A little over 5 years ago I was diagnosed with IBS. It wasn’t the greatest news I had ever heard, but in looking back, I can see how God used it for good. I chose to find and use natural remedies for IBS. This approach not only allowed me to heal my digestive system, but also put me on a better lifestyle track in general.
No need for the prescription medicines, in my opinion. Just a few changes in your diet and lifestyle could help control, if not heal, IBS for good.
Here are just a few of the natural remedies that I have incorporated into my life that I hope will help you.
First, What Is IBS
Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome. Whatever you call it, it can be uncomfortable, painful, and sometimes hard to diagnose.
IBS is said to effect up 20% of American adults at some point in their lives. Symptoms and severity differ, yet it all boils down to how their digestive system is working.
Some of the symptoms of IBS can be, but are not limited to, constipation, diarrhea, excessive gas, abdominal pain, and other stomach related issues.
Treatments for IBS can include prescribed medicines, yet in my experience, these not only band-aid the problem, but they can also make it worse.
I have found the most success, and dare I say healing, from just make a few lifestyle and diet changes, so let’s focus on those.
Natural Remedies for IBS
#1 Reduce Stress
Sitting in a doctors office, trying to figure out what is going on with you, can be a bit stressful. Top that with the diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and you could say your stress level could possibly hit an all time high.
Stress can wreak havoc on our bodies. If we are stressed out, our gut reacts, which in turn can make our IBS symptoms kick into high gear.
Quick and Easy ways to reduce stress:
- Get outside- whether you drive to a park and walk around or just sit out in the sun for a good 15 to 20 minutes, getting outside in nature can help you take your mind off of the things
- Yoga – study after study has shown that doing a daily Yoga routine can help reduce stress immensely
- Meditation – just be still. Pray, meditate, just be quiet for a few moments in your day. Putting in stillness in a very busy lifestyle will help stress melt away
- Laugh – really, no joke, laughter has been show to reduce stress, so go watch a funny movie or go hang out with your friends. Reduce that stress by laughing out loud.. a lot.
#2 Change Your Diet
I remember, with a giggle, sitting and arguing with my doctor when he first diagnosed me with IBS. You see, I had NEVER had any kind of food allergies or issues my whole 40 something years on this earth. So when he looked me straight in the eye and told me to keep a diary of my food for two weeks or he wouldn’t see me again, I was a bit surprised.
Surprised because I had a doctor telling me that it could be a food issues instead of trying to just mask it with medicines, but also surprised… well.. because he was right.
Dairy was my IBS trigger food. Not the only one, but the biggest culprit.
At first this was devastating. I LOVED milk. Well, not really milk itself ( I barely drank milk), but I loved all things created with milk. Cheese and ice-cream. I mean, come on!!! Did I really have to give these up?
To make a long story short, YES! I tried the Lactaid, I tried the lactose-free and the casein-free, but in the end, my healing came from letting go of all dairy based products (except eggs).
Yes this was hard to do, at first, but now I don’t ever see going back. I don’t even miss it. Going dairy-free has opened a world of amazing new foods to me and has pushed me out of my comfort zone of foods.
So, with all that being said…
Keep a food journal of what you eat on a daily basis and see what foods may be your trigger foods.
Once you find out what your trigger foods are, remove them from your diet for another two to three weeks and see how you feel.
Take this time to try new and different foods. Have fun creating substitutions for recipes that you love by implementing new ingredients. Healthy fats, bone broths, water, steamed vegetables, and fruits in moderation can be easier for your body to digest and can help it heal.
Cashews have become a HUGE player in my house. From cashew cream in place of sour cream to cashew ice-cream, you’ll never know what new food item will become your favorite thing to eat.
Doing away with foods that may trigger your IBS will help tremendously, but it may not alleviate all your symptoms. That’s where adding in some really good supplements will help the healing begin.
According to Delicious Living,
Probiotics are known to support healthy digestion. That’s because the intestines contain trillions of bacterial cells, not all of which are friendly, and inserting a few billion of the good guys promotes a healthier environment. It also benefits immune health, because the intestines house about 70 percent of the body’s innate immune function.
By stabilizing the gut, probiotics can ameliorate IBS symptoms, such as bloating, cramping, gas, diarrhea and constipation. In a 10-week 2016 study of 50 patients, a probiotic mixture of seven probiotic strains relieved overall IBS symptoms and improved stool consistency.
The trick with probiotic supplements is that species and strains matter. If you’re looking to maintain general good gut health, you might opt for a multistrain formulation that also includes a prebiotic such as inulin or fructooligosaccharide (FOS) to feed the probiotics. But if you want help with a specific digestive-health issue, not just any acidophilus will do. As new research emerges, supplement makers are matching specific probiotic strains with specific health end points, but we’re not quite there yet. In the meantime, research your probiotic supplement wisely and well.
As stated above, finding the right probiotic can be a little tricky, especially when dealing with IBS, but don’t give up if the first time you try them your symptoms seem to get worse. That happened to me, but once I found a brand of probiotics that didn’t upset my stomach, I feel so much better.
Digestive Enzymes help break down your food, which in turn will help your digestive food.
Adding a good fish oil and/or peppermint oil can help IBS. Fish oil acts as an ant-inflammatory and peppermint oil has been found as an anti-spamodic oil, which can help with stomach pain.
Just The Beginning
These natural remedies are just a few of the ways that you can start to heal your digestive tract. It does take a little time, not only to find what are your triggers, but also what natural healing methods are going to work best for you.
IBS is certainly not an issue that is fun to have, but it is something that can be handled with a more holistic and non-prescription approach.
My prayer is that this article is helpful to you and that you will be able finding healing in your own natural and healthy way.
What About You?
Is IBS something that you have dealt with yourself or someone close to you? What ways have you found that helped you the best? Leave me a comment and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for stopping by and happy healing!