This fall I supported a pretty incredible group of ladies through the Calm Your Gut Program which is an online 6 week program designed to help you pinpoint YOUR specific inflammatory tummy triggers & soothe digestive irritation.
Even though I have been running digestively challenged humans through this program for years, I am still blown away by the gut calming results of this highly supportive program. One of my Calm Your Gutter’s, Alisa, felt she always had an upset stomach and would plan her entire life around her digestive issues. If Alisa was going out for dinner and a movie the movie would always come first because she never knew how her tummy would feel after dinner. Pepto Bismol was her best friend.
But after 6 powerful weeks in the Calm Your Gut Program Alisa is completely IBS symptom free! I love love love helping people find their unique tummy troubles and filling their diets FULL of gut healing foods!
While I am a huge believer in getting to the root of your digestive issues (like Alisa did!) I am also a fan of having some solid natural remedies on hand to help decrease the severity of a flare up.
Natural Remedies for IBS Flare Ups
1. Peppermint Oil: is an antispasmodic meaning that it relaxes the muscles in the gut which may help to decrease IBS symptoms like cramping and pain. Try capsules containing 0.2 - 0.4 ml of peppermint oil. Caution for those with heartburn as peppermint oil has been noted to increase reflux pain in a few individuals. I personally do not recommend products like IBgard because while it does contain peppermint oil it also has a number of artificial colors and chemicals that I feel should not be put into our body.
2. Herbal Tea: If you have been following me for at least a minute, you’ll know how obsessed I am with herbal medicine, especially teas. The truth is, herbs are powerful and have been used by our ancient ancestors for thousands of years. Until the mid - 1800’s when the first pharmaceutical drug was created, herbs were our medicine and nature - our beautiful laboratory. A few IBS calming specific herbs are ginger, peppermint, chamomile and turmeric.
3. Bone Broth/stock: I want to be clear that I am NOT talking about any broths or stocks found in a tetra pack, aluminium can or made from bouillon cubes. I am talking about good ‘ol homemade style, slow simmered broth. This style of stock or broth is extremely gently on the tummy and amazing for those days when everything seems to inflame your gut while still giving you nourishment you will actually digest. Have it in a soup, stew or simply sip as a ‘tea’ on those really bad flare-up days. Try the Bone Broth Cider recipe in the 3 Day Meal Plan to Calm IBS Flare-Ups.
4. Fibre (for Constipation): For those with constipation associated IBS (pooping less than once per day) the build-up can lead to painful cramping and bloating. While I am not a fan of Metamucil (learn why here) I am a huge fun of upping the fibre naturally to get things moving by using straight psyillium husk or ground flax seeds. Try 2 tbsp spoons in a little water daily.
5. De-Stress: When your body is chronically stressed you are in a constant state of fight or flight. This shifts a large amount of your bodily resources to the extremities, increasing your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar, and very few resources are allocated to the digestive tract. It’s shown that lowering stress and anxiety can prevent or ease IBS symptoms. So during your next flare-up try meditating, deep breathing (pranayama), or going for an acupuncture or massage treatment. Or better yet… Make one or more of these part of your daily rituals to PREVENT IBS symptoms.
Need to bring in the big guns to prevent or calm you next IBS Flare-Up? Grab your FREE 3 DAY MEAL PLAN STAT!