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IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)

IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a functional disorder of the gastrointestinal system. IBS is also known as septic colon or nervous stomach. IBS includes a group of symptoms. IBS causes great discomfort to the patient and can also interfere with the daily living of the patient. As a result, the person might feel distressed at some point. In this article, there is an explanation about causes, symptoms, management, lifestyle changes and Ayurvedic perspective of IBS or irritable syndrome. In Ayurveda, a condition called as grahani roga had been mentioned. This condition can be correlated with modern day IBS or irritable bowel syndrome.

Symptoms of IBS or Irritable bowel syndrome:

The frequent symptoms faced by a patient suffering from IBS are as follows. However, the pattern may change from one person to another person.

  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Sometimes diarrhea sometimes constipation
  • Abdominal discomforts like abdominal pain or cramps
  • Bloating or abdominal distension
  • Mucus or foam in stool can be present
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss can also occur due to IBS

Causes of IBS or Irritable bowel syndrome:

The exact cause of IBS is still not known, but there are many theories behind it. According to one theory the onset of IBS is a disorder of the interaction between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract.According to other theory, over sensitive nerves in the intestine, intestinal muscle disorders and inflammations of the intestinal wall are believed to all play a role. The other factors which contribute towards IBS are as follows:

  • IBS can occur after a severe infection in gastrointestinal system, especially if it has been accompanied with fever and severe diarrhoea.
  • It also has a genetic role which means if someone’s parents had IBS then there are increased chances of IBS in children.
  • Psychological stress can also lead to the problem of IBS.
  • Poor eating habits can also be responsible for the problem of IBS.
  • Food intolerances can also trigger the problem of IBS.
  • Irrational use of antibiotics may also lead to the problem of IBS.

How to diagnose IBS:

BS or irritable bowel syndrome is diagnosed by a qualified practitioner after clinical examination on basis of signs and symptoms present, medical history and family history. However sometimes the physician may advise some investigations to rule out some underlying issue.

The ayurvedic perspective of IBS:

In Ayurvedic textbooks, there is a disease mentioned named as grahani roga. On the basis of clinical presentation, grahani roga can be associated with IBS. Grahani is the name of an organ which is the seat of the digestive fire. After ingestion food also comes here and digestion process goes on. According to renowned Ayurvedic textbook Charak Samhita, the main cause behind the problem of grahani roga is poor digestive fire. Due to poor digestive fire the person passes stool which is sometimes digested or sometimes undigested. This condition is called as grahani roga.

Signs and symptoms of grahani roga:

  • The patient of grahani roga sometimes passes thin stool, sometimes hard stool and sometimes passes only liquid.
  • The patient of grahani roga also suffers from associated problems like thirst, tastelessness, bad taste in mouth, excessive salivation from mouth and sometimes asthma.
  • There may be swelling in his hands and feet.
  • Pain in bones and joints.
  • Nausea and vomiting can also be present.
  • Burping and water brash also present which may have sour, pungent and metallic taste.

Management of IBS:

  • There is no particular treatment for IBS. Lifestyle management along with dietary changes are very important while managing IBS.
  • The management of IBS depends upon the symptoms present in the patient.
  • If someone has been suffering from constipation he/she will require treatment for constipation along with other associated symptoms.
  • If someone has been suffering from diarrhea he/she will require treatment for diarrhea along with other associated symptoms.
  • Along with treatment for constipation and diarrhea other treatment given in IBS is fiber supplements, probiotics, medication for other symptoms associated like for cramps and excessive stress etc.

Causes of grahani roga:

Grahani roga is further divided into subtypes which are Vataj grahani, Pittaj grahani, Kaphaj grahani, Tridoshaj grahani and Aam grahani. The causes and symptoms of every type of grahani varies. But the main causes are as follows:

  • Excessive fasting
  • Frequent indigestion
  • Over eating
  • Excessive intake of heavy and oily food

Management of grahani roga:

The treatment of grahani roga depends upon the type of grahani roga. The main treatment measure includes:

  • Vaman or emesis therapy
  • Virechana or purgation therapy
  • Basti or enema therapy

Oral Ayurvedic preparations for grahani roga includes

  • Dashamoola ghrita
  • Trayaushnadya ghrita
  • Pancha mooladya ghrita
  • Pancha mooladya churna
  • Chitrakadi Vati
  • Pippalyadi churna
  • Marichadi churna
  • Takra arishta
  • Nagaradya churna
  • Bilvadya ghrita
  • Drakshasava
  • Shankh vati
  • Use of takra or buttermilk has also been advised in grahani roga

Oral Ayurvedic preparations for grahani roga includes

What you can eat and what to avoid in grahani roga:

Soup of green gram, sathi chawal and shali dhan (varieties of rice), honey, goat’s milk, desi ghee or clarified butter, curd, banana and pomegranate etc. can be taken in grahani roga.owever excessive oily, heavy and hard to digest food items should be avoided in grahani roga. Yoga, acupuncture, walking, exercise and breathing exercises are also helpful in management of IBS.