There are quite a few prescription medications which those who live with IBS can take to relieve symptoms, however those medications work in less than half of patients, leaving the majority of patients searching for alternative relief. These safe, alternative, natural relief methods are highly effective and can be used individually or in conjunction with each other to create an individual treatment plan to manage your IBS symptoms.
Peppermint Oil Naturally Relieves IBS Symptoms
Peppermint oil naturally soothes the stomach muscles and helps to reduce painful spasms. Peppermint oil works best to relieve diarrhea symptoms, but can help to sooth stomach cramps caused by constipation. Peppermint oil will also coat and sooth the delicate lining of the GI tract when frequent heartburn is also accompanies IBS, however, on the flip side, in some IBS patients, peppermint oil (and peppermint candy) may make heartburn worse. Peppermint oil capsules are available at natural food stores.
Take a Fiber Supplement
Adding more fiber to the daily diet may initially sound counterintuitive when trying to relieve certain IBS symptoms, but the extra fiber can reduce stomach pain and make going to the bathroom easier.
Fiber supplements that contain psyllium (plant husks) like Fiberall and Metamucil, work best to relieve both the constipation and diarrhea of IBS. Psyllium acts like a sponge in the digestive system, it will draw water to hard stools and soften them during bouts of constipation. During bouts of diarrhea, the psyllium absorbs the water in the loose stools.
To prevent bloating and gassiness, add fiber supplements slowly to the daily diet. Start with one-quarter of the recommended daily dose, working your way up to a full fiber dose over the course of several weeks.
Less Stress Relieves IBS Symptoms
Less stress is better for overall health and will lessen the symptoms of IBS. Two ways to relieve stress are by learning meditation and/or muscle relaxation skills. Calming the body can calm the muscles and relive a significant percent of IBS pain.
Exercise is also a great stress buster and naturally relieves constipation symptoms by stimulating the bowel contractions and encouraging the passage of waste more quickly through the digestive system. Walking 30 minutes per day, five days per weeks can naturally relieve IBS symptoms.
Diet Plays Vital Role In Relieving IBS Symptoms
Most IBS flare-ups are directly linked to food. Usually it’s a greasy, high fat food item, but alcohol, carbonated beverages and chocolate can also cause an IBS flare-up. The food trigger is different for everyone, keep a food journal to discover your own dietary triggers. Dairy products are a food trigger for many IBS suffers, so that’s a good place to start when trying to discover which foods should be eliminated from the diet to prevent IBS flare-ups.