Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Partying out is a common trend seen among the young generation nowadays. The result of eating out usually end in flatulence, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea. Little do we know that it has triggered an IBS reaction.

IBS is not a disease as such. It is a group of symptoms that occur together. By definition, IBS is a gastro intestinal disease when its functions are altered distributing the normal working of the GI system.

How is IBS diagnosed?

It is diagnosed when a person is having abdominal pain and discomfort  for about 3 times a day for 3 months continuously without  any other disease or injury intervening.


  • No specific causes
  • Infection or food poisoning
  • Stressful life events
  • Psychiatric complaints like – depression, anxiety, physical or psychological abuse during childhood.
  • Foods which increase pitha like junk food, masala food, cereals, excess of non vegetarian foods etc.


  • Pain and discomfort around abdomen
  • Alteration of bowel habits.
  • Diarrhea – loose or watery stools, 3 or more times in a day.
  • Constipation – less than 3 bowel movements in a week.
  • Bowel is not satisfied, feel incompleteness.
  • Mucous may pass through stool.
  • Enlargement of abdomen due to gas bloating.
  • May cause sexual dysfunction to some.
  • Feels to pass motion whenever get anxious when planning to go somewhere.

Although these are difficult signs and symptoms. IBS does not alter or damage the bowel tissues unlike other hazardous diseases of the bowel.

Ayurvedic concept

IBS in ayurveda is about equalized in to grahani. The  study of grahani meaning  duodenal disorder in vast.

In short grahani is considered as a complication of diarrhea.  A person who does not cure diarrhea is likely to develop grahani. Grahani is mainly and agni related disorder. The alteration of agni leads to grahani.


  • Grahani is mainly caused due to food and activities (ahara and vihara) which cause disturbances in the digestive activity or Agni (digestive fire.)

Clinical features

  • Cause excessive elimination of feces.
  • The elimination is either before the digestion or after digestion.
  • Feces eliminated is either solid, some other times loose without any particular reason.
  • It causes stasis of undigested food in the stomach
  • General symptoms include feeling of hot through mouth, dyspnoea, fever, fainting and head ache.
  • Also may cause swelling of hands and feet.


  • The treatment is completely based on the Prakruthi (nature) of the patient.
  • It may be differ for stout person and lean person.
  • The dosha predominance is also important when considering treatment.


  • The medicines which increase agni (that which increases digestive fire)
  • Anuloma medicines
  • Grahani aushada
  • Like chiruvilwadi kashayam, ashtavargam kashayam, ashtachurnam, hinguvashtaka churnam, Mustharishtam, kutajarishtam etc.


  • The best Panchakarma is Takradhara.
  • Vasti & virechana can be given
  • For some cases vamana can also be done.
  • IBS is directly related to the mind, so considering the mental condition, psychological treatment is also done.

Minimize or avoid 

  • Potato containing dishes or fast food
  • Pulses, fried rice
  • Beverages like tea, coffee, soft drinks
  • Biscuits, cakes and other bakery food
  • Reduce the use of food containing high fat calories like burgers, fast food, potato chips.
  • Avoid alcohol completely
  • Minimize the use of coconut oil


  • Follow good eating habits giving importance to food intake time, quality and quantity of food.
  • Avoid talking during meals
  • Eat food in a relaxed, stress free environment
  • Eat meals regularly, do not skip any meals
  • Do not eat too fast or too slow, take food at proper pace
  • Drink plenty of water
  • IBS is not a life threatening disorder, but may disturb our life style with its complications mainly diarrhea and constipation. By modulating our diet, bowel, activities, and mind IBS can be put to rest.




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Grandson of ayurvedic legend Edayadi kunhikannan vaidyar (known as Edayadi Vaidyar) who held the lamp of great wisdom of Ayurvedic Ashtavaidya System.


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