Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Natural Remedies For IBS Ailments

Even in this day and age of advanced medicine there are many conditions and diseases that are not very well understood, or perhaps worse, are misdiagnosed or generally diagnosed under umbrella terms.  IBS is one such disease where inflammation and irritation of the intestinal lining leads to a wide range of unpleasant and even debilitating symptoms.  Many people have chronic IBS and the fact is that it can ruin the quality of life for a long time and lead to serious other health risks.  There is hope, however, with many ways to improve and treat the symptoms IBS brings, and in some cases completely cure it depending on the cause!

What Are The Symptoms Of IBS?

While we will all occasionally have some of the below symptoms, IBS is marked by a regular or even constant experience of several of them, sometimes simultaneously.

  • Gas and bloating
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, especially after a meal
  • Headaches
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Mucus covered stool
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling the need for another bowel movement even after just having one

How Can I Treat IBS?

  • The first step is to find the foods that seem to cause acute symptoms or a noticeable increase of symptoms and avoid them!  Spicy or sugary foods are often key culprits, but many forms of IBS are actually acute forms of allergies where foods have broken through the lining of the gut so take good notes and cut out bad foods! Dairy, sugar, and wheat are the most common problematic food items.
  • A major cause of IBS is an imbalance between good and bad gut bacteria that can lead to many other problems.  Keeping a good daily antibiotic entering the system will help symptoms even if gut ecology isn’t the primary cause.  Whole foods 365 brand is a cheap but effective option, though there are many on the market.
  • Peppermint tea and edible peppermint extracts have a compound which calm the linings of the intestines and help stop some of the more unpleasant symptoms of IBS.  Fennel, cardamom and oregano have similar effects for indigestion, bloating, and gas.  Slippery elm, plantain (the herb, not the banana!), and raspberry leaf herbs help diarrhea.  For nausea, try ginger and chamomile.
  • Many IBS conditions are caused by or happen alongside spikes in inflammation.  There are many anti-inflammatory options, but some major options include turmeric (if it doesn’t irritate your gut, as it is the herb responsible for the flavor of curry), willow bark, golden root, and boswellia.
  • Relax!  Stress seriously complicates IBS symptoms and conditions, so finding a way to calm down through meditation, reading, hot showers, or whatever else helps you roll with the changes and stress of life can help quite a bit.
  • Eat slowly.  Shoveling your food down the hatch can cause a lot of digestive discomfort and increase the chance of symptoms.
  • Make sure to drink water in between meals and avoid drinking too much with your meals, which may dilute the digestive liquids needed for properly processing your food.
  • Take hot baths and showers, which will help relax muscles throughout your body and reduce cramps and pain.
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