Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

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For those of you with IBS who are looking for solutions for the gut-wrenching pain, check out this list of natural remedies to help you get through it.


There are several medications out there, such as Modulon, Dicetel, and Buscopan that work on smooth muscle tissue to stop the painful stomach contractions that go along with an IBS flare-up. Unfortunately, the one that works for a lot of people, Buscopan, has been unavailable for months in Canada, and is not expected to be back for quite a while. If you haven’t tried medication, or need to try something else to replace the Buscopan, see your doctor and explain your situation.


Ginger is well-known to help with nausea, but did you know it can also help with nausea and upset stomach caused by IBS? I tried grated ginger in a glass of water, in homemade juices, and I’m sorry, I just hate the stuff. Instead, I buy organic Ginger from the drug store. It really helps with any nausea and I think it also helps with my diarrhea (sorry, but there is no such thing as TMI when it comes to convos about IBS among sufferers!).

Peppermint Oil

Special note here – I’m NOT talking about peppermint essential oils for your temples during a migraine, or for your home diffuser – I’m talking about the capsules. You can pick up a bottle of these babies for around $10, and wow, do they help!

Hot Packs

Using hot packs on your tummy is a great way to help reduce that clenching pain in your stomach – managing pain is often about distraction, and heat and cold are notorious for helping with pain – they actually distract your brain from the pain that you’re feeling, and either reduces it, or, in some cases, eliminate it! I’ll talk more about why that is in an upcoming post on the Pain-Gate Theory of Pain Control. I use hotpacks from Comfy Comfy CanadaΒ and until November 30th at midnight, you can actually get one for a 15% discount from them by using my discount code, TESSAG15! I’ll be doing a review and a giveaway of this awesome hot/cold flaxseed pack in October, so stay tuned!


There are people out there who swear that you absolutely must buy the expensive acidophilous that needs to be refrigerated, or ‘special formulations,’ but I’m here to tell you that even the Shopper’s Drug Mart brand, Life, or the Jamieson brand, from the shelves are just fine! When I’m having a flare-up I take 2 with every meal, or, if I’m not feeling well enough to eat (because everything is going right through me half an hour later anyway) I take 2 of them 3x a day. It’s really and truly incredible that this actually STOPS the pain within an hour of taking it! It’s not a bad idea to include this in your regular routine, to fight off any bad bacteria in your gut that occurs with all that diarrhea. BEWARE of prebiotics though – if you have bad bacteria overgrowth in your intestines, it actually FEEDS off prebiotics, so I avoid them altogether.


To properly do the FODMAP diet, you’re going to have to do a very serious elimination diet, under the supervision of a Registered Dietician. The FODMAP dietΒ is a diet that aims to reduce the number of high-FODMAP foods that you consume, such as wheat, diary, onions, garlic, legumes, veggies in the cabbage family, artificial sweeteners, and so many more. You may already know some of your triggers, but it’s also important to get tested for gluten sensitivity or intolerence, Celiac, and even lactose intolerence. I personally have always had lactose intolerence, though I can tolerate a small amount of fermented dairy products such as real yogurt and kefir, and I know to stay the hell away from gluten. If you’re really suffering, you may want to consult with a Dietician and find out if you think an elimination diet is right for you.

Is there something that works for you that I haven’t mentioned? Let me know in the comments!

36 thoughts on “Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

    1. I only take 1 when I’m in a flare-up, 3-4x/day – I had given some to a friend and then ran out, and couldn’t find any at the pharmacy (imagine!) so my friend brought some over – I forgot I’d given her some!

  1. Oh man, this would be tough to go through. I don’t suffer from it now, but you never know what can happen down the line, so I’ll keep this post in mind.

    1. The peppermint oil capsules REALLY help when you have an upset stomach, and so can the ginger – I love the peppermint capsules when I’m sick and my last meal keeps ‘repeating’ on me – I’d rather burp peppermint flavor than, say, hummus!

  2. Just an FYI, if you acid reflux/GERD, peppermint will make it worse. I learned this the hard way. Great list of things to try.

  3. These are great natural remedies. Often times medication just causes more upset or side-effects. As I’ve gotten older, I’m turning to more and more natural remedies for myself and my family.

  4. You’ve provided some wonderful remedies to IBS. I’m not afflicted by it, but have some friends that are and have heard them talk about a couple of the items you listed, I’ve never heard of using ginger or peppermint, though. I’m a big advocate of using natural remedies if at all possible. I’m sure many people will be thrilled to read your article!

  5. While I don’t have IBS I do have an extremely sensitive stomach and these are great tips. I use probiotics every day now and ginger and peppermint are in my weekly routine.

    1. OH absolutely – being half Italian, everything has flour in it – I’m slowly learning to make big batches of gluten-free ravioli, tortellini, and so on, but it’s time to buy a pasta maker lol! I haven’t been very good at avoiding the veg and legumes though, because I’m vegetarian…yikes. Must – do – better!

  6. IBS is best treated via alternate medication be it Ayurveda, Homoeopathy or Naturopathy. Traditional medicine might give you immediate relief but never reach the root of the problem to eradicate it permanently.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. Not just IBS, but lots of other conditions – I have Fibromyalgia, and honestly, most medications really just don’t work. So I use a lot of alternate therapies including heat, hot baths, paddling around a swimming pool, to help with the pain. Meds just have way too many side effects!

  7. Wow, this post is so informative. I know when I have an upset stomach ginger and peppermint are home remedies usually do the trick. Also, I drink dandelion tea as well. Great post. I look forward to reading more.

  8. So sorry you’ve been going through this but I’m glad there are natural remedies. Ginger is a great remedies for many things; upset stomach and morning sickness too.

  9. I don’t have IBS but I know many people who are suffering from it. Ginger is one of the best remedies which helps you to get rid of from IBS, without any side-effects. Eating more fiber is also the best remedy.

  10. I do not suffer from IBS but I do know people who do. They had to restrict their diet so much and eat more and more healthy foods to ameliorate the symptoms.

  11. My mom had something similar to IBS. She knew what foods made it worse and what made it better. I never knew that about Ginger. I’m not a huge fan of it either!

  12. Honestly, I don’t have IBS, But sometimes, I do feel discomfort in my stomach area especially when I eat a lot of oily foods. I feel bloated and uncomfortable, though it’s not painful. I manage the situation with ginger tea, a capsule of enzyme, and yes hot pack. Sometimes, I take an antacid. It goes away.

  13. Wow! I was literally just talking about remedies for IBS a few minutes ago lol. Peppermint and ginger do help calm my system and I take a probiotic too

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