IBS, which is an abbreviation for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, can be extremely frustrating when you experience it or not to mention during a long day at work. The condition mainly presents with abdominal pain and cramping. It can cause changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or even both.
Bloating and stomach swelling are common when it comes to IBS, as is excessive flatulence. The urgency to move the bowels suddenly is another disturbing symptom. The abdominal pain varies in intensity, while the bowel habits may alternate between episodes of diarrhea and constipation.
Let’s also not forget that if you have IBS, you may experience an urgent and embarrassing need to use the restroom. In other words, IBS is clearly something that you need to avoid.
Can oral supplements help you if you have IBS?
Oral supplements for IBS can be beneficial by matching symptoms to appropriate products. Benefits vary depending on factors like diet, lifestyle, health status, dosage, and supplement type. For IBS-C, options like psyllium husk fiber, osmotic laxatives, and enric-coated peppermint oil capsules can improve bowel movements. For IBS-D, bulking fibers and soluble fiber-predominant products can slow transit time and reduce gastrointestinal spasms. For IBS-M, alternating stool habits may respond well to soluble fiber-predominant products and laxative supplements during constipation periods.
Don’t use supplements for IBS:
Despite the advantages, you must keep in mind that you must avoid IBS supplements in certain conditions. Oral laxative supplements may not be helpful for IBS in the case of those who have kidney or cardiac dysfunction, take certain medications, have bowel obstruction or fecal impaction, have a history of laxative abuse, or are on a fluid-restricted diet. Consult a healthcare provider for proper treatment.
The best supplements for IBS that you can take
There are plenty of useful supplements that you can take for IBS, and we’re happy to share a few of the best options!
FiberCon Fiber Therapy for Regularity
This is a promising alternative for those who deal with IBS-related bowel irregularities, and it’s best for IBS-D. It contains calcium polycarbophil, a unique synthetic fiber that acts like soluble fiber in the colon, swelling to 60 times its weight in water. This swelling slows transit time and reduces bowel urgency, making it ideal for those with IBS-D. FiberCon’s pill form is easy to transport, with a daily dose of two pills. However, it may not be suitable in the case of those who deal with pelvic floor dysfunction, slow motility, or severe constipation.
IBgard Daily Gut Health Support
This supplement is a research-backed product for managing IBS, containing peppermint oil. It is well-tolerated and safe for most people, with 97% of people with IBS reporting improved bowel habits and 87% reporting improvements related to eating. Just one dose of IBgard can prevent IBS-related abdominal pain, with up to three doses recommended for more severe symptoms. Peppermint oil, which includes L-menthol, has been used to treat digestive symptoms for centuries. However, not all forms of peppermint oil, including enteric coated capsules, essential oils, and tea, have been proven effective therapies for IBS. This product may not be suitable for those with swallowing difficulties or those who are pregnant or nursing.
Solgar Magnesium Citrate
Solgar Magnesium Citrate is a third-party tested supplement that is good for IBS-C, and it needs to be said that it’s also a budget-friendly option. It has been clinically proven to ease constipation and may be more effective than other fiber products. When taken in doses higher than 350 milligrams, magnesium gently draws water into the bowels, making the stool softer and easier to pass. The capsules are gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, and vegan, and are easy to customize to your personal effective dose. However, it is not intended for IBS-D patients and should be avoided by those with kidney or heart disease.
Microbiome Labs FODMATE Digestive Enzymes
This supplement offers a wide spectrum of enzymes to help FODMAP-sensitive individuals enjoy complex meals without triggering symptoms. This product is less widely available and more expensive but contains five enzymes to digest high-FODMAP foods. A low-FODMAP diet can significantly improve symptoms for those with IBS. Targeted enzymes can be a way to get more dietary freedom in the case of those who deal with FODMAP intolerance. However, it is important to time FODMATE appropriately before consuming FODMAP-rich foods.
In the US alone, IBS affects roughly 35 million adults. There is no certain cause for why IBS occurs, but the good news is that a person can overcome the condition.