes bowel movement for constipation
  • Abdominal massage can be used to treat IBS constipation
  • Drinking warm fluids throughout the day
  • Avoiding increasing fibre while constipated as this can worsen constipation. Gradually reintroduce fibre when the bowel has been cleared.
  • Reducing the intake of fatty foods which may slow gastric motility
  • Using laxatives for IBS treatment with constipation. Speak with your doctor about using osmotic laxatives containing polyethylene glycol for example Miralax, Movicol, Osmolax
  • Suppositories can be used to treat constipation when the stool is too hard to shift
  • Performing regular Kegel exercises including after bowel movements.

IBS Treatment for IBS Diarrhoea

IBS treatment for IBS diarrhea includes:

  • Adopting a low FODMAP diet
  • Eating FODMAP friendly foods that firm the stool including white rice, sourdough bread, white potato and hard cheese
  • Avoiding fatty foods because these have been associated with diarrhoea
  • Reducing the intake of insoluble fibre intake until diarrhea settles including the skins on fruit and vegetables, multigrain products and seeds
  • Never straining to empty the bowel with diarrhea
  • Using the correct bowel emptying position and technique
  • Performing regular Kegel exercises including after bowel movements
  • Speaking with your doctor about appropriate medication to slow bowel movements for example Immodium.

References

Simrén M, Månsson A, Langkilde AM, Svedlund J, Abrahamsson H, Bengtsson U, Björnsson ES. Food-related gastrointestinal symptoms in the irritable bowel syndrome. Digestion. 2001;63(2):108-15. doi: 10.1159/000051878. PMID: 11244249.

Monash University IBS Central website https://www.monashfodmap.com/ibs-central/

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