Alternative Treatment Methods for IBS

Monday 10 May 2021
IBS

Table of Contents


I. Stress-Reducing Techniques

II. Experiment with Fiber Intake

III. Probiotics for IBS

IV. Try a Peppermint Supplement


Having irritable bowel syndrome can significantly impact your everyday activities. No one wants to have uncomfortable stomachaches all day and worry about finding a restroom wherever they go. If IBS is left untreated, it can cause several complications and create disruptions in your life.

IBS is a chronic condition that can occur throughout a person’s life. Symptoms of IBS can vary from mild to severe but do not change the bowel tissue. This is good news because IBS typically does not increase your risk of colorectal cancer. 

If you are diagnosed with IBS, your doctor may prescribe Linzess for constipation or  Xifaxan to relieve diarrhea. There are several different types of IBS, so your doctor will determine if medications like Amitiza (lubiprostone) are right for you. Treatment of IBS is often multi-faceted, so implementing some natural techniques may also improve symptoms. Read on to learn more about alternative treatment methods for IBS. [1]

a woman lying on the bed

Stress-Reducing Techniques

Stress is often a major part of IBS. IBS is not a disease but a syndrome, so certain triggers are often the cause of irritable bowel symptoms. Stress and anxiety affect the intestines' movement (motility), which can lead to constipation or diarrhea. Some research has shown that constant stress can affect the natural bacteria in the body and affect gastrointestinal motility. If there is a bacterial overgrowth in the intestines, you may experience abdominal pain, bloating, and gas.

Your doctor will ask you several questions to see if stress is a factor in your IBS symptoms. If they decide you need to de-stress, they may recommend techniques to lower your anxiety levels. If anxiety and stress are a big problem in your life, you may want to seek talk therapy to get to the root of your problem. Along with that, you can try to implement deep-breathing techniques when you feel a period of stress coming on. Yoga and other exercises may also boost your serotonin, which can improve stress. [2]

Experiment with Fiber Intake

Along with medications like Amitiza (lubiprostone), you may want to make some slight dietary changes to ensure the efficacy of your treatment plan. Because IBS affects the gastrointestinal system, diets are incredibly important to IBS symptoms. Your doctor or dietician may recommend increasing your fiber. Fiber is found in many foods and may improve the symptoms of IBS. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool, which can help some people who have IBS with diarrhea. High-fiber foods include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans.

If you have IBS with constipation, you may want to cut some fiber out of your diet. A low-fiber diet can reduce cramping and abdominal pain. To test it out, you may want to cut out fiber and then add it slowly for several weeks and observe any changes in your symptoms. [3]

two pieces of toast with avocado and tomatoes

Probiotics for IBS 

IBS patients may use probiotics to regulate gut health. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that can benefit the digestive system. Probiotics are the "good" bacteria because they can keep your gastrointestinal system healthy and working properly. This can be especially helpful for those with IBS, so patients may want to give them a try.

These substances affect the nerves that control gut movement, which may improve IBS symptoms. Probiotics may be in liquid or pill form but always talk to your doctor before starting a probiotic. 

There are several different types of probiotics, and your doctor will determine which type of probiotic is right for your type of IBS. The different types of probiotics include:

  • Lactobacillus: This type is found in yogurt and fermented foods. These strains can help with IBS with diarrhea, especially for those who cannot digest lactose.
  • Saccharomyces boulardii: This is also a type of yeast that helps fight diarrhea.
  • Bifidobacterium: Dairy products contain this type of probiotic and may help ease IBS symptoms. [4]

a woman taking a probiotic pill

Try a Peppermint Supplement

Peppermint has been used for centuries to cure many ailments. A study in Australia has recently found that peppermint can help the antispasmodic effect of nerve fibers in the colon. During an IBS flare-up, the colon becomes hypersensitive and may cause abdominal pain. When peppermint supplements are taken, the high concentrations of cooling menthol in peppermint may make the pain-sensing fibers in the colon less sensitive.

The dosage required for IBS patients is still hotly debated. Before taking any natural supplement, you should always consult your doctor. Large doses of peppermint can negatively affect the body and may interfere with the absorption of minerals, vitamins, and other medications you are taking. [5] If you have IBS and are looking for inexpensive medications, visit Canada Meds United for discount Linzess, Xifaxan (rifaximin), and Amitiza (lubiprostone).

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.