I know how debilitating IBS can be – I had this problem for YEARS in my early 20’s. I went through the round about of specialists, doctors, natural healers and more – and got very little success for it.
That is actually why I became a naturopath – no one could heal me, so I learnt what I needed to know, to heal myself!
In my journey, and through supporting others, I’ve found a few things key to helping relieve IBS symptoms. What are IBS symptoms I hear you ask? Let me tell you…
But first let me say I don’t actually believe in the term “IBS”. In my personal experience IBS seems to be a catch-all phase (not truly a diagnosis) that they give to all of us that have some sort of gut health issue – but they don’t know the cause and they don’t know how to fix it. So the medicos seemed to decide, “give ’em a diagnosis, that’ll make ’em feel better”!. So yep…that’s my 2cents worth.
Now back to those symptoms…
Sufferers may get all or some of these symptoms, on a scale that ranges from very mild and not very problematic, to so severe and chronic it’s completely life-limiting and debilitating. Where do you fit on the scale?
IBS Sufferers can experience:
- cramping and pain throughout the abdominal area and bowel
- nausea, vomiting
- bloating and gut distention (which can be so extreme you feel you may burst!)
- flatulence and gas
- variable bowel motions from constipated to explosive diarrhoea and everything in between
- reflux, heart burn and chest pains
- hot sweats and a “heating up” feeling
- headaches, migraines, head pressure
And the list goes on, each symptom can be as unique as the person experiencing it.
So what about symptomatic relief? Well, in clinic I have a myriad of options at my disposal to support you through the issues.
But let’s talk about what you can do for yourself at home…
- hot packs or cool packs for pain – if heat doesn’t help, try cool packs
- essential oils (topically only) – lavendar and peppermint. Use a few drops of each in a tablespoon of edible oil (even olive oil from the pantry is fine). Rub this clockwise on your belly around your belly button. This can help ease pain and dispel gas. Using castor oil base can help the oils stay on the area longer too.
- aloe vera juice – you can get this in the supermarket or health food shop. Try a dose of 10-30ml when you are experiencing symptoms, or regularly up to 3 times per day.
- probiotics – now I’m talking about more than a “lactobac” (ie, one with two, or just a few, strains). What we need is a strong multi-strain probiotic with rhamnosus strain (as this decreases reactivity and sensitivity of the gut).
- peppermint tea – or gut healing tea. I make one in clinic with peppermint, spearmint, dandelion leaf, nettle leaf, alfalfa, calendula and hibiscus. Taken hot or cold, it can ease symptoms.
- eat small meals regularly and don’t drink with meals (dilutes stomach acid making digestion harder)
- homeopathic NUX VOMICA – available in many health food stores, can help ease the nausea and sick feeling.
- avoid your trigger foods – this goes without saying, but sometimes finding our triggers can be difficult. That’s why BioCompatibility Testing is key in my clinic.
- try grated apple – eating a little grated or stewed apple, in my personal experience, did help to curb some symptoms.
I hope these tips help you! If you have IBS or other digestive condition, why not reach out and ask about options to support you with natural & naturopathic healing?
I healed my IBS ~ I can help you too xx
Naturopath ~ Cassandra Henry