Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Home remedies like diet and reducing stress might help.
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing. Abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea are never fun. Yet there are several lifestyle changes and home remedies that you can try that may provide some relief.
Everyone’s body is different, but once you find remedies, you can try using them to prevent discomfort.
Exercise may improve IBS symptoms. A small 2019 study found that 6 weeks of treadmill exercise reduced symptoms and improved quality of life in women with mild and moderate IBS.
If you’re not used to exercising, try starting slowly and working your way up. The
Research from 2019 has linked stressful life events to an increased risk of IBS and worsened symptoms.
Incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine can benefit everyone, especially if you’re living with IBS. A
You can try practicing mindfulness by:
- using a mindfulness app
- going for a walk and paying attention to your surroundings
- taking a moment to reflect on your current physical state, thoughts, and emotions
- imagining being somewhere you enjoy and creating a mental image of what you’re seeing, hearing, and smelling
Fiber is a bit of a mixed bag for people with IBS. It can help ease some symptoms, including constipation, but may worsen other symptoms like gas and bloating.
Still, it’s important to eat high fiber foods. Try increasing your fiber intake by
In some cases, your doctor may also recommend that you take a fiber supplement like Metamucil.
Dairy products tend to be high in FODMAPs, which are carbohydrates that are difficult to digest. The low-FODMAP diet, often
If your doctor recommends avoiding dairy products, it’s essential to ensure that you consume enough protein and calcium from other sources. Talk with a dietitian if you have questions on how to do this.
Some foods may worsen gastrointestinal (GI) pain. Watch for foods that exacerbate your symptoms, and do your best to avoid them. Some common symptom-inducing foods and drinks include:
- dairy products
On the other hand, some foods may help IBS. Foods that are low in FODMAPs may be less likely to cause symptoms,
- vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and spinach
- fruits like bananas, grapefruit, and blueberries
- maple syrup
- artificial sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame
Consuming probiotics, the types of “good” bacteria and other beneficial microorganisms found in your gut, may help with IBS.
A research review from 2019 suggested that taking probiotics, especially ones containing multiple strains of microorganisms, may improve IBS symptoms. Still, more long-term studies are needed.
You can get probiotics in supplements or through
As with any supplement, it’s essential to talk with your doctor before trying a probiotic.
Managing IBS symptoms can be a challenge, so it’s important to take care of yourself.
Several of the strategies above, like exercising and reducing your stress, may help reduce IBS symptoms with the added benefit of boosting your well-being. Talking with someone who understands what you’re going through can also help. Consider talking with a therapist or joining an IBS support group to meet others on a similar journey.
IBS can be a pain in the stomach, but you can take steps to prevent or reduce symptoms. Managing your stress and watching your diet are good ways to relieve IBS symptoms at home.
Talk with your doctor if you’re uncertain about which lifestyle techniques to try or the best way to start them.