Irritable Bowel Syndrome


It has been estimated that approximately one in seven people suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). More women than men are effected and for many years it was thought to be mostly psychological. However, research in Great Britain appears to disprove this.


Symptoms can include abdominal pain, constipation and/or diarrhea, increased flatulence, mucus in stools, nausea, bloating and anorexia. As these symptoms could also be the result of a more serious problem it is best to consult your physician first.

What Can Help

  • Rule out any food allergies and lactose intolerance.
  • Experts usually recommend eating a healthy high fiber diet. When an upset occurs it may help to keep to bland foods.
  • Avoid junk food and foods and drinks that contain caffeine as this can irritate the intestine.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking - both can irritate the intestine
  • Try to reduce stress. It may not be the cause, but stress reduction has been shown to help with the symptoms.
  • Experts have shown that hypnotherapy and relaxation techniques have also been successful in the treatment of IBS.

Nutritional and Herbal Supplements that may Help

  • Chamomile tea can ease intestinal cramping and soothe irritation. The tea can be made from dried flowers or chamomile capsules. Experts suggest drinking a freshly brewed cup 3 or 4 times each day between meals.
  • Peppermint oil (must be enteric coated or it can irritate the stomach) also eases intestinal cramping and soothes irritation. A burning sensation in the rectum is experienced by some people - chamomile is a better choice in this case.
  • Acidophilus - this helps restore "friendly" bacteria to the gut.
  • Experts suggest taking 2000 mg of Calcium and 1000 mg of Magnesium. These are important to the central nervous system and can help with a nervous stomach
  • Charcoal tablets can help to relieve gas and bloating

Disclaimer: The information presented is for information purposes only. It is based on scientific studies or traditional usage. Consult a health care professional before using supplements or making any changes in prescribed medications. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease