Can IBS Be Cured Permanently?

Medically Reviewed by Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. It can cause abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. While there is no known cure for IBS, there are several methods that can help manage the condition and improve symptoms.


Can IBS be cured?


Currently, there is no known cure for IBS. However, the condition can be managed and symptoms can be improved through a variety of methods. These may include medications, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications. Some people may also find relief through alternative therapies such as herbal remedies or acupuncture. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs.


Test for IBS Triggers


One way to manage IBS is to identify and avoid triggers that may exacerbate symptoms. Common triggers include certain foods, stress, and hormonal changes. Keeping a food diary and noting any symptoms that occur after eating certain foods can help identify any dietary triggers. In addition, reducing stress through relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing may help reduce IBS symptoms.


Medications


There are several medications available to help manage IBS symptoms. These may include antispasmodics to relieve abdominal pain, antidepressants to help with stress-related symptoms, and medications to regulate bowel movements. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best medication and dosage for your individual needs.


Start a Low-FODMAP Diet


The low-FODMAP diet is a dietary approach that has been shown to be effective in managing IBS symptoms. FODMAPs are a group of short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. By following a low-FODMAP diet, individuals with IBS may be able to reduce symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. It is important to work with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to ensure that the low-FODMAP diet is followed properly and to ensure that you are still getting all of the nutrients you need.


Make Lifestyle Changes


In addition to dietary changes and medications, there are several lifestyle modifications that can help manage IBS. These may include getting regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress. It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, as this can help regulate bowel movements.


Take Gut-Healing Supplements


Certain supplements may also be helpful in managing IBS symptoms. These may include probiotics, which are live microorganisms that can help balance the bacteria in the gut and improve digestive health. Other supplements that may be helpful include fiber supplements to regulate bowel movements and herbal remedies such as peppermint oil, which has been shown to help reduce IBS symptoms. 


Lifestyle and Home Remedies


In addition to the methods mentioned above, there are several lifestyle and home remedies that may help manage IBS symptoms. These may include:


Getting regular exercise: Exercise can help improve digestion and reduce stress, which can both be helpful in managing IBS.


Getting enough sleep: Adequate sleep is important for overall health, and may also help manage IBS symptoms.


Reducing stress: Stress can exacerbate IBS symptoms, so finding ways to manage stress such as through relaxation techniques or counseling can be helpful.


Staying hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids can help regulate bowel movements and reduce constipation.


Trying relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing or meditation can help reduce stress and improve overall health.


Alternative Medicine


Alternative medicine refers to therapies that are not part of conventional Western medicine. Some people with IBS may find relief through alternative therapies such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, or probiotics.


Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to promote healing and relieve symptoms. Some research has suggested that acupuncture may be effective in reducing IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating.


Herbal remedies are plant-based therapies that are used to treat a variety of conditions, including IBS. Peppermint oil is a common herbal remedy used to help manage IBS symptoms. Other herbs that may be helpful include chamomile, ginger, and turmeric. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider or a trained herbalist before starting any herbal remedies, as they can interact with medications and may have potential side effects.


Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to the beneficial bacteria found in the human gut. Some research has suggested that taking probiotics may help improve IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating. Probiotics are available in supplement form, as well as in fermented foods such as yogurt and kimchi.


It is important to note that the effectiveness of alternative therapies for IBS may vary and is not always supported by scientific evidence. It is always best to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment.


FAQs::


How can I cure my IBS permanently?

Currently, there is no known cure for IBS. However, the condition can be managed and symptoms can be improved through a variety of methods such as medications, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications. Some people may also find relief through alternative therapies such as acupuncture or herbal remedies. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs.


What are the best methods for curing IBS permanently?

There is currently no known cure for IBS. However, the following methods may help manage symptoms and improve quality of life: medications, dietary changes (such as the low-FODMAP diet), lifestyle modifications, and alternative therapies such as acupuncture or herbal remedies. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs.

What is the difference between medical treatment and alternative treatments?

Medical treatment refers to therapies that are part of conventional Western medicine, such as medications and surgical procedures. Alternative treatments are therapies that are not part of conventional Western medicine, such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, and probiotics.


How can alternative treatments help with IBS?

Some people with IBS may find relief through alternative therapies such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, or probiotics. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to promote healing and relieve symptoms. Herbal remedies are plant-based therapies that are used to treat a variety of conditions, including IBS. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to the beneficial bacteria found in the human gut and may help improve IBS symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating. It is important to note that the effectiveness of alternative therapies for IBS may vary and is not always supported by scientific evidence. It is always best to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment.


What is IBS and what causes it?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. It can cause abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. The exact cause of IBS is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to a combination of factors such as changes in the muscles in the large intestine, imbalances in the bacteria in the gut, and sensitivity to certain foods. Stress and hormonal changes may also play a role in the development of IBS.


What are the symptoms of IBS?

The main symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits such as diarrhea or constipation. Other symptoms may include a feeling of incomplete bowel movements, mucus in the stool, and bloating. Symptoms of IBS may vary in severity and frequency, and may come and go.


Is there a cure for IBS?

Currently, there is no known cure for IBS. However, the condition can be managed and symptoms can be improved through a variety of methods such as medications, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications. Some people may also find relief through alternative therapies such as acupuncture or herbal remedies. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs.


How can I treat my symptoms with home remedies?

There are several home remedies that may help manage IBS symptoms. These may include:


Getting regular exercise: Exercise can help improve digestion and reduce stress, which can both be helpful in managing IBS.


Getting enough sleep: Adequate sleep is important for overall health, and may also help manage IBS symptoms.


Reducing stress: Stress can exacerbate IBS symptoms, so finding ways to manage stress such as through relaxation techniques or counseling can be helpful.


Staying hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids can help regulate bowel movements and reduce constipation.


Trying relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing or meditation can help reduce stress and improve overall health.


It is important to note that these remedies may not work for everyone and may not completely alleviate symptoms. 


Casa de Sante IBS Support Programs


Holistic IBS & low FODMAP diet programs with integrated GI provider, dietitian & health coach support to help IBS patients effectively manage symptoms. Plans are personalized and can be modified as your needs change.

Onikepe Adegbola MD PhD is a board-certified physician who founded casadesante.com, a digital gut health platform for gastrointestinal conditions such as IBS, IBD, SIBO and celiac disease.

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