Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic, functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract characterized by lower abdominal
pain (often severe), gas, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of both, typically over months or years.
Treatments for IBS include changes to diet, anti-spasmodic medications, muscle relaxants, and stress reduction.
Opinions abound, and the most common ones include being sensitive to certain foods, reactions to stress, immune system differences,
or a person's colon and bowel not working normally in general.
There are different symptoms for each IBS sufferer too. Common symptoms include abdominal cramping, bloating and pain. Some
people with IBS will have chronic diarrhea though, while others will have chronic constipation instead. Still others will
bounce back and forth between those two states.
These symptoms have been labeled with other names over the years, the most common being a spastic colon. The symptoms often
increase when eating certain foods, eating big meals, or experiencing heavy amounts of stress or depression. Since nerve endings
connect the colon to every part of the body, almost anything can cause problems similar to IBS. Because of this, a variety
of treatments are often tried.
Depending on the person, their doctor, and the severity of their IBS symptoms, strong prescription medications may be used
to help relieve the constipation or diarrhea. We don't agree with this approach however, and feel the more natural means should
be tried first. Many doctors however, will suggest these alternative approaches before suggesting medications.
The first approach to managing IBS is changes in your diet. If your IBS is caused due to intolerance or allergies of certain
foods for instance, removing those from your diet can create drastic improvements. Often people have a lactose or gluton intolerance
without knowing it.
Some people are also more sensitive to foods which contain heavy amounts of grease, or they're IBS problems flare up more
after greasy meals. Another common trigger for IBS symptoms is eating large and heavy meals. Simply by cutting down the amount
you eat in one sitting, and eating fewer but smaller meals each day, can help relieve IBS symptoms.
The symptoms of IBS can include:
~Mucous in the stool
~Full sensation after even a small meal
~Changes in bowel habits
Causes for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are yet not known
Causes of IBS are yet not known. It has been found that colons of people suffering from IBS are more sensitive than normal
people. The muscles may contract soon after meal and thus cause cramping or diarrhea. The nerves may be sensitive to bowel
Herbs like chamomile,valerian are effective due to their antispasmodic properties.
Take peppermint oil in enteric-coated capsules. Herbs like chamomile, valerian, rosemary and lemon balm are effective due
to their antispasmodic properties. Drink ginger tea or eat ginger raw to reduce inflammation. Eat amla to control indigestion
Colon Hydrotherapy (Colonics)
Colon therapy promotes healthy colon function and can ease a range of problems from headache and backache to arthritis and
hypertension. Colon hydrotherapy sessions are used to cleanse the colon for medical procedures such as colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy,
surgery, and barium enemas.
The colon, along with the skin, kidneys, and lungs, is a major organ for eliminating bodily waste. If bowel movements are
not consistent, waste products and toxins are not eliminated in a regular manner, and health can be compromised. Colon hydrotherapy
is a gentle purified water washing of the large intestine to clean, detoxify and aid in the reconstitution of intestinal flora.
The client lies on a massage table and with a colon hydrotherapy machine, water is run very slowly into the colon. When slight
pressure builds up in the colon, the water is released. As the water is flowing out through an illuminated glass viewing tube,
the abdominal area is thoroughly massaged. To insure maximum sanitation, a disposable water and waste line and applicator
are used. With colonic therapy, the condition of the blood is improved as well. The toxic load in the blood stream seems
to be reduced whenever the colon and abdominal lymphatics are cleared.
Benefits of colonic therapy.
· The water removes the material that may be lodged in the colon.
· Some of the water is absorbed into the colon wall, and this promotes a cleansing of the colon itself, leading to greater
organ strength and health.
· Some of this clean water is absorbed through the colon into the lymphatic system, where it can begin to dissolve the thick
or crystallized accumulations of waste that Cayce called drosses.
· If the therapist is trained in the technique, they may also be able to manipulate water pressure and temperature to exercise
the colon, and thereby stimulate in a weak, inactive colon an ability for stronger bowel movements.
Certain foods may trigger an attack. To identify foods that trigger your symptoms, maintain your usual diet and note what
you were eating when your symptoms developed. Look for patterns. Often, symptoms don’t relate to specific foods, rather
large amounts of food at one time. You may want to include a dietitian in your treatment plan. He or she may be able to help
you assess how your body reacts to certain foods sometimes a food sensitivity (lactose intolerance is common) may be involved.
Triggers can include caffeine, milk, chocolate, nicotine, alcohol and large, high-fat meals. Traditional therapies have included
dietary fiber, especially for treatment of symptoms of constipation. Fiber decreases the transit time through the colon and
decreases the pressure in the colon. Increasing your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and bran may
Increased fiber can make symptoms worse for some IBS patients. This is because bacteria in the colon can break down fiber,
producing gas, which can make bloating worse.. Discuss this with your health care professional it may be to your benefit to
avoid certain forms of fiber particularly gas-forming foods such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and beans. But there�s
no conclusive proof that eliminating certain foods will eliminate your symptoms.
Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)
Taken internally, aloe vera juice (processed directly from the gel) appears to ease the discomfort of irritable bowel syndrome
(IBS) in many users, and this has been the main reason for aloe vera’s recent surge in popularity. A scourge of modern
living, IBS is caused by abnormal spasms of the gut which are made worse by stressful living and poor diets. The unpleasant
symptoms include diarrhoea and constipation, gut pain, bloating and wind.
The dosage of aloe vera used by most IBS sufferers is two teaspoons twice a day, or half this amount diluted with water if
using a double strength juice. Flavoured juices - e.g. red grape or tropical fruit - are also available, or for times when
using the liquid may be inconvenient, it is also possible to get concentrated aloe vera tablets (but these aren't thought
to be as beneficial over the longer term). Some people claim to notice an immediate effect of aloe vera in IBS, whilst others
indicate a more progressive benefit over a few months.
Eat fiber rich food
Eat fresh vegetables and fruits. Eat a fiber rich food. Fiber improves working of intestine and stabilizes the symptoms. Avoid
caffeine and fat. They may cause cramps in intestine. Drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Avoid carbonated beverages.
Gas produced due to their consumption will worsen the symptoms. Eat small meals frequently instead of a large meal. Eat foods
which contain good amount carbohydrates e.g. rice, pasta and so on.
More Home Remedies:
One can mix ½ tsp of dry ginger powder along with pinch of asafetida and rock salt. Add one cup of lukewarm water and drink
at a time. This will help you in removing the gas from intestine and also help healing the irritability in the intestines.
It is one of the effective home remedies for irritable bowel syndrome.
Take some fresh ginger, peel it and make it sliced. Add some lime juice and take it after every meal. This will be beneficial
in IBS. This is also one of the good home remedies for irritable bowel syndrome
You can grind the pepper, dry ginger and green cardamom seeds. Take all of them in equal quantity for grinding. When you finish,
have ½ tsp of this mixture with water and drink an hour after every meal. This will help you in digestion and also will decrease
the irritability of intestines.
Dill oil is considered to be one of the best home remedies for IBS. For this, take a drop of dill oil in a teaspoonful of
honey. Take this mixture soon after every meal. Dill has got properties of healing the intestinal diseases and also to help
Ginger is said to be a good natural remedy for IBS. This has been used as basic treatment for any kind of intestinal problems
since years in Ayurveda.
Eat fiber rich food. Fiber rich foods smoothen the intestinal track and help in the bowel movements. This will make you constipation
free which is important in condition like IBS.
Drink at least eight glassful of water. Water helps in relieving the constipation and also decreases the irritability in intestines.
This is one of the common home remedies for irritable bowel syndrome.
Avoid carbonated beverages, stimulating drink like coffee, alcohol and tea. These materials are irritable to the intestines
and hence are to be strictly avoided.
Eat small meals frequently rather than a large meal. Eat foods that contain fair amount of carbohydrates. The food can be
included like pasta, rice etc.
Try to restrict non-vegetarian diet till you are okay with IBS. Non-vegetarian diet may irritate your intestines and hence
can worsen the case of IBS.
Mix two tsp of brandy along with a cup of lukewarm water and drink just before going to bed. This will help in relieving IBS.
This is one of the simple home remedies for irritable bowel syndrome.
Recent studies suggest certain Yoga postures are beneficial to reduce the symptoms of IBS.
Certain Ayurvedic drugs like Patola, Nimba, Haridra, Kutaja are considered to be good for treating IBS symptoms. You can have
these herbs as single drug therapy or as a combination.
Indian gooseberry is another best home remedy for IBS. For this, one can go for raw fruit or can go for the pills containing
Indian gooseberry. Continue the treatment at least for 15 days.
Peppermint oil is widely used for irritable bowel syndrome. It is thought to reduce the abdominal pain and bloating of irritable
bowel syndrome, possibly by blocking the movement of calcium into muscle cells in the intestines and easing excessive muscle
contraction there. Peppermint is considered a carminative herb, which means that it is used to eliminate excess gas in the
Eight out of twelve studies on peppermint for irritable bowel syndrome have found that it is more effective than a placebo.
Although peppermint oil is available in many forms, it should only be used in enteric-coated capsules otherwise the oil can
relax the lower esophageal sphincter and cause heartburn.
Peppermint oil, especially in excessive doses, may result in nausea, loss of appetite, heart problems, nervous system disorders,
and lead to kidney failure and even death.
Peppermint oil should not be taken internally by children or pregnant or nursing women. Peppermint oil may interact with the
drug cyclosporine (used to prevent organ transplant rejection and for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis), so they should
not be combined unless under medical supervision.
