• Stress
  • Dietary factors
  • Candidiasis(Candida syndrome)
  • Hormones and other endocrine factors (HRT’s, menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding)
  • Certain medication (antibiotics, laxatives)
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Excessive use of caffeine
  • Lack of sleep or rest
  • Lack of fluid intake
  • GIT flora imbalance
  • Gastroenteritis or any infection of the GIT


There must be at least 3 months or more (consecutive) in the six months of abdominal discomfort or pain that is accompanied by at least 2 of the following:

  • It is relieved by defecation, and/or
  • Onset is associated with a change in stool frequency, and/or
  • Onset is associated with a change in form (appearance ) of stool


IBS is a disorder of the digestive tract often caused by the absorption of all the potential causative toxic substances, allergens and amines which contribute to the symptoms of IBS.


  • Bloating and swelling of the abdomen may develop from time to time
  • An individual may pass more wind than usual
  • Pain and discomfort may occur in different parts of the abdomen
  • Pain usually comes and goes
  • The duration of each bout of pain can vary greatly
  • The pain often eases when the individual passes a stool or wind.
  • Patients describe the pain as a spasm or colic


IBS has no cure, but there are things patients can do to relieve symptoms.

  • Treatment may involve
  • Dietary changes
  • Stress relief
  • Medication


  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Belching
  • Poor appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Backache
  • Muscle Pains
  • Feeling full quickly when eating


  • Have regular meals and take time to eat at a leisurely pace.
  • Avoid missing meals or leaving long gaps between eating.
  • Drink at least eight cups of fluid per day, especially water or other non-caffeinated drinks such as herbal teas. This helps to keep the faeces (stools) soft and easy to pass along the gut.
  •  -Restrict tea and coffee to three cups per day (as caffeine may be a factor in some people).
  •  -Restrict the amount of fizzy drinks.
  •  -Limit alcohol intake (some people reported improvement in symptoms when they cut down from drinking a lot of alcohol, or stop smoking if they smoke).
  • Consider limiting intake of high-fibre food (but see the section above where an increase may help in some cases).
  • Limit fresh fruit to three portions (of 80 g each) per day.


  • Can have bouts of diarrhea or constipation
  • Can have alternating bouts of diarrhea or constipation
  • Stools can be small and pellet-like or they can be watery or ribbony
  • Mucus may be mixed with stools
  • Patients may feel that they have not completely emptied the rectum after going to the toilet
  • Patients may have urgency (have to get to the toilet quickly)
  • A morning rush is common – patient needs to go to the toilet several times shortly after getting up. Often during and after breakfast


Regular exercise may also help to ease IBS symptoms. Types of exercise that may be helpful include:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  •  Yoga
  • Pilates

General stress management techniques / interventions may also be very helpful, and may include:

  • Counseling
  • Meditation
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Hypnosis
  • Deep breathing



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Christa Myburgh

Brand Manager - OTC



Ground Floor, Tugela House, Riverside Office Park, 1303 Heuwel Avenue, Centurion, 0046

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Telephone: +27 12 643 2024, Fax: +27 12 643 2003


References: 1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The Merck Manual Home Edition. (Last accessed 7 April 2015) From: http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/digestive_ disorders/irritable_bowel_syndrome_ibs/irritable_bowel_syndrome_ibs.html 2. Canavan, C. et al. The epidemiology of irritable bowel syndrome. Clin Epidemiol. 2014; 6: 71–80. (Last accessed 7 April 2015) From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ pmc3921083/ 3. Bowel Balance™ Package Insert; Data on file. Bowel Balance™ Capsules. D 32.16 Others: 33. Minerals. Each capsule contains 700 mg Potentiated Absorbatox® CEC 3.5.IBS. For full prescribing information refer to the package insert. Further information is available on request from the applicant. This medicine has not been evaluated by the Medical Control Council. This medicine is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Applicant: Absorbatox (Pty) Ltd. Marketed by: Ranbaxy (SA) (Pty) Ltd, a Sun Pharma company. Reg. no.: 1993/001413/07. Ground Floor, Tugela House, Riverside Office Park, 1303 Heuwel Avenue, Centurion. Tel: +27 12 643 2000. Website: www.sunpharma.com