The following nontraditional therapies may help relieve symptoms of IBS:
July 31, 2014
- Acupuncture. Researchers have found that acupuncture may help improve symptoms for people with IBS.
Herbs. Peppermint is a natural antispasmodic that relaxes smooth muscles in the intestines. Peppermint may provide short-term relief of IBS symptoms, but study results have been inconsistent. If you'd like to try peppermint, be sure to use enteric-coated capsules. Peppermint may make heartburn worse. Before taking any herbs, check with your doctor to be sure they won't interact or interfere with other medications.
A blend of herbs called STW 5 (Iberogast) has been shown to help some people.
- Hypnosis. Hypnosis may reduce abdominal pain and bloating. A trained professional teaches you how to enter a relaxed state and then guides you in relaxing your abdominal muscles.
Probiotics. Probiotics are "good" bacteria that normally live in your intestines and are found in certain foods, such as yogurt, and in dietary supplements. It's been suggested that if you have irritable bowel syndrome, you may not have enough good bacteria and that adding probiotics to your diet may help ease your symptoms.
Recent studies suggest that certain probiotics may relieve symptoms of IBS, such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and quality of life, although additional investigation is needed.
- Regular exercise, yoga, massage or meditation. These can all be useful ways to relieve stress. You can take classes in yoga and meditation or practice at home using books or videos.
- Irritable bowel syndrome. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://www.digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/ibs/. Accessed April 23, 2014.
- Camilleri M. Peripheral mechanisms in irritable bowel syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine. 2012;367:1626.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 23, 2014.
- Wald A. Diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 23, 2014.
- Wald A. Pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 23, 2014.
- Wald A. Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 23, 2014.
- Rome III diagnostic criteria for functional gastrointestinal disorders. Rome Foundation. http://www.romecriteria.org/criteria/. Accessed April 23, 2014.
- Cristofori F, et al. Increased prevalence of celiac disease among pediatric patients with irritable bowel syndrome: A 6-year prospective cohort study. Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics. In press. Accessed May 5, 2014.
- Brandt LJ, et al. An evidence-based systematic review on the management of irritable bowel syndrome. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2009;104(suppl):1.
- AskMayoExpert. IBS. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Lakhan SE, et al. Mindfulness-based therapies in the treatment of somatization disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2013;8:e71834.
- Muir JG, et al.The low FODMAP diet for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders. Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2013;9:450.
- Vazquez-Roque MI, et al. A controlled trial of gluten-free diet in patients with irritable bowel syndrome-diarrhea: Effects on bowel frequency and intestinal function. Gastroenterology. 2013;144:903.
- Hungin APS, et al. Systematic review: Probiotics in the management of lower gastrointestinal symptoms in clinical practice — an evidence-based international guide. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2013;38:864.
- Relaxation techniques for health: An introduction. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/stress/relaxation.htm. Accessed May 6, 2014.
- Herbs at a glance: Peppermint oil. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/peppermintoil. Accessed May 6, 2014.
- Manheimer E, et al. Acupuncture for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD005111.pub3/abstract. Accessed May 18, 2014.
- Lindfors P, et al. Effects of gut-directed hypnotherapy on IBS in different clinical settings — results from two randomized, controlled trials. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2012;107:276.
- McKenzie YA, et al. British Dietetic Association evidence-based guidelines for the dietary management of irritable bowel syndrome in adults. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. 2012:25;260.
- Chao G, et al. Effectiveness of acupuncture to treat irritable bowel syndrome: A meta-analysis. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2014;20:1871.
- Rey E, et al. Chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and constipation with pain/discomfort: Similarities and differences. American Journal of Gastroenterology. In press. Accessed March 4, 2014.
- Camilleri M. Current and future pharmacological treatments for diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy. 2013;14:1151.
- Golden AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 24, 2014.
- U.S. News best hospitals 2013-2014. U.S. News & World Report. http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/rankings/gastroenterology-and-gi-surgery. Accessed April 24, 2014.
- Picco MF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. May 14, 2014.
- Ottillinger B, et al. STW 5 (Iberogast) — A safe and effective standard in the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders. Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift. 2013;163:65.
- Dai C, et al. Probiotics and irritable bowel syndrome. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2013;19:5973.
- Sisson G, et al. Randomised clinical trial: A liquid multi-strain probiotic vs. placebo in the irritable bowel syndrome — a 12 week double-blind study. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. In press. Accessed May 18, 2014.
- Bauer BA (expert opinion). May Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 16, 2014.