How can I ease irritable bowel syndrome?
BY: John Hanc
Good news! A recent study found that “cheap, safe and readily available treatments,” like peppermint oil and fiber, were just as effective as drugs in relieving the pain, cramping, bloating, constipation and diarrhea associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Peppermint oil, which is sold over the counter in capsule form, is most effective for those who suffer “mainly from pain, bloating or diarrhea,” notes study leader Alex Ford, M.D., of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. Fiber -- specifically, soluble fiber in the form of ispaghula husk, also known as psyllium -- is especially helpful for those who experience constipation.
An estimated one in five Americans suffers from IBS. While the
condition won’t damage your organs or lead to life-threatening disease,
such as cancer, it can have a major impact on one’s quality of life.
Therefore, it’s good to know that simple, inexpensive treatments can
John Hanc is a New York-based fitness writer who writes for Live Right Live Well, Runner’s World, The New York Times, Family Circle, AARP Bulletin, Newsday and others. He is the author of eight books, including The Coolest Race on Earth: Mud, Madmen, Glaciers and Grannies at the Antarctica Marathon (Chicago Review Press 2009).