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!).
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!
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 Canada 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.
The FODMAP Diet
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 diet 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!