Natural Remedies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

11/02/2010

Statistics place the number of US adults who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome – or IBS as it is known in more common medical terms – at a significant one in five. With these kinds of numbers, it is difficult to ignore the fact that IBS is very much part of the lives of a great number of people, causing daily discomfort and functional disorder.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome can take on a number of forms but is generally characterized by pain or discomfort in the abdomen, cramps, change in bowel function and bloating.

While there are a number of over the counter and prescription medications that could definitely help relieve the pain and discomfort resulting from IBS, using too many drugs could cause other problems in the long run, never mind the fact that repeat purchasing could place a burden on your finances.

More and more Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers are thus turning to natural remedies to help against the symptoms which may not cure IBS but can certainly relieve the pain.

Some of the more common natural remedies include peppermint oil and probiotics, as well as the identification of certain foodstuffs that may cause the symptoms of IBS to flare up.

It is also becoming more and more common for IBS sufferers to turn to alternative treatments such as hypnosis to try and cure their pain.

Let us examine these natural remedies in closer detail:

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil has long been identified as a natural way to cure stomach ailments and pain. While the exact reason for the success of peppermint oil in Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients is unknown, it is generally believed that the oil itself blocks the movement of calcium derived from food into the muscle cells, thereby allowing the muscle contractions to decrease and cut back on pain.

It is important to note that peppermint oil should be taken in a specific way and only in capsule form. Several segments of the population should avoid this natural remedy (such as pregnant women or children) as there are side effects. In all instances, patients are strongly recommended to consult with health experts beforehand.

Probiotics
Studies are currently underway to determine the role of probiotics (also known as ‘friendly bacteria’) in solving IBS related problems. One prominent medical theory has it that those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome are lacking these friendly bacteria, causing an imbalance in their bowels. Probiotics such as bifidobacterium have been found to be effective in relieving pain, bloating and gas among sufferers.

Identifying ‘Unfriendly’ Foodstuff
One of the easiest steps in dealing in with IBS in the most natural way possible is to cut out on certain foodstuffs which may be causing intolerance. Most practitioners immediately advise their patients to quit dairy and grain or gradually eliminate them from their diet. There are many alternatives available on the market, so that patients may not even feel the difference.

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