Defeating IBS: Medication vs Diet

The topic of medication vs diet to control IBS can be quite a debatable one. People are different, our bodies are different, we have different opinions and ways of coping. Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of both.

Medications aren't always the answer

Medication is always an option, but how many of us have truly had luck with any of them?

There are many types of IBS medications including antidiarrheals, antibiotics, probiotics, antidepressants, and antispasmodics. Although the goal is to improve all of our symptoms, medications do not always do that. We may still experience gas, bloating, and overall gut-discomfort.

Medication pros

  • They can give much needed temporary relief
  • There are affordable over-the-counter medications available
  • Could possibly be the answer someone needs to cure their symptoms

Medication cons

  • Prescription medications may not be insurance-approved or affordable
  • Could possibly mask the underlying cause of someone's IBS (it doesn't eliminate the trigger)
  • Side effects, side effects, side effects!

Diet changes

It’s always best to discuss different diets with your healthcare provider. Often times, a high-fiber diet is prescribed for one with constipation. If you have IBS-D, you might want to avoid fried, fatty foods as well as caffeinated beverages. One of the most common, and proven efficient, diet is called the low FODMAP diet. I have personally implemented this diet with assistance of a dietician and had great results! 

Diet pros

  • Gain a healthier lifestyle
  • Eliminating certain foods can help identify triggers and reduce flare ups
  • Prevents us from relying on medications to improve symptoms
  • There are dietitians to help with this! Highly recommended!

Diet cons

  • Eating “healthy” isn’t always affordable or convenient

I’m sure we can all come up with much more!

What works for one person, may not work for another. There may be many of you that are totally lost at where to begin in your fight against IBS. That’s why I think it is so important to share our stories, what works for us and what doesn’t, and support each other!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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