Top 3 IBS Treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Ten years of feedback from thousands of patients reveals that the most helpful Irritable Bowel Syndrome treatments are also the simplest.

Though Irritable Bowel Syndrome, one of the most common health disorders (characterized by abdominal pain and bowel dysfunction), has no cure, feedback from thousands of IBS sufferers at the patient support site has revealed three of the most successful treatments for IBS symptoms.

The treatments have several points in common in addition to their effectiveness - they are all simple, natural, and inexpensive. The most successful results are seen from:

1. IBS Dietary Changes ( )
The clearly delineated dietary guidelines pioneered in the best-selling book Eating for IBS, by Heather Van Vorous, are the most popular form of managing IBS symptoms. The diet is based on the well-established effects certain categories of foods have on the GI tract. Trigger foods - items that are high in fat, insoluble fiber, or other GI stimulants and irritants, are minimized or eliminated.

Soluble fiber foods, which soothe and regulate the digestive tract, are used as a foundation in all snacks and meals to prevent and relieve IBS symptoms, stabilize intestinal contractions, and normalize bowel function.

The most popular aspects of dietary treatment are its ease, economy and flexibility. Patients also appreciate the availability of countless recipes - and even an IBS cooking show - that make any style of cooking, from comfort foods and traditional home cooking to ethnic specialties and fancy desserts, accessible to those with IBS.

2. IBS Supplements ( )
Of the numerous supplements available for Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms, patients report that soluble fiber, probiotics, and herbs are the most effective.

Prebiotic soluble fibers such as acacia (Tummy Fiber is a patient-favorite brand) are used to resolve both diarrhea and constipation. Probiotics (VSL#3 and Digestive Advantage are frequently named) are appreciated for reducing gas and bloating.

Among herbs that have beneficial effects on the gastrointestinal tract, peppermint and fennel, as both enteric coated oil capsules and medicinal strength teas, are the most popular. Heather's Tummy Tamers are a favorite brand of peppermint capsule for preventing IBS abdominal pain, spasms and cramps. Fennel tea is repeatedly cited for its ability to reduce bloating and gas (Eater's Digest and Heather's Tummy Teas are brands named most frequently).

Patients most appreciate that results from supplements are often felt very quickly - sometimes immediately. Also, in terms of risks versus benefits, patients feel that IBS supplements are significantly better, safer, and less expensive than IBS prescription medications.

I3. IBS-Specific Hypnosis ( )
Among alternative therapies tried by IBS patients, IBS-specific (or gut-directed) hypnosis is given the most impressive feedback. Many patients rate it so completely successful they deem it a permanent "cure." Numerous clinical studies have echoed these findings, with some finding IBS remission lasting at least five years, and quite likely longer.

Patients rate gut-directed hypnosis very highly for its reduction of the frequency, severity, and duration of symptoms. At-home hypnotherapy programs, such as the IBS Audio Program 100 by Michael Mahoney, are favored over in-person therapist treatments due to cost and convenience.

Patients also report that IBS hypnosis is enjoyable, relaxing, and frequently has positive effects that spill over into other areas of their health and life. For people with IBS who have struggled with tension, anxiety, and depression, IBS-specific hypnosis is the number one rated treatment strategy.

As Heather Van Vorous, founder of (and an IBS patient herself), has noted, "The most successful treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome are so often simple and natural. Though there is no cure for the disorder, significantly alleviating or preventing all IBS symptoms really can be as easy as 1-2-3."

Heather Van Vorous
CEO, Heather's Tummy Care
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