A wide range of other
therapies has been used to treat
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Treatment methods that
help you better cope with stress can help reduce symptoms.
Other Treatment Choices
Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet can help with some symptoms of IBS, especially constipation. You can get more fiber in your diet by eating foods that are high in fiber such as fresh fruits (raspberries, pears, apples), fresh vegetables (peas, spinach, celery), wheat bran, and whole-grain breads and cereals.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is among the most common intestinal maladies and one of the most difficult to treat. No single remedy works for everybody, and there are few drugs created exclusively for IBS symptoms, which include abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and/or constipation.
"I look at it this way: I don't have a lot of great things in conventional medicine to offer, so what I do have is in the realm of natural therapy," says Tieraona Low Dog, MD, a clinician and professor...
If you have trouble getting enough fiber in your diet, try a fiber supplement. Examples include psyllium (such as Metamucil). If you take a fiber supplement, start with a small dose and very slowly increase the dose over a month or more. Also, make sure you drink plenty of fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water.
Some kinds of psychological treatment may help with IBS symptoms. These treatments include cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and hypnosis.2
treatment methods are usually more effective if they are used along with other
treatment methods, such as diet changes, stress reduction, and sometimes
Hypnosis. Hypnosis has also been shown to help with IBS symptoms.2
Other psychological treatments that are sometimes used for IBS include relaxation therapy, meditation, and biofeedback.
Because IBS is so
different for each person and because no medicines have been proven to work
really well for IBS, many people try alternative or complementary treatments.
Some of these treatments have been studied and some have not. The evidence to
support their use varies as much as the evidence seen when medicines for IBS
Peppermint oil has also been used to treat IBS. Studies have
shown that peppermint oil works to improve IBS symptoms by preventing cramps and spasms in the intestines.2
Aloe is commonly used for IBS, especially IBS with
constipation. There is currently no evidence for the use of aloe as an
effective treatment for IBS.
Ginger has been used to treat nausea and has been studied as
a treatment for nausea caused by seasickness and surgery. It is not known how
well ginger helps in IBS.
Helpful bacteria, called probiotics, may help with IBS symptoms. Studies show that a supplement with a combination of types (called strains) of bacteria probably helps more than just one type. But more research is needed.2
Experts are studying whether
antibiotics may relieve symptoms of IBS. One antibiotic in particular, rifaximin (Xifaxan), has been shown to help IBS symptoms, especially bloating and diarrhea.2
What To Think About
Some people have been
successful at handling stressful situations and controlling their symptoms
after trying psychological therapies. These techniques are not harmful and have
no side effects. Some of them can be used before a stressful event to prevent
or reduce symptoms.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 17, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this