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Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Tips to Help Relieve Painful Bowel Problems

Updated on December 23, 2009

Irritable bowel syndrome is not a serious illness.  For a start that is something to be grateful about.  But it is an extremely unpleasant thing and could be embarrassing and causes pain and demands immediate tender loving care.

Am I Having Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

As the name implies, your bowel has become “irritated” as you alternate between diarrhea and constipation.  Bloating is also experienced including excessive flatus (you know, passing gas).  Abdominal pain is thus experienced.

Irritable bowel syndrome can occur at any age but usually between the ages of 20 to 50, which is where most of us belong.  And it afflicts women twice as often as it does men.

The abdominal cramping or pain is usually located on the left side of your abdomen.  Maybe you also noticed that the pain can radiate up to your chest, back or to your shoulders.

Some people have complained that they are also experiencing nausea, vomiting or belching even heartburn.

An important thing to note is that if you are suffering with fever, dehydration, anemia or weight loss along with the above symptoms, please go and look for a good physician.  These are not symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

What Can I do if I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

  • It would be wise to monitor the things that you have ingested--all of it from eating to drinking, from your main meals to your snacks. Write it all down. You see some people’s stomachs get bothered with drinks like coffee, wine, milk or even fruit juices.
  • Allow your intestines to settle down by eating moderately and keeping away from fatty foods, fried foods and spices.
  • Make sure to add fiber to your diet like bran cereals / oat bran or high fiber vegetables. Fiber greatly helps with your bowel movement especially constipation. There are over the counter fiber supplements that are also available. Psyllium powder is an excellent fiber supplement. Ask your doctor if you need to take this.

Dealing with Flatulence or Excessive Gas

  • In case you are having flatulence or excessive gas, please avoid the foods that cause the flatulence.  Here are some of the food that causes excessive gas which you may want to avoid:  If you love dairy products you may have to cut those from your diet. Other food that causes excessive gas are carrots, raisins, onions, beans, celery, bananas, prunes, wheat germ, pretzels.
  • These foods causes a moderate amount of gas like  breads, potatoes, citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, apples and pastries.  While these foods --rice, eggs, lettuce, nuts, potato chips, meat (beef, chicken, turkey and fish), broccoli, cucumbers, graham crackers are relatively safe.  So you can eat more of these.

Other Things to Avoid

  1. Chewing gum
  2. Carbonated drinks
  3. Drinks that contains caffeine or alcohol
  4. Tobacco products
  5. Breath mints or candies that contain sorbitol or mannitol (may increase flatulence or diarrhea)

To help with your abdominal cramps, you can use heating pads or hot water bottle.

The Unknown Cause

Scientists have not been able to find that germ or virus that causes irritable bowel syndrome. Many researches believe that it is usually caused by emotional distress like stress or depression. And stress can affect your bowel habits too.

Having experienced an autoimmune disease with an unknown cause years ago, I too believe that many diseases are largely caused by emotional stress. Coupled with the things you can practically do like consulting a doctor, drinking medicines to aid the symptoms and using simple home remedies to help relieve your painful bowel problems,

I also encourage you engage in activities that relieve stress.

  • Exercise daily.
  • Try meditation.
  • Laugh more.
  • Worry less.
  • Talk with a friend. Talking can be therapeutic.
  • Write a journal and watch where your thoughts are.
  • Do more things that you love to do.
  • Pray.

Simple yet Profound Remedy

Lie down in bed and breathe deeply. Regulate your breathing as you inhale deeply (imagine you are inhaling goodness and light) and exhaling slowly (as you imagine you are expelling all your worries and fears). Repeat several times.

Place your hands on your tummy area. As you keep on breathing say this yourself, “I am sorry, please forgive, I love you and I thank you.” Repeat this many, many times.

Need Help?

If at this point you would like my help to do this with you, please do not hesitate to email me asking for healing prayer. I would gladly pray for you and send you loving and healing energies across the distance.

