person holding their stomach in pain, calm chronic diarrhea, IBS, low FODMAP diet

Q. I have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Is there a home remedy I can take to ease the discomfort? I currently use Nexium every day.

I drink a lot of water and try to stay regular, but I am always uncomfortable. I am at my wit’s end. HELP!

A. Research from Germany suggests you may want to try enteric-coated peppermint oil. The investigator reviewed 16 clinical trials of peppermint oil for treating the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Two-thirds of the placebo-controlled trials showed that peppermint oil worked twice as well as placebo in easing symptoms (Phytomedicine, Aug. 2, 2005). There were side effects: peppermint oil can cause heartburn and rectal burning. But overall it seemed the enteric-coated capsules improved quality of life for people with IBS. One brand-name product, Pepogest, can be bought online.

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  1. gen

    My IBS (diarrhea type) started when I was under extreme stress in my job. I have had some continued problems even though am not working now. It is sometimes interspersed with constipation. I’m looking for answers other than a strict diet. Is there help?

  2. Natasha

    I follow a low fat vegan diet high in soluble fiber do yoga, walk, drink lots of VERY strong mint, fennel, chamomile tea, eat 6 mini meals, take magnesium, eat fennel seeds and candied ginger with meals, drink 2 t. raw apple cider vinegar in 1 c. water three times a day after eating.

  3. Christal H.

    I had IBS and I have not seen this remedy on your site. I knew every bathroom in the county due to my IBS and would not shop unless the store had a restroom for the public. I tried the Apple Cider Vinegar diet to lose by using 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in 1/2 cup water before each meal. After about 4 months I noticed not only was I losing weight but my IBS was non-existent. I now (10 years later) am still taking the Apple Cider Vinegar only 1 time a day now and am still IBS free. My granddaughter was diagnosed with IBS. When her doctor was going to prescribe a drug for her she said “No thanks, I will take care of it like my grama does her’s.” She has and it works for her also.

  4. Wendy in Charleston

    Two friends have IBS or a related disease and both eat tons of meat and very little natural food or fiber. I’m a natural foods proponent with no health problems at 53 and to me their diets seem to be the problem. One, a retired PhD told me meat is the best thing for his condition because its “predigested”. He singled out green leafy vegetables as the worst things for him. Are there “safe” natural fiber and vitamin packed foods and what do you all know or think about this reliance on meat by people who have this crippling problem? Thank you.

  5. AM

    I went on Juice Plus and got off of gluten for my IBS, and it is GONE!

  6. Beverly

    I found that my digestive system needed protein and fiber. I have a bowl of Quinoa FLAKES (high in protein and fiber) hot breakfast cereal 5 mornings a week. I cut up some fruit, add honey and soy milk. My IBS symptoms are 99% diminished. No more cramping. Very little gas. Regularity has returned.

  7. her

    use 2 TBS of flax seeds on a cereal in the morning and 2 TBS of it mixed with yogurt/soup— works like a charm plus it helps with hot flashes.

  8. JB

    I have tried enteric coated peppermint oil for IBS, and feel that it helps, along with dicyclomine. My IBS is much less now that I am eating a gluten-free diet. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease just aren’t considered by many doctors.

  9. fran

    I, too, suffered from IBS for many years. I was told to take Metamucil or fiber supplement but resisted because it didn’t make sense. I was afraid to leave my home! I finally as a last resort went ahead with the fiber treatment daily and have be virtually episode free for at least 4 years. At first until your body gets used to the fiber it may seem to make matters worse, but stick with it, this REALLY works!

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