Natural solutions for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Keeping the symptoms of IBS under control is vital, shares Pharmacist and Master Herbalist Gerald Quigley on The House of Wellness Radio.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a persistent intestinal disorder of unknown causes.

IBS commonly produces an array of troublesome symptoms, including recurring abdominal pain, abdominal rumblings, excessive gas production, urgency to empty the bowels, and intermittent diarrhoea alternating with constipation.

It appears to affect women more than men, especially those who have a tendency towards anxiety.

Many people with IBS advise that certain foods aggravate their symptoms more than others. For some, these incriminating foods can change, adding to the frustration of identifying and reducing the triggers.

It must be noted that dramatic dietary changes in individuals with IBS may mean that certain micro- and macronutrients are missed from the diet.

The primary aim of dietary change is to decrease inflammation and correct gut disruptions.

Many people with IBS experience symptomatic improvement with the use of probiotics, especially of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species. Probiotics may also be useful in improving transit time in the bowel.

If intake of dietary fibre is low, a fibre supplement may help. Good results are often seen with a mix of insoluble and soluble fibres. A pharmacist can provide further advice.

Herbal medicines may also be used by IBS sufferers to decrease pain, abdominal distension and flatulence, and improve peristalsis and transit time in the bowel, as well as reduce any stress or anxiety that may be present. Herbs such as angelica root, peppermint, caraway, chamomile, melissa balm and milk thistle are often included in remedies designed to settle the unpredictable gut. Additionally, turmeric and globe artichoke may be used.

From a lifestyle perspective, exercise has also been shown to improve IBS symptoms. Activities that reduce stress, including yoga, meditation and tai chi can help improve sleep and anxiety.

There’s no doubt that IBS can dominate your life. Seeking help from your pharmacist can settle troublesome symptoms and help restore order in your digestive system.

The House of Wellness Radio Show

Tune into The House of Wellness Radio to hear Gerald discuss Irritable Bowel Syndrome and how controlling the symptoms of IBS can improve quality of life. 

Image via Shutterstock