People with IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, spend many of their days in discomfort. This condition, shared by millions of Americans, is sometimes embarrassing and always unsettling. It leaves people feeling like their digestive system is always changing, moody, or just not quite right. Fortunately, many symptoms of IBS—including diarrhea, constipation, and gas—can be treated naturally with no prescription drugs required. All it takes is a simple IBS diet plan.
For many, the first sign of illness is handled with a trip to the doctor. However, with IBS (as with many modern ailments), the solution your medical doctor gives you is likely to cause other problems in the form of side effects. From blurred vision to nausea, a prescription drug will likely have you feeling arguably worse than before.
Some Signs of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by abdominal pain and uncomfortable bowel movements. Although irritable bowel syndrome can cause intense pain, the good news is that are no significant physical problems that help breed the health issue.
Here are some signs often felt and reported by those suffering with the condition:
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
If you are experiencing the above symptoms to the point of your daily activity being negatively affected, you may suffer from IBS. Here are some natural solutions and foods to include/exclude from your IBS diet plan.
1. Add Probiotics
Proper digestion is highly dependent on the trillions of bacteria in your digestive system. These beneficial bacteria are essential when it comes to the proper functioning of your colon and the intestines. Many things can throw these bacteria off track, especially antibiotics, but getting them back to optimal condition is as simple as adding some fermented foods or even yogurt into your diet. These “good” bacteria work to break down your foods efficiently and ward off the “bad” bacteria that can make you sick. You can also invest in a probiotic supplement.
2. Remove Gluten and Wheat
One of the first steps for your IBS diet plan should be to go on a gluten-free diet. Known to trigger gut symptoms, tiredness, and other issue, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt. What many individuals have found, and what you may find, is that going on a gluten-free diet for a week or two may result in significant improvement with IBS. Any food allergies, sensitivities, or
Try eliminating gluten and share your results.
3. Increase Fiber Intake
What you eat has an immediate impact on the workings of your digestive system. This seems like an obvious statement, but many people simply don’t get it. Avoiding highly processed foods in favor or natural foods can give your body the dose of real fiber it needs. Fresh produce is the best form of fiber you can find and can naturally regulate your digestive system. Try to steer clear of fiber supplements and instead eat vegetables as medicine.
Don’t just increase fiber; increase intake of soluble fiber. Some foods to look for include:
Here are some other health benefits of fiber.
4. Try Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is just one other remedy to include in your IBS diet plan. It’s believed to work by blocking the absorption of calcium in the muscles, where it may cause excessive contractions. The peppermint slows down these contractions and helps to alleviate gas and bloating. The mint also naturally calms and cools the digestive tract and stomach.
Note: Not taken properly, peppermint oil can cause heartburn. Also, nursing or pregnant women should use caution before using peppermint oil.
Related Read: Peppermint Tea Benefits
5. Perform a Parasite Cleanse, Get Checked for Parasites
Having your stool checked for parasites could be beneficial to ensure you aren’t suffering from another physical condition that simply appears to be IBS. Some parasites, like giardia, can be a contributing factor, and should be treated.
Other Considerations for Your IBS Diet Plan
- 6. Herbs – Acmella oleracea is hardly a plant most people would recognize, but it has been used for centuries by Inca tribes as a pain reliever for toothaches and to help aid irritable bowel syndrome. The plant is so potent that it could even replace anaesthetic injections. Some other herbs that could help are chamomile, lemon balm, turmeric, nutmeg, comfrey, cinnamon, and St. John’s Wort.
- 7. Amino Acid Supplementation – L-glutamine is a non-essential amino acid highly present in muscles. This amino acid can help alleviate IBS symptoms and be especially beneficial for those suffering from leaky gut by promoting the repair of cells in the intestinal wall and fortifying gut lining. Try supplementing with up to 80 grams of L-glutamine for the first 5 days, and then reducing intake to 5-10 grams daily for maintenance. L-glutamine powder derived from a non-GMO source is preferred.
- 8. Chlorella – Chlorella helps to boost the digestive system – improving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome – among other things. It increases the body’s production of good bacteria in the gut, which works to absorb toxins in the intestines. Chlorella also encourages more regular bowel movements, moving food through the digestive system and clearing out the intestines to prevent the re-absorption of toxins.
- 9. Avoid Dairy – Dairy products seem to be a primary enemy when it comes to IBS. Avoid cheese whenever possible. It backs you up, to put it nicely. If you must eat cheese, limit the quantity and keep it for special occasions.
Perhaps the best advice when trying to treat IBS or any other digestive disorder is to be aware. Watch what you eat or drink and how it affects your symptoms. While that seems like a no-brainer, tracking your symptoms and adjusting your IBS diet plan accordingly could offer the simplest and most effective solution of all.
Mike is the co-founder, editor, and researcher behind Natural Society. Studying the work of top natural health activists, and writing special reports for top 10 alternative health websites, Mike has written hundreds of articles and pages on how to obtain optimum wellness through natural health.