Love, healing light and blessings to you and your well-being,

Michelle Simtoco


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    • sandrabusby profile image

      Sandra Busby 

      6 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

      ripplemaker, thank you for sharing such healing remedies as putting your hands on your stomach and breathing. It is one of my standbys. Thanks for SHARING.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the tips it's really helpful :), I hope that I get rid of it....

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you so much michelle. I sit here wide awake at 3:30 am with a belly ache. I'm starting to wonder if I may have IBS. There always seems to be something wrong with my stomach. I will definitely ask the doctor next visit. Thanks again for your valuable information. God bless, Mol

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Tony, if your laxative works then that's great. The anger coming out from you, saddens me..ouch. :(

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      thats a first, prayer for IBS.

      Dear god as i sit here broken hearted tried to shit but only farted.My bowles are hard and surley stuck, prayers not working, what the fuck. whos brilliant idea it was to incorporate religion and Crap, the bell tolls for this inoculous mishap. A Laxative it is,it foots the bill. got damn it, i took it with a sleeping pill. now im praying that this combination is it, hoping to christ i dont wake up in shit.

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Excellent hub about a problem I suffer from!

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      GmaGoldie, thanks for your sharing your personal tip. It adds more help to those suffering from IBS. Thanks again.

      Parrster, what a relief that would be to know. At least one can now avoid all wheat products and be on the way to wellness. Thanks for stopping by.

      Money Glitch, that is so kind and nice of you. Thank you very very much for your support and sharing hublove to me. Hugs...

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Hi Michelle, this is a great hub! I just wanted to let you know that I added a link to your hub; it provides additional info and compliments my hub titled Psyllium:Seeds,Husks, and Supplements nicely. Rating up and hopefully my link will send additional traffic to this great hub. Thanks for sharing your insight on this subject. :)

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Thanks ripplemaker~

      What I thought was IBS turned out to be wheat intolerance, which I've come to learn is very common.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      I love ginger and it seems to help. I take Robinol on occasion - hate prescription drugs. You are absolutely correct - the exercise is key! Very well done hub! Rated it UP!

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      You are very much welcome Peggy!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks Michelle!

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Cheeky Girl: Gatorade helps replenish the fluids you lose during diarrhea :) Happy new year to you! All the best..

      Peggy: Glad you are okay now. Sure Peggy..I will offer healing prayers for your Mom right away. Thanks for the visit. God bless..

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Michelle,

      Very good hub filled with useful information. Years ago I suffered from IBS and during that time I was under more stress. So I would definitely agree that stress is a major factor.

      My mother is in the hospital right now and just had emergency surgery for a perforated bowel. Scary, but glad we finally got the correct diagnosis and treatment. She'll have a longer recovery just due to her age and condition.

      When you so nicely offered prayers, please send one her way please. Thanks!

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 

      8 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      This may be nothing - but people are telling me about Gatorade, an energy drink that is supposed to be good at "helping" out in that "area". Any truth in that or was I mis-informed?

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Thanks guys for dropping by to read this hub. I hope it has helped and I continue to wish you well in your journey to healing... :)

    • Isabelle22 profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere on the coastline

      As a life-long sufferer It was great to read such a great story on this subject. This hub has some top information, and self-help suggestions which I certainly will give a go.

    • BetterLife profile image


      8 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Great article! In my experience, meditation and journalling can be very helpful. Also, in my experience, when I am separated from God, myself, and others, a constriction results mentally of emotional energies, which becomes expressed physically within my body, and irritible bowel syndrome is one group of symptoms that I experience.

      Thanks for the article.

    • brightforyou profile image

      Helen Lewis 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Great advice thanks - will be putting these tips into practice!

    • Patti Ann profile image

      Patti Ann 

      8 years ago from Florida

      I have a friend that suffers with this - I will pass the info on to her. Great hub with lots of really good info.

    • KeithTax profile image

      Keith Schroeder 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Good information my wife never got from the doctor. She will try your advice to help with the issue. Well written.

