Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder that can either cause diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramping, or even bloating. Even though symptoms of IBS are uncomfortable, it does not change your bowel tissue or increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer like Crohn’s Disease. IBS is a chronic condition, but people can keep symptoms under control by managing diets, lifestyles, and stress.
Symptoms of IBS
Because IBS can affect each person differently, people will experience varying symptoms, but the primary symptom is abdominal discomfort. If you are a woman, symptoms can worsen during menstruation. Symptoms of IBS can include:
- Abdominal bloating
- Abdominal cramping
- Mucus in the stool
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden urge to have bowel movements
Natural Remedies For IBS
Exercise can be a beneficial remedy for those with IBS because it helps stimulate proper intestinal contractions. Additionally, exercising may help to relieve stress and anxiety, both of which can induce symptoms of IBS. If you don’t exercise regularly, you may want to start with low-intensive exercises like walking, swimming, riding an exercise bike, Tai Chi, yoga, or even Pilates. It is recommended to exercise 30 minutes a day for five days a week to see positive effects.
Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate some more. When you have IBS, it is important to drink water because energy, caffeinated, or alcoholic drinks can make diarrhea worse, and carbonated drinks can induce gas or bloating. It is recommended to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day. If you weigh 150 pounds and divide that by two to get 75, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water every day.
Change Your Diet
It can be beneficial, for IBS symptoms as well as overall health, to avoid processed foods, dairy products (especially if you are allergic to them), meats, fried foods, sugars, salts, and stimulants. These foods can often inhibit proper digestive function or worsen symptoms of IBS. Switching to a more plant-based diet can help regulate gastrointestinal health and eating fibrous fruits and vegetables can help firm up stools or promote bowel movements.
Avoid Certain Foods
Certain foods are notorious for producing gas. It can be optimal to eliminate these foods from your diet to decrease the amount of gas you have. These foods include beans, cabbage, cauliflower, bran, Brussels sprouts, pears, raisins, onions, and the list continues. Additionally, you should avoid carbonated drinks, eat slowly, and chew your food thoroughly.
Use ginger as a natural remedy any chance you get! Ginger helps to stimulate saliva, bile, and gastric juices, which can help stimulate proper digestion. The easiest way to reap the benefits of ginger is to make tea. Pour hot water over freshly sliced ginger and stir in 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of raw, organic honey. Drink this once or twice a day until IBS symptoms subside.
Slippery elm, which is obtained from the inner bark of the red elm tree, may help heal irritated tissues in the digestive tract. You can obtain slippery elm powder and make it into a tea. Take 1 teaspoon of the powder, 1 teaspoon of raw honey, and put them in 2 cups of boiling water. You can add cinnamon for added flavor if you like. Drink this concoction once or twice a day.