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Irritabel Bowel Syndrome – IBS Self Help

Irritabel Bowel Syndrome - IBS Self Help

Greetings friends. Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is another quite common health condition I see quite regularly and it is something that you can improve yourself with a little understanding and some simple modifications.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common digestive problem which patients see their doctor about. About one-fifth of Americans and a similar amount of Australians have the problem. Primarily occurring between the age of 20 and 50, women have it twice as often as men. It is said that three-fourths of the population experience it at some time in their lives. Yet IBS is comparatively unknown in cultures where people eat simply, and not too much of it. This would suggest that IBS is lifestyle related and is often present in people with poor dietary habits. The fundamental problem is that the muscles of the small and large intestines contract in spasms rather than regularly. Something in the food bothers the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract,—probably the totality of the strange things Westerners eat: processed, greasy, fried, sugared, chemicaled, synthetic, drugged, and alcoholed food; and eaten hurriedly, at irregular times. These spasms cause the food to pass through the GI tract either too fast or too slow. When too slowly, too much water is absorbed, causing hard, dry stools; when too fast, too little water is absorbed and the stools are watery. Irritable bowel syndrome is a nuisance, but is not life-threatening. But be aware that symptoms of IBS may indicate more serious problems, which sometimes are related by IBS: arthritis, diabetes mellitus, gallbladder disease, malabsorption disorders, candidiasis, pancreatic insufficiency, skin disorders, ulcers, colon cancer, and parasitic infections, such as amoebiasis and giardiasis. There are diseases which have similar symptoms, such as diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and lactose intolerance. These should always be ruled out before assuming you have IBS.


There are three basic patterns:

  • (1) Constipation and pain;
  • (2) Alternating constipation and diarrhea;
  • (3) Painless diarrhea with mucous. Diarrhea frequently occurs upon arising, and again following breakfast. For the remainder of the day, the sufferer may be constipated. Diarrhea at night is rare. Instead of diarrhea, stools sometimes are pasty and very narrow.

Also present may be gas, nausea, bad breath, heartburn, severe headaches, bloating, lack of appetite, weakness, faintness, backache, and heart palpitations. Pain is often triggered by eating, and may be relieved by a bowel movement. A fifth of those with this problem also experience rectal bleeding.

How To Help Yourself:

  •  To relieve GI pain and expel the gas, take an enema, use a heating pad, hot water bottle, hot fomentations to the abdomen, lukewarm enemas—given slowly. Moist heat will be more effective than dry heat, since it penetrates better. If the pain is severe, apply the heat for an hour, remove for an hour, and then apply again for an hour, until relief comes.
  •  Take charcoal tablets, to relieve gas and bloating. But do not use it daily or it will cause constipation.
  •  The pain may be sharply increased by drinking cold liquids and eating food. It is now known that the pain is generally associated with constipation.
  •  The person may think he has too much gas, but studies reveal only that the normal amount of gas in his intestines bothers him more. But it would still be wise to avoid gas-forming foods. Avoid swallowing air. Do not chew gum or smoke, drink enough water, and avoid carbonated beverages.
  •  Eat more bran (oat bran, etc.) and it will produce more normal bowel movements. Coarse bran works better than fine bran. A high fiber diet is particularly important in solving IBS. Add crushed psyllium seed to your diet.
  •  Avoid stress, strain, worry, and rush.
  •  Avoid tobacco, tea, coffee, soft drinks, alcohol, and drugs.
  •  Research shows that refined sugar needs to be avoided if you want to return to normal living. Do not use sugar substitutes (sorbitol, etc.). Small amounts of Palm Sugar is ok.
  •  Do not take antacids or laxatives.
  •  Eat on a regular schedule. Do not skip meals or eat between meals. Let your digestive system rest before the next meal. Five hours between meals is a good rule.
  •  Do not eat before going to bed.
  •  Search for your food allergies.
  •  Avoid animal fats, butter, fried foods, and dairy products.
  •  Because of the ongoing diarrhea, people with IBS require as much as 30% more protein than normal, as well as an increased intake of minerals and trace elements.
  •  Studies of patients revealed that 70% of those with IBS had a lactose-intolerance problem. They needed to stop drinking milk in order to partially, or wholly, solve the problem.
  •  Regular out-of-door exercise is needed in order to maintain good bowel health.
  •  If you want success, stay totally away from cigarette smoke.
  •  Do not use medicinal or street drugs if you want improvement.
  •  When your intestines upset you, temporarily go on a bland diet. Put vegetables and nonacidic fruits through a blender. But be sure and include fiber if you are on a soft diet, and some protein.
  • L- Glutamine: an amino acid used as the primary fuel for cells of the intestinal tract, enhances absorption and helps to maintain a healthy intestinal tract.
  • Probiotics – Much needed to replace lost intestinal flora resopnisble for immunity and general well being.

Herbs That Help:

  • Slippery Elm Bark Powder – 1 Teaspoon in water. Allow to sit in the water for around 10 mins so it goes gluggy then drink. Take two to three times daily. It contain mucilage which coats the lining of the digestive tract and soothes. Also contains good amounts of minerals and vitamins.
  • Aloe Vera – It reduces the effects of various conditions including IBS for better digestion. Aloe vera juice relieves pain by reducing stomach cramping and spasms in the gut. It has also been shown to soothe inflammation and decrease swelling while promoting healing of the digestive tract.
  • Chamomile flowers (Matricaria recutita): This medicinal herbal plant has anti inflammatory and carminative properties making it ideal for mucous membrane irritation, gas and bloating, works to ease digestive cramping and tension related to overtaxed nerves and excess stress. Dosage: Tincture of chamomile can be mixed with warm water and consumed three times a day to relieve intestinal spasms or , Chamomile tea can be drink several times per day until symptoms subside.
  • Peppermint oil :– The volatile oils of Peppermint have a carminative action on the digestive tract. They help sooth the symptoms of IBS by relaxing the stomach and intestinal system and by expelling gas.
  • Calendula: A teaspoon of calendula tincture mixed with a quarter cup of water three times a day helps with diarrhea and constipation.
  • Lemon Balm: As a tea, lemon balm also relieves intestinal spasms.
  • Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) is a medicinal herbal plant which has antacid and anti inflammatory properties, It helps to regulate digestive function, relief of indigestion, gas and reflux, calms an overactive spastic colon and reduces excess digestive permeability.

I also highly recommend going to your local naturopath for a professional appraisal of your lifestyle and dietary habits and focusing some attention on those areas to ensure any causes laying within are addressed and corrected. Try this Healing Smoothie for Digestion recepie also.

Well until next time, be well. Craig Hitchens – Natural Health Practitioner


Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is accurate at the time of posting but may change thereafter. This information is for informational purposes only and is NOT to replace professional advice and does not constitute a treatment programme in any way. Before undertaking any therapy programme, consult a professional. Craig Hitchens and Craig Hitchens Therapies makes no claim to be able to cure or treat disease in an ALLOPATHIC MEDICAL CAPACITY.

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