Home Remedies for IBS to Ease Your Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by: Nicole Anne Vergara, RD

Did you know that 20-40% of visits to gastroenterologists are due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms?

When you have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), we know that you're also interested in looking for natural remedies for IBS symptoms aside from your medications.

These remedies may or may not provide relief to our symptoms, since they will vary from one person's body to another.

 home remedies ibs

After all, there is no harm in taking natural remedies as long as they are proven safe for your IBS treatment.

IBS Symptoms

Before listing the home remedies IBS patients can try, it is critical to know the common IBS symptoms to have an idea of which of the home remedies would work best for you.

Make sure to check the following IBS symptoms that you may or may not experience:

IBS symptoms

Common Symptoms of IBS:

  • Cramping

  • Sharp abdominal pain

  • Bloating

  • Distention

  • Fullness

  • Flatulence

  • Changes in bowel movements

  • Having white mucus in stool

Other Symptoms:

  • Lethargy (lack of energy)

  • Heartburn

  • Always feeling sick

  • Muscle pains

  • Dizziness

  • Painful menstruation

Take note that these symptoms vary in each person. Pay attention to the most frequent symptom that you experience because this will be the basis of your physician when diagnosing the type of IBS that you have.

[Related: How To Test for IBS: Symptoms & Causes]


Best Home Remedies for IBS

There are several home treatments that you can easily try by incorporating the food items below. Depending on the intensity of the symptoms, these methods may lessen some of your discomforts.

You could control your IBS organically with the use of these methods. However, you should contact a healthcare professional for a precise diagnosis and treatment choices if your symptoms intensify or continue to persist.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil

Peppermint is one of the easiest ways to relieve IBS symptoms. Peppermint can be used as an oil, capsule, or tea form.

In a study that tested the efficacy and safety of peppermint oil for people diagnosed with IBS, it was concluded that peppermint oil has significantly reduced the following symptoms and their severity:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Abdominal discomfort

  • Excessive gas

How to incorporate peppermint into your diet:

  • Peppermint oil. A tea bag of peppermint can be helpful for individuals dealing with abdominal pain. You can also add some lemon for extra cleansing.

  • Fresh peppermint tea. If you want a fresher drink, you can buy a mint plant so you can always have fresh leaves that you can boil any time of the day.

Note: When dining out with IBS, it is better to opt for peppermint tea in restaurants rather than finishing your meals with coffee.


Ginger Root

Ginger Root

There is some evidence to suggest that ginger root may help with relieving symptoms of IBS. One study found that ginger root supplements reduced abdominal pain in patients with IBS. The list of all symptoms that ginger can treat are the following:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Bloating

  • Excessive gas

  • Nausea

  • Intestinal cramping

The digestive enzymes and the mild anti-inflammatory properties found in ginger root are proven to be very helpful in relieving nausea and intestinal cramps that are often associated with diarrhea.

How to incorporate ginger in your diet:

  • Add ginger root to meals. It's easy to add ginger root to your favorite savory meals. It can also add extra flavors to your Low FODMAP meals.
  • Crystallized ginger. Crystallized ginger is often used as a topping for savory rice dishes. It can also be added to desserts or consumed as a snack.
  • Ginger tea. Pre-packed ginger teas are great for people who need fast-acting relief for IBS symptoms. Using fresh ginger root can also be done at home. Grate the root directly into your cup with hot water then strain it. Try adding some honey for some sweetness.
  • Ginger supplements. Individuals with IBS can also try taking ginger supplements along with their Low FODMAP diet for maintained relief.

 

Probiotics

casa de sante IBS Probiotics

Probiotics are also a great option for relieving IBS symptoms at home - and they are one of the most popular natural remedies for IBS.

Probiotics are live bacteria that are naturally present in the gut. They help keep the gut healthy by maintaining a balance of good and bad bacteria.

Probiotics can help with IBS by reducing symptoms such as the following:

  • Bloating

  • Gas

  • Diarrhea

How to incorporate probiotics INTO your diet:

  • Probiotic-rich food. Consuming probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, cottage cheese, tempeh, sauerkraut, kefir, etc. is beneficial except if you have lactose intolerance.

  • Probiotic supplements. This is ideal for individuals who are lactose intolerant. It is better to choose a Low FODMAP probiotic supplement to ensure that all ingredients are safe for people with IBS and SIBO.

 

Calcium

Calcium is usually correlated with dairy products, which are not allowed for a restrictive IBS diet.

But calcium is highly beneficial to people living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome with diarrhea as their predominant symptom.

Calcium food salmon

There are calcium calcium-rich foods that do not contain dairies such as white beans, sardines, kale, nuts, seeds, soy, tofu, and salmon that you can incorporate into your diet.

It is thought that calcium may help to regulate muscle contractions in the intestine, which can be a problem in IBS. Calcium supplements may also help to reduce bloating and gas.

How to incorporate calcium into your diet:

  • Consuming high calcium non-dairy food items. Try to incorporate the above-mentioned food items into your daily meals to help relieve IBS symptoms.

