Some natural remedies can help you ease the pain, gas, bloating, stress -- and yes, diarrhea -- from irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D). They might also make your bowel movements more regular.
They shouldn’t take the place of your regular treatment, but they can work with it. Some are things you can do on your own at home. Others you can do with the help of your doctor or therapist.
Talk to your doctor before trying any of the options below. Make sure you let him know if you're taking any over-the-counter herbs or supplements, or if you’re changing what you eat to treat your IBS.
Changes to Your Diet
Some simple tweaks may help calm your symptoms. Sugary foods, sodas, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods may be bad for your digestion. Instead, eat whole, natural foods. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats found in salmon or nuts are better choices.
Be careful about getting too much fiber, including through fiber powders or drinks. There’s no proof these ease IBS-D symptoms.
Chew food well and take your time to help digest your meals. It’s better to let your teeth and saliva break down your food slowly than to wash it down with water or other drinks.
If you think some eats or drinks may trigger your symptoms, keep a food diary for a few weeks. Write down what you eat and when you have stomach problems. You may discover which meals or treats make you feel worse.
Keep Your Stress in Check
Some natural ways to relax may help ease your IBS-D symptoms.
Hypnotherapy and meditation. A trained therapist can teach you to focus on soothing images or thoughts. This can help you learn to relax your tight stomach muscles.
You can practice these techniques alone or in group sessions. You’ll probably need to do hypnotherapy for a few months to feel any relief. You can learn to meditate so you can do it at home whenever you need to relax.
Massage. This is a solid way to help you relax. A massage therapist can work on you in a day spa, and some can come to your home.
Exercise. People with IBS who make working out part of their routine have fewer symptoms. You can take walks, train at your local gym, or take exercise classes like gentle yoga.