Print This Page SparkPeople

Alternative Therapies for IBS

Relieve Symptoms Naturally
  -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) causes uncomfortable and painful symptoms like cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. In the U.S., this condition affects between 10% and 30% of the population. Traditional treatment for IBS usually involves medication, which is effective, but often causes undesirable side-effects. However, according the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there are several complementary and alternative therapies that may be very effective at treating IBS.

Most of these remedies focus on stress management because there is evidence to suggest that IBS is related to an abnormal immune system. Because stress affects your immune system, stress management can be an effective treatment for IBS.

Here are some of the ways you can manage stress, and improve symptoms of IBS: Besides stress-management techniques, other alternative therapies have shown promise: In the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers note the widespread use of complementary and alternative therapies in treating IBS, and comment that, “we need more science and more controlled studies; the absence of truly randomized placebo-controlled trials for many of these [complementary] therapies has limited meaningful progress in this area”. For your safety, always discuss the use of alternative therapies, especially supplements and herbs, with your doctor before trying them on your own.