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Home Remedies for IBS Distress

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Q. Help! Now that Zelnorm has been taken off the market, what can I do for my irritable bowel syndrome? I depended on this drug.

A. Zelnorm was prescribed for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with constipation. Because of concerns about increased risks of heart attacks and strokes, the FDA asked the manufacturer to take Zelnorm off the market.

Another reader suggested the following: “I have found a remedy that has worked very well for IBS, which caused constipation that put me in the hospital about twice a year in the most excruciating pain. They would load me up on pain meds, run tests and eventually release me, only to have it happen again and again without any warning whatsoever.

“Then I started taking flaxseed oil capsules at least once a day. This has virtually cured my constipation and I have had NO IBS problems since. Constipated people should try this on a daily basis. The results are gratifying.”

Other readers find that ground flaxseeds such as those found in Uncle Sam bran cereal are also quite helpful in preventing constipation. Another reader reports that two tablespoons of flaxseeds simmered for fifteen minutes in three quarts of water produces an anti-constipation tonic. She strains and refrigerates the liquid and takes two ounces in juice every morning for regularity.

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I too have problems with going to the bathroom. I tried just taking 1 or 2 Tablespoons of ground flaxseeds in juice or milk, and it works extremely well for me. However, I ended up with either heartburn or felt as though I was loaded up with stomach acid and made me nauseated as well. I think since I have GERD already, it is difficult to digest those ground flaxseeds.

I started taking a different anti-depressant last fall and went for 10 days without having a bowel movement. I remembered that at one time I was taking GROUND flax seed (about 2T. in my yogurt each day) and it worked to keep me regular. I started doing this again and it resolved the constipation resulting from the anti-depressant. And so I was able to continue taking this medicine which seems to be working better than the others.

I told my 88 year old father about it - he has had constipation problems his whole life. He now has a regular movement every day.

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