6 Natural Home Remedies for IBS
Those living with symptoms of IBS know it can be a daily challenge. Ranging from mild discomfort to excessive pain, this digestive health condition can be very frustrating.
Individuals with IBS want to learn how to alleviate symptoms as quickly as possible or prevent them from flaring up altogether.
Today, we’re taking a look at 6 natural home remedies for IBS that may help you on your journey. A few simple lifestyle changes could make a positive impact on your gut health and let you go about your daily life with confidence.
What Is IBS?
Before we dive into home remedies for IBS, what is it? IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, is a digestive health disorder that affects the stomach and intestines (also called the gastrointestinal tract). Affecting an estimated 15% of the United States population, this digestive condition is extremely common. As a chronic health condition, you may find natural remedies for IBS but it will need to be continuously managed over time.
Most often, symptoms of IBS range from, or include things like:
- Cramping or abdominal pain
In less common cases, individuals may experience more severe symptoms. Most cases, however, can be managed with small lifestyle adjustments and IBS home remedies. As always, be sure to consult your doctor before making any changes to your health routine for professional medical guidance.
Home Remedies for IBS You Can Try
Food, stress, and other triggers aren’t completely avoidable, so finding natural remedies for IBS can help lessen the symptoms and make it more manageable. Each person’s body is different, so don’t hesitate to try various methods until you find a home remedy for IBS that works for you.
Some potentially effective IBS home remedies you can try include:
- Exercising daily to reduce inflammation
- Relaxing to recharge
- Managing stress levels effectively
- Choosing the right IBS diet to avoid food triggers
- Trying intermittent fasting
- Taking probiotics
We’re starting our list of home remedies for IBS with exercise. While moving while having discomfort may sound counterintuitive, exercising daily may actually help prevent IBS symptoms from happening and keep your condition under control. One study in women showed mild aerobic exercise to be beneficial in reducing inflammation that triggers IBS.
One of the most effective exercises you can do as a home remedy for IBS is yoga. A 2018 study1 showed that an hour of yoga each day for 4 weeks significantly improved IBS symptoms in participants. Not only are the poses and postures good for improving mobility and flexibility, but they also calm the mind, making yoga a mind-body workout that could improve IBS management.
For those uncomfortable with freestanding yoga poses or who may have limited mobility, there are also plenty of chair yoga exercises you can do that are still effective.
Relaxing to Recharge
Leading a hectic lifestyle keeps you active, but may also be a source of your IBS flare ups. This is why relaxing to recharge is up next on our list of home remedies for IBS you’ll want to try. Popular relaxation methods include activities like:
- Calming breathing techniques
- Visualization and imagery exercises
- Progressive muscle relaxation
Beyond techniques and exercises to relax your body and mind, it’s important to consider where you’re choosing to unwind. Many people have discovered the potential benefits of zero gravity chairs and the positive impact they have when used in conjunction with various IBS home remedies. For example, as one of the ways to improve digestion and relaxation, lessening flare-ups.
Zero gravity chairs offer your body proper support which enhances how the body heals itself while giving you the perfect spot to relax and recharge. Reclining into the zero gravity position elevates the legs above the heart level and distributes weight evenly along the body. This enhances blood circulation which positively impacts digestion and gut health.
Bonus features like heat therapy and massage may also help alleviate IBS symptoms like cramping or abdominal pain.
Managing Stress Levels
Another common trigger of IBS is stress. While we can’t avoid all stressors in our daily lives, using methods to manage stress levels throughout the day often works as natural remedies for IBS that could keep flare ups to a minimum. Managing stress is more than just relaxing. It’s about learning to acknowledge what is triggering your feelings and finding ways to manage them in a healthy manner.
One of the most popular methods of stress management is meditation. There are many different meditation techniques to try, but mindfulness meditation is one most people are familiar with. Mindfulness meditation isn’t about emptying your mind, but acknowledging your thoughts without judgment. This allows you to calm your mind and focus on the present, reducing stress levels.
For those looking to pair multiple home remedies for IBS, consider meditating in a zero gravity chair to recenter your mind as you relax and boost digestive health all at once.
Choosing an IBS Diet
It comes as no surprise that what you eat could trigger IBS symptoms. While each person will react differently to various foods, common IBS food triggers include:
- Fried foods
- Beans and legumes
- Processed foods
Limiting or avoiding these foods is recommended for those living with IBS. Following a diet high in fiber, lean meats, leafy greens, and fruits instead functions as a home remedy for IBS. In addition to helping with your gut health, a well-balanced IBS diet could also improve your overall health and wellness along the way.
Trying Intermittent Fasting
In conjunction with an IBS diet, next up on our list of home remedies is trying intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is a dietary pattern which involves switching between fasting and eating on a regular schedule. This could be something you do a few times a week or as part of your daily routine. There are many different types of intermittent fasting schedules, so you can try different ones to see which, if any, work for you.
Going longer between meals may have a positive impact on the migrating motor complex (MMC), which functions to remove undigested food from the GI tract. Giving it more time to do its job benefits those with IBS whose body may struggle with that action. A recent study2 showed intermittent fasting helped participants with IBS to improve 7 out of the 8 IBS symptoms monitored. This improvement shows major promise for intermittent fasting as a potentially effective home remedy for IBS.
Last up on our recommendations of home remedies for IBS is taking probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts found naturally in the body which may improve gut health. They may balance out your digestive tract and help prevent IBS flare ups. They also have other potential benefits like better skin health and helping with depression.
Talk to your doctor before you begin taking any probiotic supplements for guidance on what may work best for you.
The symptoms of IBS can be uncomfortable or even embarrassing at times, so managing IBS is critical to leading an unimpeded life. Consult your doctor to see if any of these natural home remedies for IBS may be beneficial for you.
Zero gravity chairs are good for more than just digestive health. Learn more about the many potential zero gravity chair benefits then take a look to determine which zero gravity chair to choose for you.