How to Ease Symptoms of IBS Naturally

Three Methods:Avoiding the TriggersExperimenting with Natural RemediesUsing Alternative Treatments and Self-Care Methods

IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is a disease affecting the gastrointestinal system. It is a fairly common disorder which is seen in people of all age groups, however it is most common in women aged 20 to 45.[1] IBS is a functional bowel disorder which is characterized by altered bowel movements and pain in the abdomen. There is no cure for IBS, but thankfully there are some natural methods you can use to ease the symptoms.

Method 1
Avoiding the Triggers

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    Avoid eating insoluble fiber. Some individuals who suffer from IBS are sensitive to foods that are high in insoluble fiber, such as wheat, cereals, bran and pasta. Other foods like nuts, seeds, popcorn, crackers contain moderate amounts of insoluble fiber.
    • Like fat, the insoluble fiber is a gastrointestinal stimulant. Insoluble fiber in fruits, veggies and grains can’t be easily broken down during digestion.
    • When this happens, gas is produced along with other IBS symptoms like bloating and cramping.
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    Take Lecithin. Foods rich in lecithin are egg yolks, soybeans, cow milk butter and animal brains. You can also buy soy lecithin granules in most supermarkets or health food stores. The recommended dosage of lecithin granules is 10 gm., twice a day for a year. Lecithin helps restore the endothelium which is often damaged in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
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    Stay away from foods that contain fructose. Fructose is a type of sugar that isn’t easily metabolized. It also ferments rapidly, causing gastrointestinal discomfort and, in some cases, intolerance.
    • Natural sweeteners like honey, fruit juice from apples, peaches, prunes, cherries and corn syrup all contain fructose.
    • Malabsorption of fructose is a complex condition. It has recently been associated with depression and bacterial overgrowth, in addition to aggravating IBS.[2]
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    Don't consume carbonated, caffeinated or alcoholic beverages. The carbon content of sodas and soft drinks can easily soak the gastrointestinal tract. This causes gas accumulation from carbon discharge, triggering inflammation.
    • Meanwhile, caffeinated beverages increase the intensity of the acid production that causes IBS, while alcohol contains toxic substances that can be irritating on the bowel.
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    Avoid eating large meals. While it is important to note which kinds of foods should be avoided, the frequency and amount of food eaten are equally important. Gastroenterologists recommend small, frequent meals for IBS patients, rather than fewer large meals.
    • Eating large meals may cause symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, abdominal spasm and bloating in IBS patients.

Method 2
Experimenting with Natural Remedies

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    Introduce probiotics to your diet. Probiotics have a significant positive impact on chronic gastrointestinal conditions such as IBS. Probiotics are living microorganisms which offer vast health benefits. These friendly microorganisms aid the production of organic acids and reduce the pH level of the stomach.
    • Probiotics alleviate intestinal symptoms which are caused by the disruption of gastrointestinal flora and poor eating habits. Also, lactobacillus (the healthy bacteria found in probiotics) aids in the breakdown of food and easy absorption of nutrients.
    • Some yogurt products contain probiotics and are readily available at the grocery store. Alternatively, you can take a probiotic capsule. The strength of probiotics is indicated according to the number of live organisms in a single capsule.
    • The recommended dose ranges from one to ten billion living organisms given in 3 to 4 divided doses.
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    Drink ginger root tea. Fresh ginger root has been used as a traditional Chinese medicine for more than two centuries. The ginger root tea treats various digestive disorders, nausea, vomiting and respiratory symptoms like colds and coughing.
    • The serotonin antagonist property of ginger enhances gastric mobility and also provides antispasmodic effects which relieve the intestinal muscles during an IBS attack.
    • Drinking a cup of fresh ginger root tea can relieve gas, bloating, diarrhea and improve overall stomach function.
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    Eat some fennel seeds. The anti-spasmodic and carminative (gas preventing) properties of fennel hinder gas accumulation in the GI tract. Likewise, they help stimulate the production of gastric juices.
    • Other beneficial effects of fennel include the regulation of small intestine contraction, indigestion, colic and heartburn. To make fennel tea, dd a half teaspoon of fennel seeds to a cup of boiling water.
    • Otherwise, you may sprinkle the seeds over salads and meals. Also, fennel seeds make a great snack when roasted.
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    Use peppermint. Peppermint contains menthol and methyl salicylate which both have anti-spasmodic properties, which helps to relax the stomach muscles and the intestinal tract.
    • Peppermint also has analgesic properties which help to relieve pain by activating the kappa-opiod receptors which blocks the nerve signals responsible for pain perception in the brain.
    • Add a heaping teaspoon of dried peppermint to a saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Strain the leaves, then enjoy a cup of peppermint tea.

Method 3
Using Alternative Treatments and Self-Care Methods

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    Give yourself a massage. Self-massage techniques can help to trigger digestion and relax muscle cramps. Try the following:
    • In the morning, massage your tongue and gums using the back of your toothbrush or finger. This prepares the upper part of the digestive tract.
    • In the evening, massage the lower abdominal area. Lie flat in bed with your knees bent. Feel the regions where you feel discomfort then apply gentle pressure.
    • Apply detoxifying oils like chamomile for an additional soothing effect.
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    Reduce your stress levels. It’s impossible to completely eradicate stress from your life. However, effective coping skills can help a lot, especially in preventing the onset of IBS symptoms.
    • First, identify what causes the tension and stress. Listing your issues and doing a self-assessment to identify the root cause may help to solve the problem. Maintain a strong support network who you can discuss your issues and concerns with.
    • If you are finding your stress levels overwhelming, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or doctor.
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    Try meditation. The main purpose of meditation is to bring inner peace and keep the mind calm. It’s an effective against stress, which is the main culprit behind the onset of IBS symptoms. There are several different meditation techniques, including:
    • Transcendental meditation: Also known as “Mantra”. Choose a soothing word or phrase, then repeat or chant those words over and over, to prevent any negative thoughts from distracting you.
    • Prayer: This is one of the most powerful tools to fight stress. By reflecting for few minutes through prayer, you can enjoy the opportunity to let go of negative thoughts that are causing you stress.
    • Yoga: As you perform various postures, your mind tends to focus on the movement and not on stressful events, leaving you feeling relaxed and clear-headed.

Sources and Citations

  • Spiegel BM, Farid M, Esrailian E, Talley J, Chang L et al. Is irritable bowel syndrome a diagnosis of exclusion?: a survey of primary care providers, gastroenterologists, and IBS experts. Am J Gastroenterol. Apr 2010;105(4):848-5
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Categories: Alternative Health | Home Remedies