Probiotics are live microbial organisms that are naturally present in the digestive tract and vagina. Sometimes referred to
as "friendly" bacteria, probiotics are thought to promote health include suppressing the growth of potentially harmful bacteria,
improving immune function, enhancing the protective barrier of the digestive tract, and helping to produce vitamin K.
There are over 400 species of microorganisms in the human digestive tract and the balance between beneficial bacteria and
potentially harmful bacteria is important. One theory is that people with irritable bowel syndrome may have an imbalance in
their normal intestinal bacteria, with an overgrowth of gas-producing bacteria.
Studies have found that probiotics may be helpful for people with irritable bowel syndrome. For example, a fairly large study
published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology examined the use of three different doses of Bifidobacterium infantis
or a placebo in 362 women with irritable bowel syndrome. After four weeks, the B. infantis dose of 1 x 10(8) c.f.u. was found
to be more effective than a placebo at reducing abdominal pain, bloating, bowel dysfunction, incomplete evacuation, straining,
There are many different probiotic strains, and some may be more effective for irritable bowel syndrome. Another study compared
lactobacillus salivarius, bifidobacterium infantis, or a placebo in 77 people with irritable bowel syndrome. Only people who
took B. infantis had a greater reduction in abdominal pain, bloating, and bowel movement difficulty.
Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum
Partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG) is a water soluble, non-gelling fiber that may help to reduce constipation and to a lesser
extent diarrhea and abdominal pain in people with irritable bowel syndrome. PHGG also appears to increase the amount of beneficial
bacteria, lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in the intestines.
One study compared PHGG (5 grams per day), wheat bran (30 grams per day), and a placebo in 199 people with irritable bowel
syndrome. After 12 weeks, both the PHGG and wheat bran resulted in an improvement in absominal pain and bowel habits, but
the PHGG was better tolerated and preferred.
Food intolerances may play a role in irritable bowel syndrome, possibly by triggering immune responses in the gut, leading
to low-grade inflammation and an imbalance of intestinal bacteria.
The most common food intolerances reported by people with irritable bowel syndrome are dairy and grains.
A trained practitioner can supervise an elimination and challenge diet. Many foods are removed from the diet for a brief period
of time, then re-introduced sequentially to isolate the body's reaction to the offending foods.
Since grains are a common culprit, it is important to remember that carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth and that chewing
grains thoroughly allows amylase, the digestive enzyme present in saliva, to digest the grains.
Other Natural Remedies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Pancreatic enzymes have been suggested for irritable bowel syndrome symptoms that are aggravated after a fatty meal.
Hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, has also been used for irritable bowel syndrome.
Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can help with IBS, particularly when constipation is a chronic problem. Many
people try taking extra fiber supplements, but these can actually cause the gas and bloating problems to become worse.
Eating fruits and vegetables which regulate the stools can be quite beneficial however. Bananas for instance, will help relieve
both diarrhea and constipation.
Other natural treatments recommended for managing IBS are stress management, exercise, and hypnosis.
Since many opinions are that stress plays a primary role in IBS flare ups, managing that stress is considered to be one of
the best natural treatments for IBS. Doctors and natural practitioners alike feel it can be beneficial to learn breathing
and calming exercises, practice meditation, and practice stress relieving activities such as yoga. Removing the cause of stress
in your life is another recommendation, but for some that's not overly easy to do. Changing your scenery or routine can help
too, as can taking a vacation.
Exercise is another important way to relieve colon problems, including IBS. Your colon contains many muscles, and by moving
your body in various ways while exercising, you're also moving those internal muscles too. Moving the colon around during
exercise can also help if there are blockages causing problems.
There are several herbal approaches to dealing with IBS too however, and these tend to focus more on healing the internal
problems rather than just managing the symptoms. Like most colon related illnesses, herbal specialists feel cleansing the
colon should be one of the primary steps towards obtaining relief.
Cleansing can be done with enemas, colonic flushing and irrigation, herbal laxatives, herbs which act as brooms to "scrub"
the colon, and changes in dietary habits.
There are several herbs which can help balance the colon, aid it in healing, and help it to start functioning more normally.
Here we'll look at several.
Slippery Elm is an herb used to assist with diarrhea. It normalizes the stools and soothes, coats and heals the entire digestive
tract. Slippery Elm should be taken with lots of water.
Alfalfa or Chlorophyll are colon scrubbing herbs, which can help immensely with constipation problems. These also neutralize
gas in the stomach and colon.
Cascara Sagrada is one of the strongest herbal laxatives. It promotes activity in the bowel muscles, so this could cause a
bit of cramping, but it's not an irritant or a purgative.
Peppermint is an herb that works wonderfully for gas, bloating and stomach pains caused by indigestion. This herb will cause
the gas to pass out of your body.
Garlic will also help expel gas from your system, and it has the added benefit of being able to help your colon rid itself
of mucus and parasites which could be causing some of the IBS problems.
