Many Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) sufferers find relief by avoiding dietary triggers, while others resort to alternative therapies and supplements. Probiotic supplements, in particular, have gained some attention lately for improving IBS symptoms.
A University of Oxford analysis looked at several probiotic studies and found the “friendly bacteria” provided modest to significant improvement in symptoms, including abdominal pain, flatulence, bloating and quality of life, Reuters reports.
One of the first lines of defense against IBS is exercise, sleep and a good diet, according to WebMD. Behavioral therapies, such as biofeedback, hypnosis, self-help groups and psychotherapy might also be viable options.
People with IBS could benefit from these alternative therapies and supplements:
- Acupuncture and Chinese herbs for pain relief
- Peppermint oil for cramps and spasms
- Aloe for constipation
- Ginger for nausea
Sufferers should avoid fats, red meat and alcohol. It might be important to avoid these foods and beverages:
- Fats, which can lead to steatorrhea
- Red meat because it’s difficult to digest
- Dairy in lactose-intolerant individuals, who should consider a digestive enzyme with lactase
- Caffeine, which has a diuretic effect and can cause increased bowel movements
- Alcohol, a gastrointestinal irritant
- Carbonated beverages because they can cause gas
(Source: Everyday Health)