Friday, February 14, 2020

Natural Options for IBS-C


IBS-C can really affect the quality of life of those who suffer from it.  The symptoms of IBS-C include abdominal pain and discomfort, along with changes in bowel function. Bloating and/or gas may also be present. Changes in bowel function may include straining, infrequent stools, hard or lumpy stools, and/or a feeling that the bowel does not empty completely.

Over time, the chronic constipation associated with IBS-C can cause diverticulosis, which can worsen constipation. Unfortunately, oftentimes the medications prescribed for chronic constipation either don't work well or have bothersome side effects. However, there are several natural options to treat the constipation associated with these conditions that are very effective. 

1.  Dandelion Root - Dandelion Root works by stimulating the liver to produce bile, which helps to soften the stool for easier passage. Dandelion root can be purchased in capsule (powder) form.  Nature's Way makes a great product, which can be purchased on Amazon. It  is recommended in daily dosages of 1-4 GM and is most beneficial taken in divided doses during the day and at bedtime. However, it is not recommended for those with gallstones.



2.  Digestic - Digestic is a non-laxative, organic, herbal blend of Papaya, Wormwood, Fennel, Cardamom, and Aloe.  It is available  in capsule form.  Although it is a bit on the pricey side, it  is extremely effective for relieving chronic  constipation associated with IBS-C and diverticulosis. Dosage is  2 and up to 6 capsules daily, depending on the severity of symptoms.

3.  Senna Combination - I discovered this combination of herbs in one of my herbal textbooks.  It consists of senna leaves, fennel seed, ginger rhizome and catnip leaves.  While senna can cause cramping or gripping, the catnip in this formula helps to lessen this.  When taken at bedtime, the catnip also helps promote a restful sleep.  The only company I know of that produces this herbal combination is Caring Sunshine.  It is available in capsule form and is fantastic for relieving constipation.

4.  Kombucha Tea - I prefer to get probiotics from food or drinks, rather than from capsules, and I am a proponent of kombucha tea.  However,  some just don't taste good.  However, one that does is Synergy Enlightened Gingerberry Kombucha Tea, which is delicious mixed with Welch's Rose sparkling grape juice. In addition to  providing natural probiotics, which help prevent constipation, kombucha tea also aids in natural detoxification.  It works by teeming with enzymes and bacterial acids. Gluconic acid, which is found in kombucha, as well as in fruits and vegetables, may bind to toxins to help expel them from the body.

5.  Organic Psyllium Husk - This is really good stool softener.  It works by increasing the bulk in your stool, an effect that helps to cause movement of the intestines. It also works by increasing the amount of water in the stool, making the stool softer and easier to pass. However, one word of caution--don't use too much (a little goes a long way) and drink plenty of water while taking this.  NOW Organic Psyllium Husk is a good brand.

Always remember to check with your healthcare practitioner before taking any herbal supplement or natural product.