    • Hannah Ministries profile image

      Hannah Ministries 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for you Hub. My best friend suffer from this too and I got to read much more about it today. Thank you I will try get her to read it too. Thanks again.

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 

      8 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Hy ripplemaker, great hub! That's good advice about chewing gum, you are the second person who has mentioned the list of "avoidables" to me! Happy Christmas and happy New Year to you! : )

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      8 years ago

      I am sure glad you set the record straight.I heard about it but never new what it was.Thanks for the insight.

    • profile image

      IBS CURE 

      8 years ago

      hello frnds,

      i was having ibs two years ago and i got rid of that by daily excercising, intake of 8 glasses water daily,eating raw fruits and raw vegetables coz they have lots of fiber and fiber is essential for a good digestive system,intake of gooseberry every morning on empty stomach and fresh ginger piece one hour after the meals coz these are natural intestinal and colon cleansers.I meditate a hour daily to relieve stress and also i practised to be cool and dont think too much.

      CURE FOR IBS IS NOTHING BUT CHANGING OUR LIFESTYLE TO HEALTHIER LIFE STYLE...advance happy new year wishes to all:) :)

    • topstuff profile image


      8 years ago

      Explained in very simplified way,easy to get and easy to do healthy activities to get rid of it.

    • Beth100 profile image


      8 years ago from Canada

      There is abundance of great information that you have provided. In addition to what you have listed, there is the possibility of the spine being displaced, which in turn affects the bowels. From what I have learned from my osteopath, the displacement of internal organs will also affect the bowels. Correction of these may provide some relief.

      Another well written hub, Michelle. Merry Christmas and a may the New Year bring peace, love and health.

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Raven and Triplet Mom, thanks for the visit!

      Jessicab, hope you are getting better. To your complete healing :)

      Outdoorguy: Thanks for the explanation. I know this will help more and more people as they have more options.

      Tattooguy: Glad to see you. Merry Christmas without the sh.t please. LOL. :)

      Betty: Hope this helps you. Yes, eating better and lowering stress can make a difference. Try the deep breathing esp. before you sleep. A better immune system can cope better with colds. :)

      Have a healthy and merry Christmas everyone.

    • Betty Reid profile image

      Betty Reid 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Rippelmaker and outdoorguy, thanks for the info. I'm going to follow some of your advice. Unfortunately, my cold and allergy medicine has sorbitol, but maybe eating better and lowering stress will get rid of the cold symptoms.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I cud be me and say wat a shitty long winded hub but hey wud that be funny. I liked it of course, but you my dear friend have a cracking Christmas ; )

      B.C xx

    • outdoorguy38 profile image


      8 years ago from Brookings,Oregon

      Oops, I forgot to mention that you can test the ph level of your saliva in a spoon if you would rather not test your urine. All the best!

    • outdoorguy38 profile image


      8 years ago from Brookings,Oregon

      Ripplemaker, a simple test of the ph level in a person is the same as for a swimming pool or any other water. Litmus paper can be purchased at your local pharmacy, it comes with a color chart to measure your ph level. As with a swimming pool, your ph level should be at 7.4, if your ph level drops below 7 your system is very acidic and prone to bacterial build up. When I found out about this fact a week ago, I bought litmus paper and found my ph level to be 6.0, it is no wonder I am experiencing afflictions of my body with such a poisoned system. To raise your ph level you need supplements that I mentioned and need to cut out sugars, dairy, and carbohydrates. I hope this helps.

    • jessicab profile image


      8 years ago from Alabama

      These are very good tips, and I am combating irritable bowel syndrone and I am currently seeing a Gastrologist. All the above things you mention like caffeine drinks and carbonated drinks are all things I need to avoid. Wonderful hub and I would like to read more on this subject.

    • Triplet Mom profile image

      Triplet Mom 

      8 years ago from West Coast

      Great hub! So many factors that can contribute to IBS!

