Our expert says:
Sorry to hear about the IBS, but you are quite correct that stress is a most important factor in this disease. The treatment consists of a) increasing your dietary fibre intake to ensure regular bowel movements (click on 'Diet' and 'View old Diet & Food site' and read the articles on high-fibre foods, etc) and b) learning to relax and to control stress. If you increase your fibre intake and drink 3-4 glasses of water a day and do some exercise the constipation should improve. The exercise will also help you to relax. Try joining a yoga class or consult a clinical psychologist to teach you relaxing techniques. The use of harsh laxatives is NOT a good idea because it really does destroy the natural bowel movements called peristalsis. There are certain so-called bulking agents like Fybogel which do not harm the bowel, so if you absolutely have to use a laxative, then use Fybogel and not one that contains herbs like senna or chemicals such as phenolphthalein.
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