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Can dietary supplements help calm my IBS symptoms?

ANSWER

There’s evidence that two dietary supplements may calm your IBS symptoms:

Peppermint oil may ease belly pain, bloating, and gas -- but it can also cause heartburn. Look for enteric-coated capsules. They dissolve in the intestines instead of in the stomach, so they also don’t trigger indigestion.

Probiotics are live microscopic organisms like those that live in your digestive tract. Some probiotics may improve belly pain, bloating, and gas, but it’s not clear which one is the best for IBS.

Tell your doctor if you want to take any supplement. Some may interfere with medication you’re already taking.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease: “Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

Wolters Kluwer Health: “Patient information: Irritable bowel syndrome (Beyond the Basics).”

Office of Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services: “Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) fact sheet.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Antidiarrheal Agents.”

US National Library of Medicine: “Diphenoxylate.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Anticholinergic/Antispasmodic Agents.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Antidepressant Medications.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Lotronex.”

Prometheus Therapeutics and Diagnostics, “Lotronix.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Eluxadoline.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Rifaximin.”

Salix Pharmaceuticals, “About Xifaxan.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for IBS.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Relaxation Techniques to Manage IBS Symptoms.”

Ruth Geller, mindfulness meditation instructor, Central Islip, NY

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “6 Tips: IBS and Complementary Health Practices.”

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Irritable Bowel Syndrome: In Depth.”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on February 15, 2020

SOURCES:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease: “Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

Wolters Kluwer Health: “Patient information: Irritable bowel syndrome (Beyond the Basics).”

Office of Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services: “Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) fact sheet.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Antidiarrheal Agents.”

US National Library of Medicine: “Diphenoxylate.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Anticholinergic/Antispasmodic Agents.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Antidepressant Medications.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Lotronex.”

Prometheus Therapeutics and Diagnostics, “Lotronix.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Eluxadoline.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Rifaximin.”

Salix Pharmaceuticals, “About Xifaxan.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for IBS.”

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Relaxation Techniques to Manage IBS Symptoms.”

Ruth Geller, mindfulness meditation instructor, Central Islip, NY

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “6 Tips: IBS and Complementary Health Practices.”

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Irritable Bowel Syndrome: In Depth.”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on February 15, 2020

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How difficult is it to live with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

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