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Are herbs used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

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Herbs are popular treatment options for people with IBS. Peppermint is used to calm muscles in the colon, which may cause some of the diarrhea and abdominal discomfort associated with IBS. If you try it, get the enteric-coated capsules. Be aware that it may make heartburn worse.

Registered herbalists never use peppermint on its own, nor do they recommend its use for an extended period of time.

If you're really interested in seeing an herbalist, make sure he or she is trained and certified. If you are interested in herbal therapy, dietary supplements, acupuncture, or any other alternative treatment for your IBS, make sure you talk with your doctor. Herbs may interact with other medications you may be taking -- and dietary supplements may become toxic if used improperly.

SOURCE: Philip Schoenfeld, MD, MSEd, MSc, co-author of American College of Gastroenterology's "Evidence-Based Position Statement on the Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in North America." Jeanine Blackman, MD, PhD, medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine. Jonathan Gilbert, who has a diplomate in herbology and acupuncture from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Acupuncture." Mayo Clinic: "Irritable Bowel Syndrome." WebMD Feature: "Natural Alternatives for IBS." About.com: "Herbs and Supplements for IBS." University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter Web site. Medscape: "Probiotics Significantly Reduce Symptoms of IBS, Ulcerative Colitis," and "Highlights from Digestive Disease Week: An Expert Interview with Lawrence R. Schiller, MD."






Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on August 30, 2019

SOURCE: Philip Schoenfeld, MD, MSEd, MSc, co-author of American College of Gastroenterology's "Evidence-Based Position Statement on the Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in North America." Jeanine Blackman, MD, PhD, medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine. Jonathan Gilbert, who has a diplomate in herbology and acupuncture from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Acupuncture." Mayo Clinic: "Irritable Bowel Syndrome." WebMD Feature: "Natural Alternatives for IBS." About.com: "Herbs and Supplements for IBS." University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter Web site. Medscape: "Probiotics Significantly Reduce Symptoms of IBS, Ulcerative Colitis," and "Highlights from Digestive Disease Week: An Expert Interview with Lawrence R. Schiller, MD."






Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on August 30, 2019

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Are probiotics used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

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