Irritable bowel syndrome manifests as stomach upset and transit problems. For better management, it is recommended to combine natural methods with dietary modifications and medication. Update on the most effective natural solutions.

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as irritable bowel syndrome (or functional colopathy), is characterized by episodes of constipation that alternate with episodes of diarrhea. It manifests itself differently in each patient and its origins are still difficult to discern. This is why it is sometimes complicated to treat it. If certain drugs help relieve symptoms, natural methods have also been proven.

Discover 6 natural solutions that help relieve the daily lives of patients:
Self-massage of the belly to relieve pain

What's the point ?

Pains in the lower abdomen are often linked to excessive fermentation which causes bloating in the colon.

"A self-massage of the belly boosts the motor skills of the colon and helps the progression of these painful gases, but also the progression of stools," notes Dr. Martine Cotinat, gastroenterologist.

How to do it ?

You have to follow the path of the colon, with a smoothing movement by pressing hard enough, for example with two thumbs or with three fingers of one hand, flat. Standing or lying down, try to relax the belly well. Start from the lower abdomen on the right, go up with your fingers to under the ribs and then make a transverse movement towards the underside of the ribs on the left, descend along the left side to the lower abdomen.

As soon as it hurts, we do this movement at least four to five times. To make it more comfortable, you can use a few drops of vegetable oil, possibly with an essential oil.
Opt for peppermint essential oil

What are its benefits ?

"Peppermint essential oil has antispasmodic properties, it relaxes the muscles of the intestine and colon, and reduces pain. In addition, it is anti-inflammatory and improves digestion ”, explains Fabienne Millet, pharmacist. Its use is recognized by the World Health Organization. In 2014, a review of studies also confirmed that it was more effective than a placebo in relieving abdominal pain and all symptoms.

How to use it ?

Peppermint essential oil is effective around 200 to 250 mg per day, or 2 drops diluted in a teaspoon of vegetable oil, three times a day during meals.
Even better, enteric-coated capsules, prepared by the pharmacist, that release their contents into the intestine. Take for one to four days in case of painful spasms.

"Peppermint essential oil is effective, but should be used with the advice of a specialist because, in large doses, it can promote heartburn," says Dr. Martine Cotinat. Better to use it diluted to 10 to 15%, in massage.

Use osteopathy to relieve digestive discomfort

What are its benefits ?

By restoring harmony between the colon and its neighboring organs, osteopathy can relieve functional colopathy. The visceral massages that it offers help relieve intestinal functional disorders and it improves biliary disorders.

How does it happen ?

Osteopathy starts from the principle that everything comes from circulation: by gentle gestures, pressure and slight twists, the practitioner unties the points of attachment and tension, so that fluids, blood in particular, circulate better . Improvement is fast. Count one to two sessions to relieve pain, spaced three weeks to a month. A session costs between 50 and 100 euros (not reimbursed if the practitioner is not a doctor). To find a trusted professional, consult the Register of osteopaths in France.

Probiotics, as background therapy, to restore the intestinal flora

What are they for ?

In the vast majority of patients suffering from colon pain, there is an imbalance of the intestinal flora, with bacteria too much or not enough present. Probiotics found in certain foods, such as yogurts, may therefore be beneficial.

"These living microorganisms can help restore balance and relieve all symptoms. But beware, in some cases, they can on the contrary increase the severity of bloating or pain! We must then find another solution, ”says Dr. Cotinat. Always prefer to consult a health professional before incorporating it into your diet.

 How to use them?

Two products have been the subject of clinical studies proving their effectiveness on abdominal pain and digestive discomfort: Ibsium (Lesaffre) and Lactibiane Référence (Pilèje).

"They must be used every day for a month's treatment, then in maintenance treatment, for example a capsule twice a week, because probiotics do not restore the flora permanently," said the gastroenterologist.

If there is no improvement after 10 to 15 days, do not hesitate to try another product with different strains, because the results are very variable.