Geriatric community care
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Geriatric community care

Our health care clinic has been in operation for 80 years, and some of our patients have been coming here since they were children. We pride ourselves on providing balanced medical care that looks at all aspects of a patient's wellbeing, including their mood, mental health, social connection as well as their physical health. As many of our patients are older, we've become specialists in geriatric care and help patients to stay at home as long as possible. We find that happy and connected seniors tend to be healthy. Our blog is all about holistic care for older patients in a health care clinic.

Geriatric community care

What Are the Most Effective Treatments for IBS?

Jane Brown

Irritable bowel syndrome, commonly referred to as IBS, is a condition that many Australian adults suffer from, but when properly diagnosed and understood, it can be treated reasonably effectively and allow the individual to go about their daily life normally.

IBS Diagnosis

Irritable bowel syndrome needs to be properly diagnosed by an appropriate clinician before any treatment option is considered. This is partly to rule out that it could be any other type of gut-related illness or disease, such as diverticulitis or celiac disease.

There is also a condition known as irritable bowel disease which can have far more serious consequences than irritable bowel syndrome, and this needs to be ruled out as well.

A diagnosis will normally involve a full medical checkup, blood tests, stool tests and possibly a colonoscopy. This will give some pointers as to what is causing the patient's IBS and will allow the clinician to recommend an irritable bowel syndrome treatment plan.

Causes of IBS

As with many conditions, there is no definite cause for irritable bowel syndrome, but there are several factors that are known to trigger it. If one of these factors is present in the patient who is being diagnosed, then this may well affect the relevant treatment decisions that are made.

A common cause of irritable bowel syndrome normally relates to what is referred to as lifestyle issues, such as stress and diet although this can be a bit misleading.

IBS is also known to sometimes happen as a result of an infection in the gut, such as gastroenteritis, and also as a result of certain types of medications, either the medication itself or a side-effect of it, when another condition or illness is being treated.

IBS Treatment Options

The treatment for irritable bowel syndrome should be tailored to the individual themselves because each condition is different. The treatment needs to be focused clearly on the individual and their lifestyle.


Emotional stress is highlighted as one of the main areas of concern in people who have IBS, and appropriate relaxation techniques and methods are recommended, which can easily be incorporated into their life.

It is also important to identify any particular areas of stress, either current or historical. This may relate to things such as work, home and family, or even historical trauma. Adjustments or treatment can then be made which should hopefully reduce levels of stress currently affecting the individual and help manage the condition more effectively.


It is known that diet plays a significant part in triggering irritable bowel syndrome in many individuals, but exactly which foods and drinks are relevant to a person can vary quite widely.

In most cases, the clinical advice is trial and error, with a specific focus on certain foods and drinks, which are known to be potential triggers. These can include things like coffee, caffeinated drinks or drinks with very high sugar content, as well as certain very spicy foods.

In addition, people are often recommended to increase certain types of food, most commonly food that has a very high density of fibre, and to drink lots of clear fluids. Both of these can help to effectively flush out an individual's system, and as such alleviate any triggers for IBS that may be present.


Whilst there is no specific medication to treat irritable bowel syndrome, certain drugs can be used to help in some cases, specifically, laxatives where constipation is a problem, and anti-spasmodic drugs that can help with stomach cramps. 

For more info, contact a doctor that can help with IBS treatment options.