Ginger is the
Many people report that ginger helps calm their symptoms, but at this time, most of the evidence is anecdotal. Since there’s no cure for IBS, treatment involves targeting the specific symptoms that you’re dealing with. Treatment includes a combination of lifestyle changes, dietary changes, home remedies, and medications.
In this article, we’ll examine how ginger may help treat IBS symptoms, including:
We’ll also take a look at other home remedies that may help you manage your IBS symptoms.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, it’s thought that ginger could potentially alleviate IBS symptoms.
- reducing intestinal cramping
- preventing indigestion
- reducing bloating
- reducing gas
What the research says
At this time, there’s insufficient research to support the ability of ginger to treat IBS. Due to limited studies on other gastrointestinal disorders, most of the evidence is anecdotal or theoretical. However, researchers are continuing to examine ginger’s potential as an IBS treatment.
In the study, researchers assigned the participants to one of three groups. For 28 days, they either consumed:
- a placebo (brown sugar)
- 1 gram of ginger
- 2 grams of ginger
The researchers found that at least a third of participants in all three groups had at least a 25 percent reduction in symptoms.
However, the group that took a placebo had a higher percentage of people reporting improvements in their symptoms. The placebo group also reported more side effects.
Ginger with Panax ginseng and Japanese pepper
The researchers found that indigestion and constipation was decreased among people who took the supplement compared to a placebo. They concluded that the supplement could improve the quality of life for people with chronic constipation.
More research is needed to understand the potential benefits of ginger for treating IBS symptoms. At this time, there’s no consensus on the best dose or form. Many studies use daily doses of 1 to 2 grams per day.
If you chose to take ginger to treat your IBS symptoms, you can take it in whichever form you like best. Ginger tea, powder, fresh root, and capsules are all widely available options.
If you choose to drink ginger tea, you may want to make it with ginger powder so that you know how much ginger you’re consuming.
In addition to ginger, there are many other natural remedies that people use for the management of IBS symptoms. Depending on your symptoms as well as what’s practical for you, you can try some of the following ways to relieve symptoms at home.
Dietary and lifestyle changes
- Avoid trigger foods. It’s a good idea to avoid foods that trigger your IBS symptoms.
Common foodsthat may trigger your symptoms include alcohol, chocolate, dairy, and some vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower.
- Minimize caffeine.
Caffeinehas a stimulating effect on your digestive system and may worsen diarrhea.
- Exercise more. Exercise
may helpimprove symptoms of IBS by helping reduce stress, improving your sleep, and encouraging bowel movements.
- Minimize stress.
Many peoplewith IBS experience a flare-up of symptoms during periods of high stress.
- Eat smaller meals. Eating smaller meals
may help preventoverstimulating your digestive tract and help reduce your symptoms.
- Eat more probiotics. More research is needed to understand whether probiotics can improve IBS symptoms. Some types of probiotics
may improvesymptoms of some types of IBS.
- Reduce your intake of fried or spicy foods. Spicy and fried foods
may irritateyour gut and make your symptomsworse.
- Follow the Low-FODMAP diet. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols. Avoiding these types of carbohydrates
helps some peoplewith IBS reduce their symptoms. Learn about the FODMAP diet here.
Curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, has anti-inflammatory effects that may help with IBS symptoms.
Some people claim that peppermint oil helps them manage IBS symptoms. The active ingredient in peppermint oil called menthacarin
It’s a good idea to contact a doctor if you’re experiencing persistent symptoms of IBS that are interfering with your daily life. It’s also a good idea to see a doctor if your symptoms change or if you’re dealing with a new symptom.
Your doctor may recommend making dietary and lifestyle changes to help ease your symptoms. They may also recommend medications such as:
- alosetron hydrochloride (Lotronex) for diarrhea-predominant IBS
- eluxadoline (Viberzi) for diarrhea-predominant IBS
- lubiprostone (Amitiza) for constipation-predominant IBS
- rifaximin (Xifaxan) for diarrhea-predominant IBS
To treat specific symptoms, your doctor may recommend:
- anti-diarrheal medication
- bile acid sequestrants
- fiber supplements
IBS is a common digestive disorder that causes symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gas, and cramping. While there’s no cure for IBS, treatment involves targeting the symptoms specific to you.
Some people find that ginger helps alleviate some of their IBS symptoms, but more research is needed to understand its potential benefit and the best daily dose.
Consuming ginger is generally safe and rarely causes serious side effects. It may be worth taking 1 or 2 grams of ginger per day to see whether it helps you manage your IBS.
If your IBS symptoms worsen, change, or disrupt your daily life, it’s a good idea to see a doctor to discuss further treatment plans.