Additionally garlic is an infection fighting herb, so if there are harmful bacteria in your colon causing the IBS, the garlic
can help rid your body of them.
Homeopathic Remedies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Argentum nitricum: Digestive upsets accompanied by nervousness and anxiety suggest the use of this remedy. Bloating, rumbling
flatulence, nausea, and greenish diarrhea can be sudden and intense. Diarrhea may come on immediately after drinking water.
Eating too much sweet or salty food (which the person often craves) may also lead to problems. A person who needs this remedy
tends to be expressive, impulsive, and claustrophobic, and may have blood sugar problems.
Asafoetida: A feeling of constriction all along the digestive tract (especially if muscular contractions in the intestines
and esophagus seem to be moving in the wrong direction) strongly indicates this remedy. The person may have a feeling that
a bubble is stuck in the throat, or that a lump is moving up from the stomach. The abdomen feels inflated, but the person
finds it hard to pass gas in either direction to get relief. Constipation brings on griping pains. Diarrhea can be explosive,
and the person may even regurgitate food in small amounts.
The person may exhibit a strong emotional or hysterical element when this remedy is needed.
Colocynthis: This remedy is indicated when cutting pains and cramping occur, making the person bend double or need to lie
down and press on the abdomen. Cramps may be felt in the area of the pubic bone. Pain is likely to be worse just before the
diarrhea passes, and after eating fruit or drinking water. Problems tend to be aggravated by emotions, especially if indignation
or anger has been felt but not expressed. Back pain, leg pain, and gall bladder problems are sometimes seen when this remedy
Lilium tigrinum: When this remedy is indicated, the person may make frequent unsuccessful efforts to move the bowels all day
and have sudden diarrhea the following morning. A feeling of a lump in the rectum, worse when standing up, is common. Hemorrhoids
may develop. Constricting feelings are often felt in the chest. The person is likely to be worse from excitement and strong
emotions, and may tend toward irritability or even rage.
Lycopodium: This remedy is often indicated for people with chronic digestive discomforts and bowel problems. Bloating and
a feeling of fullness come on early in a meal or shortly after, and a large amount of gas is usually produced. Heartburn and
stomach pain are common, and the person may feel better from rubbing the abdomen. Things are typically worse between four
and eight p.m. Despite so many digestive troubles, the person can have a ravenous appetite, and may even get up in the middle
of the night to eat. Problems with self-confidence, a worried facial expression, a craving for sweets, and a preference for
warm drinks are other indications for Lycopodium.
Natrum carbonicum: This remedy is often indicated for mild people who have trouble digesting and assimilating many foods and
have to stay on restricted diets. Indigestion, heartburn, and even ulcers may occur if offending foods are eaten. The person
often is intolerant of milk, and drinking it or eating dairy products can lead to gas and sputtery diarrhea with an empty
feeling in the stomach.
The person may have cravings for potatoes and for sweets (and sometimes also milk, but has learned to avoid it). A person
who needs this remedy usually makes an effort to be cheerful and considerate, but, when feeling weak and sensitive wants to
be alone to rest.
Nux vomica: Abdominal pains and bowel problems accompanied by tension, constricting sensations, chilliness, and irritability
can indicate a need for this remedy. Soreness in the muscles of the abdominal wall, as well as painful gas and cramps are
common. Firm pressure on the abdomen brings some relief. When constipated, the person has an urge to move the bowels, but
only small amounts come out. The person may experience a constant feeling of uneasiness in the rectum. After diarrhea has
passed, the pain may be eased for a little while. A person who needs this remedy often craves strong spicy foods, alcohol,
tobacco, coffee, and other stimulants—and usually feels worse from having them.
Podophyllum: This remedy is indicated when abdominal pain and cramping with a gurgling, sinking, empty feeling are followed
by watery, offensive-smelling diarrhea alternating with constipation, or pasty yellow bowel movements containing mucus. Things
tend to be worse in the very early morning, and the person may feel weak and faint or have a headache afterward. Rubbing the
abdomen (especially on the right) may help relieve discomfort. A person who needs this remedy may also experience stiffness
in the joints and muscles.
Sulphur: This remedy is often indicated when a sudden urge toward diarrhea wakes the person early in the morning (typically
five a.m.) and makes them hurry to the bathroom. Diarrhea can come on several times a day. The person may, at other times,
be constipated and have gas with an offensive and pervasive smell. Oozing around the rectum, as well as itching, burning,
and red irritation may also be experienced. A person who needs this remedy may tend to have poor posture and back pain, and
feel worse from standing up too long.
Homeopathy Dosage Directions
Select the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise
directed by a physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) should be used. In addition, instructions for use
are usually printed on the label.
Many homeopathic physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement
is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose
may be taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several
times an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less)
can be sufficient.
If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.