  • Calcium supplements. Calcium supplements are known to promote gut muscle contractions. It can also help lessen water in the intestines to create better-formed stool. IBS-D patients can take 500mg thrice a day. Seek more advice from your healthcare provider for other dosage recommendations.

Note: Patients with constipation are not recommended to take calcium supplements to relieve constipation. These supplements can increase constipation symptoms. Patients with IBS-C can opt for a magnesium supplement.


Fennel

Fennel

Fennel has a calming effect on the digestive system and can help to reduce the symptoms of IBS. It is also a good source of fiber, which can help to regulate bowel habits.

Because of its antispasmodic and gas-relieving properties, fennel is a potent remedy for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

In one study, fennel and curcumin dramatically reduced patients' symptoms and overall quality of life during a 30-day trial.

How to incorporate fennel into your diet:

  • Cooking. The fennel plant's edible parts, including the bulb, stem, and feathery fronds, provide texture and flavor to a variety of dishes, including salads, slaws, pasta, and more.

  • Fennel Tea. In Indian restaurants, candied fennel is occasionally served as a digestif after a meal to calm full tummies. Buy fennel seeds in bulk and make your own fennel tea or buy fennel teabags.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Fennel

Apple cider vinegar is becoming a popular option to treat IBS symptoms. Since Apple Cider is acidic, it can help increase the number of stomach acids to help with digestion.

Apple cider vinegar also contains pectin, which is a type of fiber that can possibly help with better stool formation.

However, there is a lack of research regarding the amount of pectin in apple cider vinegar to make a significant impact.

How to incorporate fennel into your diet:

  • Dilute it. Remember to take apple cider vinegar using 1 part of apple cider vinegar and 3 parts water.

Note: Make sure to purchase organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble Fiber food

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. For IBS patients, consuming more soluble fiber can help reduce the frequency of diarrhea.

Soluble fiber can help slow down digestion because it pulls in water and transforms into gel while it travels down into your intestines.

IBS patients have to thoroughly check the soluble fiber that they are about to consume since not all soluble fibers are allowed for patients with IBS.

There are soluble fibers that are high in FODMAPs which ferment as your gut digests them and it would lead to bloating and excessive gas.

Below are the best foods that are high in soluble fiber and low in FODMAP that you can consume:

  • Avocados

  • Carrots

  • Green beans

  • Brussel sprouts

  • Chickpeas

  • Lentils

  • Potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Summer squash

  • Zucchini

  • Eggplant

  • Okra

  • Blueberries

  • Bananas

  • Kiwi

  • Oranges

  • Raspberries

  • Strawberries

  • Oatmeal

  • Peanuts

  • Sunflower seeds

 

Other Ways To Manage IBS Symptoms

Exercise

Exercise

Exercise can release endorphins, which are natural pain killers and they can help ease abdominal pain. Exercising regularly can help alleviate anxiety, depression, and stress which can also be the reasons why IBS symptoms can worsen.

Manage Stress

It has been shown that stress can make IBS symptoms worse and it is important to take note of the things that stress you out to manage them properly. Exercising, breathing exercises, meditation, positive imagery, relaxation techniques, and creating a new hobby can be one of the ways that you can do to reduce your stress.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture

Acupuncture, the practice of using needles to puncture anatomical points in the body, can also work in relieving digestive symptoms due to IBS.

This Chinese traditional medicinal treatment is usually done to relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve the overall wellness of an individual.

Acupuncture can help with functional gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS by stimulating the nervous system. Through the stimulation of the nervous system, chemicals and hormones that regulate stress, pain, and other symptoms of IBS are released into the body.

Trying the Low FODMAP Diet

Low FODMAP Diet

Having IBS means that there would be a lot of food triggers that you have to take caution to. Following the Low FODMAP diet has reduced abdominal pain, constipation, bowel urgency, and bloating.

75% of people with IBS stated that following the Low FODMAP diet reduced their overall symptoms.

You have to be familiar with certain types of carbohydrates that are high in FODMAP or basically carbs that are tough to digest.

Consuming greens, healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, and protein can help your digestive health a lot.


Warning Signs of IBS

There are instances wherein natural remedies won't work for you since IBS symptoms vary from one person to another.

You know your body more than anyone else, and if you have been feeling like your symptoms are getting more frequent and worse, it is highly recommended to visit your physician as soon as possible.

There are a few warning signs that you should look out for. In case you are getting these signs, go to the nearest hospital for proper medical treatment.

  • Continuous changes in bowel habits

  • Rectal bleeding

  • Severe weight loss

  • Anemia

  • Frequent diarrhea especially at night

  • Frequent vomiting and nausea

 [Related: How Long Does IBS Last? (Guide to Symptoms, Duration, Treatment)]

 

IBS Is Not Forever

 ibs home remedies

To treat IBS, the answer lies in targeting its root cause. Our team of Registered Dietitians, GI Clinicians, and Health Coaches are here to help you find out the major causes of your Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Through our dietitian care plans and integrated care plans, we can provide you with a holistic care plan to improve your overall health condition.

Learn more about our care plans here and together, let's help you address IBS and live a healthier life.

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