    • Raven King profile image

      Raven King 

      8 years ago from Cabin Fever

      Stress definitely plays a role. Good hub!

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hello Outdoorguy, I do hope you never will experience IBS. Thank you for sharing. This made me curious. How can a person check if he has an acidic system? As for eating healthy food-- it is best way indeed! :)

      Hello Tatjana, thanks for the Christmas greetings. Peace and love to you and your loved ones. :)

      NOTE: If you guys want to try alternative treatment, visit Tatjana's profile page. Details on how to contact her is readily available as well.

      Hello Micky Dee!

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hello Bob, I am honored to have a pharmacist visit this hub and share more information that can help people experiencing IBS. This is something one can also look into and the patient can certainly ask his doctor if he could take melanin supplements. Thanks so much Bob. :)

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Very nice hub. Thanks

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image


      8 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Great article Michelle.

      A wish Merry Xmas to you and your dearest ones and a lots of peace, love and light...always.

      Thank you!

    • outdoorguy38 profile image


      8 years ago from Brookings,Oregon

      Great Hub Ripplemaker, I do not have IBS...yet, thankfully. But, the other conditions I have has led me to some interesting information as to the cause of diseases that are not considered diseases. The human body's mycoplasma or biofilm has a lot to do with afflictions of the body and organs. Most people who experience such symptoms as IBS, have a very acidic system which has led to a bacterial playground. In order to get our mycoplasma back in shape we must get healthy, this means no soda pop on an empty stomach and eating better foods that can be digested easily.

      Adding vitamin and mineral supplements to the diet is essential for those of us with an acidic system. CoQ10, Magnesium, Probiotics, and Emulsified Oregano are just a few of the essentials when it comes to repairing our mycoplasma. Of course the biggest factor will be eating healthy foods and cutting out sugar. I know that sounds tough, but it is well worth it not to suffer the symptoms of a poisoned mycoplasma. Great hub, keep up the good work, it's always a pleasure to read your hubs.

    • DiamondRN profile image

      Bob Diamond RPh 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      Good article, Ripplemaker.

      Here is a helpful little tidbit from Johns Hopkins: "Taking melatonin supplements can help to relieve abdominal pain in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and sleep disturbances, according to a study reported in the journal GUT (Volume 54, page 1136). Melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep but also helps regulate sensations in the gut and the movement of food through the digestive tract."

      Bob Diamond


    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Sue...thank you, thank you for adding your valuable input. Did you hear that good news? Check if you are in fact lactose intolerant as Sue was. And putting good old pure peppermint oil at the bottom of her feet has helped a lot! Wow! I am very open to learn anything that would help truly relieve IBS. My stomach was churning as I was writing this all down and could just imagine the discomfort IBS people experienced throughout their years. If this helps you, do share so more and more people could be helped.

      Thank you so much are a real blessing! Hugs...

    • ripplemaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Tony, no! Not the pizza! That would be one thing we will be eating remember? LOL Okay I will be laughing with you as we kick this stress monster away! Thanks for dropping by :)

    • emohealer profile image

      Sioux Ramos 

      8 years ago from South Carolina


      A subject near and dear to my heart. "Diagnosed" with IBS many years ago, I was informed that it is not a "real dis-ease", it is what they call anything with the above mentioned symptoms and they cannot identify what is going on. Later on, I found it to be extreme lactose intolerance and over the years have discovered that in a high majority of so called IBS cases it is in fact a lactose issue.

      All of that aside, I can share one tip to alleviate those symptoms improve lactose tolerance and overall digestive issues. Pure peppermint oil! I put peppermint oil on the bottom of my feet each morning. Over time my tolerance has improved and better than alleviating the symptoms it prevents them from ever existing!

      Great article and much needed information as this is a widespread issue! Thanks as always!

    • tony0724 profile image


      8 years ago from san diego calif

      Musta been the old pizza I ate !I do gotta learn to laugh more to relieve some stress.I am glad I got to kick off your new hub. Have a great day Michelle


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