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4 Natural Remedies for IBS Relief

Prevention is better than cure

When it comes to managing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) prevention is better than a cure. While this normally means cutting out many of your favourite foods, this article explores safe ways to alleviate the symptoms of IBS naturally. 

We will look at things you can buy over the counter or online that can either reduce the severity of your symptoms or prevent them all together. 

Please note that this blog is not providing medical advice. This article is simply a go-to reference that shares insights into home remedies that have been reported by users to make a difference in their daily lives

If you have a medical complaint, your doctor should always be your first port of call and it's important that you check with your doctor before trying something new. Having said that, unless you have specific allergies, everything recommended in this blog is considered safe to use.

Now that we have cleared that up, let’s take a look at the options available to you

Minerals and vitamins 

If diarrhoea is your biggest IBS concern, calcium can be beneficial to you. That’s because calcium promotes the contraction of gut muscles while reducing the amount of water in the intestines which contributes to better-formed stools (your poo). 

If you can get your calcium from natural sources such as white beans or sardines, it is preferable over taking supplements because supplements may sometimes contain dairy products like lactose that can trigger flare-ups. Note that calcium carbonate supplements should be avoided by those who suffer from IBS-C (constipation) because they can cause bowel blockages. 

Herbal remedies to treat IBS symptoms

Herbal remedies are natural and effective remedies for relieving the pain and discomfort associated with IBS. They have been used for centuries to aid digestion and support a healthy gut. They can help to balance gut bacteria, reduce inflammation and soothe digestive issues like bloating, constipation, and diarrhoea. Some of the most common herbal remedies for IBS include ginger, peppermint, fennel and chamomile. 

Ginger helps calm inflammation in the gut and has anti-nausea properties that can give relief to those who suffer from chronic nausea or vomiting due to their IBS. 

Peppermint oil can help reduce cramping by relaxing the muscles of the intestines. Try having peppermint oil in your tea just after your meal. 

Fennel is an anti-spasmodic agent that can help relax abdominal muscle tension that causes pain in some people with IBS. It also has antibacterial properties that can help improve digestion by fighting off harmful bacteria. 

Finally, chamomile tea can soothe an upset stomach while also reducing stress levels that often contribute to exacerbating IBS symptoms. Chamomile tea is great to have just before bed because its relaxing properties also promotes sleep, which further aids gut health. 

Dietary changes can make a big difference. Try adding more fibre or eliminating problem foods. To get an idea of which foods are most likely to cause you issues, check out the FODMAP scale. FODMAP ranks foods according to how much they ferment during digestion. In short, it considers which ingredients your body will struggle with most, so you can avoid them

Dietary changes can make a huge difference for those suffering from IBS. It is essential to focus on increasing soluble fibre intake, as well as avoiding problem foods

Soluble fibre helps to absorb water which is essential in forming stools and making them easier to pass. Increasing the intake of soluble fibre can be done by incorporating foods such as white beans, sardines, oatmeal, potatoes and bananas into your diet. As with all dietary changes, it’s best to start slowly and increase fibre intake gradually over time while drinking plenty of water throughout the day

Mindful eating and smart food choices can go a long way in controlling your IBS symptoms. Eating slowly and chewing your food well also helps aid digestion which can reduce the severity of IBS symptoms. Eating smaller meals more frequently can make a big difference compared to eating much larger meals because that puts a greater strain on your digestive tract.  

Try acupuncture 

Acupuncture is considered a natural, alternative medicine. It is used to relieve tension and stress, which can aggravate IBS symptoms. It works by encouraging the body's natural healing process through the stimulation of specific points that are believed to be connected to particular organ systems. This stimulation increases blood flow and releases endorphins - natural pain relievers, which can have a positive effect on both physical and mental health

In the case of IBS, acupuncture is thought to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and improve nerve communication between the brain and gut

Studies have shown that people with IBS who receive regular acupuncture treatments experience reduced frequency and severity of their symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhoea, as well as improved digestion. The effects may last up to four weeks after treatment has been completed. 

For more effective results, patients should try combining acupuncture treatments with other natural remedies such as dietary modifications or supplements for the gut

Give intermittent fasting a go 

Intermittent fasting is an effective natural IBS treatment that can help to reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms. Fasting involves periods of intentional abstinence from food, during which time the body uses stored energy sources to fuel its needs. 

Most forms of intermittent fasting involve alternating between periods of eating normally and periods of abstaining from solid food for anywhere from 12 hours up to several days at a time. For those with IBS, shorter fasts are often more beneficial than longer ones as they don’t require as much willpower or physical resilience. 

This practice can help improve digestive health by removing some of the stress and strain on the digestive system, helping to reduce inflammation and stabilise blood sugar levels

The main benefit of intermittent fasting for those who suffer from IBS is that it helps to reset the gut microbiome, which is essential for good digestion. By taking a break from eating solid foods your gut microbiome has a chance to regain balance and regulate digestion better. 

Fasting should always be undertaken with caution when managing any chronic condition like IBS. Talk to your doctor before beginning any kind of meal plan changes or dietary restrictions related to fasting in order to ensure it's safe for your individual needs. 

There are also different types of fasting, for example juice fasting is a little easier on your body as you still get vitamins and minerals and feel less hungry, while still getting a lot of benefits.

So, there you have it. A number of natural remedies that can help you tackle your gut issues. Be confident and experiment to see what works for you

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