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Alternative IBS Treatment

Treatment of IBS: Alternative Thinking

Hopping over to the other camp or the herbalist/naturalist concepts of Treating IBS, there is a completely different approach to treatment of Irritable bowel syndrome. Please keep in mind that when it comes to alternative medicine or treatment the term herbalist is often used, but may encompass not only herbalist remedies and thinking but also those of the homeopathic point of view as well. Generally both of these Ideas or ways of thinking about or approaches to health care can be termed as Alternative Medicine

It has long been touted by herbalists and homeopaths, that the amount of processed food products and chemically processed medications that we consume, is what is making the population sick. In the case of IBS, there may well be a resounding bit of truth in that kind of thinking. Even in the medical community, food and medicine intolerance is thought to be a cause or trigger of the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. More and more people are finding that they have developed intolerance to foods or medicines they have consumed for a very long time. Studies are underway to research this and try to pinpoint the reasons. It may well be that the amount of man made unnatural chemicals what we introduce into our systems via food or medicine is playing a significant role in the increase in the number of IBS cases world wide

More and more, food intolerance is gaining ground as one of the possible causes for IBS. Sufferers find that by cutting out particular types of food such as dairy or gluten they reduce their symptoms. Some who suffer have found certain types of foods that for them always set off symptoms. But what triggers symptoms for one person, may have no affect on another sufferer

Research has reported that some of these listed foods have shown some relationship to the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. They include such things as caffeine, citrus, corn, dairy lactose, wheat, and wheat gluten. Lactose (dairy products) and caffeine, in particular, may be associated IBS that is predominately characterized by diarrhea. Because food is thought to be one of the major triggers for IBS, it may be an advantage for sufferers to keep a diary or log of daily food intake, to help identify those foods that might bring on irritable bowel syndrome symptoms

Increasing dietary fiber has long been recommended as a treatment for IBS and is generally recommended by all the schools of thought for its treatment. But to that affect, there is still no hard evidence that increasing the mount of fiber will lesson any symptom. From a dietary standpoint it just makes good sense. However, it is suggested that it may help to improve ease of stool passage and there by add to the psychological effects stool passage can create for IBS sufferers.

Some of the more naturalistic/herbalist or homeopathic types of treatments for Irritable bowel syndrome can be of, but not limited any of the following


Fiber supplements

They are normally referred to as bulk laxatives or fiber therapy products can have beneficial results for either constipation or diarrhea symptoms because of the bulking effects they have. These kinds of products have value in treatment, but be mindful of those that contain other ingredients, some can contain chemical laxatives in addition to the fiber content Also be concerned about products with artificial sweetener, as they can cause stomach upset and may trigger or worsen symptoms. Experimentation may be necessary to find a fiber supplement that is well tolerated. Some may find that psyllium products such as Metamucil can cause increased stomach problems, but methylcellulose products such as Citrucel and Celevac do not.


Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil for abdominal pain, which is the most frequent and disabling symptom of IBS, is reported to improve when the intestinal smooth muscles are relaxed. Peppermint oil can reduce abdominal pain and bloating (distension) of IBS, possibly by blocking the influx of calcium into muscle cells and inhibiting excess contraction of intestinal smooth muscles. It is a carminative, which means it helps eliminate intestinal gas. Peppermint oil should only be used in enteric-coated capsules to prevent the possibility of it acting on the esophageal mussels, allowing stomach acid to flow up causing heartburn. A number of studies have shown the beneficial effects of enteric-coated peppermint capsules for treating symptoms of IBS, such as pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. A significant number of patients gained relief of symptoms from its use



These can act as a bulking agent in a similar way to fiber supplements. They can be swallowed whole with water or soft food such as yoghurt, or some people prefer to grind them before eating.



Probiotics consist of a preparation containing a single- or mixed-culture of live microbes that exert beneficial health effects by altering the gastrointestinal flora and restoring a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut. Lactobacillus acidophillus and bifidobacterium bifidum show promise in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome by helping to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and inhibiting the attachment of pathogens to the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.



Although it sounds a bit chemical it is a natural mineral that has been used widely for treating abdominal cramps and constipation. It is obtained naturally from the diet, and is required for many metabolic activities in the body. Absorption of magnesium is reduced by high intake of calcium, alcohol, diuretics, liver or kidney disease, and oral contraceptive use. In some cases the increased intake of magnesium has been reported to improve symptoms and aid in healthy digestion. Green vegetables such as spinach are good sources of magnesium. Some types of beans and peas, nuts and seeds, and whole, unrefined grains are also good sources of magnesium



Hypnotherapy is a fairly well-established treatment for IBS and in studies; research has shown that some patients do respond well to hypnosis for the treatment of their IBS symptoms. Some hypnotherapists offer specialized service that are GI tract targeted. Hypnosis for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome at one time was primarily practiced in the United Kingdom but is gaining popularity in the United States. Success rates are claimed in upwards of 80% for those that might not have responded well to other treatments. There is plenty of information to be found about hypnosis as a treatment of IBS, and we would suggest further study before engaging in its use. The information here is for general knowledge purposes only.


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