Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – Separating Fact From Fiction

17 August, 2015 , ,

Meal Plans from SOSCuisine for a solution to IBS


Ginger is used for its antispasmodic properties, i.e., it helps to relax your digestive system by reducing unnecessary muscle contractions. It helps in digestion by stimulating the secretion of bile, gastric juices and saliva. Finally, it is also known for its beneficial effect on nausea. To add this to your alternative treatments for irritable bowel syndrome, try fresh ginger as an infusion at the end of a meal.

Verdict: to be tried.

Here are some recipes that use ginger:

Shrimp and Quinoa Salad


A few studies have assessed the link between yoga and IBS; we know that yoga promotes relaxation and relaxation decreases symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea and stomach upsets. What is particularly interesting about this method is that it has virtually no side effects, apart from getting you in shape!

Verdict: to be tried.


Hypnotherapy focused on the digestive system has been studied and the results are promising. According to studies and the American College of Gastroenterology, it has yet to be proved, but there is hope. On the other hand, success largely depends on the hypnotherapist and his knowledge of the disease and the digestive system in general.

Verdict: no supporting evidence yet.


A few minor studies have determined that acupuncture could have a positive effect on the management of symptoms. Nevertheless, a review of the literature shows that there is a lack of evidence to recommend this treatment, because the positive effect could be due to a placebo effect*.

Verdict: no supporting evidence.

So, we have examined the 8 most common complementary treatments available for people with IBS. To sum up, the efficacy of peppermint oil and ginger has been proven. So feel free to try them out, in addition to your low FODMAP diet, to see whether they can benefit you.

You can also try the other treatments (turmeric, teas, yoga…), but just be aware that their effectiveness has not been proven by the scientific community.

We will continue to closely monitor future studies and will keep you informed in case the effectiveness of other treatments is demonstrated.

*The term “placebo effect” is used when a patient declares that he feels better after treatment, when in fact the treatment was not found to be effective. In such cases, the patient’s air of wellbeing stems from his confidence in the treatment rather than from the effectiveness of the treatment itself.

Note: If you take medications or suffer from any other medical condition, talk to your physician or pharmacist before starting a complementary treatment that might interfere with your current treatment.

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Jef L'Ecuyer

Jef L’Ecuyer

Registered Dietitian, RD at

Member of the Quebec College of Dietitians (OPDQ) and Dietitians of Canada,Jef graduated from McGill University in December 2014. Recently graduated and passionate about culinary arts, Jef poses a simple, effective and practical look at daily meal planning. With this in mind, she works in conjunction with the mission of SOSCuisine…

Jef L'Ecuyer

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One Response to “Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – Separating Fact From Fiction”

December 07, 2015 at 10:09 am, Lily Isabelle said:

Short but good description some important treatment option for getting control over the IBS problem. Thanks for share such helpful post. My brother have IBS problem and I will share this ideas with him. May be he likes to follow these ideas. Apart from that now he is taking the natural medicines as “Lean N Clean®”.

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