Many medical treatments for IBS only help with symptom management and unfortunately don’t treat the root or underlying cause. This is where natural remedies step in.
I see a lot of clients with IBS symptoms, it is one of the most prevalent conditions in the Western World, mainly affecting women. A lot of these clients are told that their IBS is something they will just have to live with. Now I’m not saying you will be ‘cured’ of your IBS but I certainly know that it is not something that has be battled through.
In a separate article I posed the question that maybe IBS is not the condition but a symptom of something else that is happening in the body. It is through uncovering these ‘something else’ that we can treat IBS, not only relieving your symptoms but hopefully healing the underlying reason you were experiencing them in the first place.
Those I treat with IBS often have other symptoms and conditions. Everything from not being able to shift stubborn weight to hormone issues, skin issues and a weakened immune system. When we treat the cause of their IBS many of these other issues begin to resolve. Our gut really is the basis of our health.
Depending on the cause of the IBS these are some of my go-to’s.
Aloe Vera (pictured) has such a beautiful anti-inflammatory effect throughout the digestive tract from the stomach to the intestines. You only need to think of how wonderfully soothing it is to put Aloe Vera on a sunburn to understand what this would do for an inflamed gut. It’s wonderful for symptom relief whilst you are healing.
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that certain cells in our digestive tract use for energy. This also helps in preventing infection and inflammation, as well as soothing the intestinal tissue. It’s wonderful for tightening up the junctions along the wall of the intestines that can help repair intestinal permeability or ‘leaky gut’, which is a major driver of IBS. It doesn’t stop there L-glutamine is important for developing and maintaining the cells through the intestine. Considering IBS is a syndrome that occurs because our digestive tract is not functioning optimally, you can see why L-Glutamine is one of my stars.
PHGG otherwise known as Partially Hydrolysed Guar Gum is increasingly becoming a hero of IBS (and lots of other digestive conditions). It a plant fibre that is non-gelling and dissolves lovely in water. It acts like a prebiotic feeding the bacteria in the large intestines to help make short chain fatty acids. This helps build up the barrier of the intestines and enhances the mucosal lining, both of which are often drivers of IBS
Slippery Elm is also another great natural way of enhancing that mucosal lining through stimulating the nerve endings in the intestines to secrete mucous. It also coats the intestinal tract, soothing in a similar way that Aloe Vera does. Slippery elm contains antioxidants which can repair damaged cells though the digestive system.
Zinc ticks so many boxes throughout the body but in relation to the gut and IBS zinc helps strengthen the gut lining helping to modify the tight junctions that can lead to intestinal permeability or ‘leaky gut’.
And lucky last is Turmeric. You really can’t have any inflammatory condition within the body and not use this powerful anti-inflammatory. In recent studies it has been shown that turmeric hangs around in the intestines allowing it to directly effect the gut microbiome both through regulating the environment of the gut and helping to transform it to a more beneficial environment. For those with any condition that is the result of gut inflammation turmeric is a must.
Whilst these are natural treatments ensuring that you are taking the ones you need in the doses you need them is vital. If you take supplements you don’t need you really just have expensive pee. Often the dose that you will need of some of these treatments is what we refer to as a therapeutic dose, these can be dispensed by a Nutritionist and often compounded together to give you a treatment that is personalised and individual for you.
IBS does not need to be see you suffering, avoiding foods or in some situations avoiding leaving the house. When we address the underlying causes and drivers of your IBS – yes your IBS because it isn’t the same for everyone – you can find relief from your symptoms.
If you would like help with your IBS or other inflammatory gut condition check out the Work With Me page and let us get to you back to your healthiest self.