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Irritable Bowel Syndrome - A Natural Approach

Chronic Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition characterized by disruption in the normal contraction of the digestive tract that pushes food and waste through the gut and out of the body. Symptoms of IBS include constipation, diarrhea or swelling on both sides; bloated; nausea; abdominal pain as well as symptoms of the whole body such as joint pain and rash. Although there is no single cause for this condition, research has found links to food sensitivities, anxiety, depression and abnormal sensations of the gut.

Intestinal Syndrome cannot be cured. It is not life-threatening but can cause serious harm to the patient's quality of life. However, symptoms can be managed. Although various medications such as antidepressants, stool softeners, and muscle relaxants may be prescribed, many patients find a more gentle, natural approach to managing symptoms.

Dietary fiber

Adding more fiber from cereals and vegetables to your diet can help constipation and control bowel movements, which for many people relieves bloating and stomach discomfort. For some people, even too much fiber, especially from sources such as beans, cabbage and broccoli, makes the symptoms worse. Grains rich in soluble fiber, especially oatmeal and flaxseed, can help alleviate the digestive tract. It is best to add fiber gradually, and include plenty of fluids in your diet.


Probiotics support the growth of microflora, a beneficial bacteria in the intestines that helps to break down waste and help digestion. Adding probiotics to your diet can help the digestive process and reduce stomach symptoms. Yogurt, kefir and other dairy products contain probiotics that can relieve digestive problems. Probiotics are also available in supplement form and can be added to any food.


Exercise intensity, although low intensity can help with the digestive symptoms associated with IBS. Exercise also reduces stress, which for most people contributes to symptoms such as stomach aches, constipation and diarrhea. Activities like walking, biking or yoga can help control the digestive system and soothe the mind.

Food Awareness

Although the cause of unhealthy bowel syndrome is unknown, food sensitivity can play an important role in symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea and other digestive complaints, as well as overall body symptoms such as depression, joint pain, rash and skin sensitivity. Maintaining a food diary, observing the relationship between eating certain foods and the onset of symptoms, and taking a "break" from certain foods can help to find and avoid triggering foods and drinks.

Vitamins and Minerals

Diarrhea can sometimes indicate the body may run short on essential nutrients such as potassium and magnesium, so eating foods rich in substances like bananas can help. Other vitamins that can help control symptoms include Vitamins C and D, which help regulate digestion.

Because Irritable Bowel Syndrome does not have a clear cause and many different symptoms, various medical treatments try to relieve the symptoms, with varying degrees of success. But for most patients, natural approaches based on awareness, lifestyle and dietary changes, along with supplements such as vitamins and probiotics, can make living with an irritable bowel easier.


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