Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Homeopathy Treatment & Its Homeopathic Medicine

The word ‘Syndrome’ means a group of symptoms. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a group of symptoms that includes abdominal pain, changed pattern or regularity of bowel movements, and many other symptoms, such as cramps, bloating of the abdomen, urge to pass the stools, unsatisfactory stools, etc.


Changes in the pattern of Bowel movements can be variable and, based on that, IBS can be classified into 4 types:

  • Diarrhea Predominant IBS: This is a type of IBS where symptoms of diarrhea are common.
  • Constipation Predominant IBS: It is a type of IBS where symptoms of constipation are common.
  • IBS causes both diarrhea and constipation or causes diarrhea and constipation alternately.
  • IBS causes neither diarrhea nor constipation.


what is irritable bowel syndrome


Sometimes, the patient can suffer from IBS after having an infection and that causes symptoms, such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and positive stool culture. This type of IBS is called ‘Postinfectious IBS’.


IBS is a functional disorder which means that the abnormality lies at a functional level, the movements of the intestine are neither regular nor normal. However, if we examine the intestinal tract, there is no structural change or pathology observed. The peristaltic movements of the intestines (regular contractions and dilatations) are disturbed, they either contract too hard or are dilated too long.


IBS is known by many different names like colitis, mucous colitis, spastic bowel, functional bowel disease, nervous colon, etc. However, many of these terms are not doesn’t provide a proper understanding of the disease. Colitis stands for the inflammation of the colon whereas in IBS there is no inflammation.


Homeopathy For IBS:

IBS is known to be a functional disorder of the gastrointestinal system. As we know, emotional stress, disturbances in the stress system i.e. HPA axis, the sensitivity of the intestines to different foods, etc. are the various causes that can trigger and aggravate IBS. Thus, this condition requires a system of medicine that addresses these causes. Homeopathic treatment treats the disturbances in the stress system, makes an individual capable of dealing with various psychological problems, and maintains an equilibrium between the mind and body. Thus, the root cause of IBS is taken care of and this is evident with the improvement in the relief from the symptoms at the physical level.


How Does Homeopathic Treatment Help?

Homeopathic treatment for IBS is beneficial in the following ways:

  • Homeopathy helps to keep our minds calm.
  • It helps us to deal with our negative emotions, such as anxiety, anger, guilt, worries, hatred, etc.
  • Homeopathy helps to improve our stress-coping system
  • It reduces or treats the hypersensitivity of the gut towards certain foodstuffs.
  • As we adopt an individualistic approach in Homeopathic treatment, the minor issues or problems specific to a particular patient are also taken into consideration during the treatment.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Homeopathic Treatment


How Does Homeopathy Work In Treating IBS?

Homeopathy addresses the root cause of the disease, in the case of IBS, it is psychological factors, such as emotional stress, anger, etc., and abnormal sensitivity towards certain foodstuffs.


Homeopathy treats the disturbance at the level of the stress-coping system. Homeopathy very well addresses the relationship between the psyche and the physique of the patient. Homeopathic medicines help in imparting positive emotions and feelings so that the patient can handle stress effectively and does not let himself get affected negatively by the stressors.


Homeopathy studies every individual patient with IBS in detail by considering the minute details of the person and not just by concentrating on the gastrointestinal affections. Homeopathy treats every patient as a whole entity by taking into consideration all the general symptoms as well as symptoms particular to specific organ systems, such as gastrointestinal symptoms.


Duration Of Homeopathic treatment:

IBS is a functional disorder that can be triggered by several factors, and it can present with slow or fast progress. Since many factors contribute to its development, along with homeopathic medicines, diet, lifestyle, and stress factors also play an important role in its treatment.


The duration of homeopathic treatment for IBS also depends on the following factors:

  • The duration of the disease
  • The previous use of conventional medicines
  • The general condition of the patient
  • Age of the patient
  • Any associated diseases along with IBS


We can expect an initial improvement within 8 to 12 weeks of homeopathic treatment. However, a treatment of 12 to 16 months is recommended for a significant recovery.


Homeopathic Case Analysis:

During the case taking of a patient as per the homeopathic protocol, all his/her IBS-related symptoms are noted in detail by considering their severity, frequency, nature, modalities, and other associated symptoms. For instance, the severity, frequency of diarrhea, whether the patient experiences constipation anytime, when is diarrhea aggravated or better, whether any other associated symptoms like nausea, vomiting, heartburn, etc. are present or not, etc. are considered.


Along with these disease-specific symptoms, the general symptoms of the patient, such as the food habits, sleeping habits, preference for the cold and hot climate, natural secretions like urination, stools, perspiration, etc. are also taken into consideration while prescribing the medicines. The family medical history and the past medical history of the patient is also given importance, as it helps us to know about the genetic dispositions and miasm of the patient.


There are about 3000 homeopathic medicines available for treating a variety of health conditions. However, more than 20 medicines are commonly used in the treatment of IBS. We would like to list a few homeopathic medicines useful in the treatment of IBS.

1. Nux Vomica                         2. Sulfur

3. Pulsatilla                             4. Lycopodium Clavatum

5. Argentum Nitricum               6. Podophyllum

7. Silicea                                 8. Colocynthis

9. Lilium Tigrinum                    10. Asafoetida



The key indications of the commonly used homeopathic medicines for IBS:


1) Nux-vomica: It is well suited to individuals who have the ineffectual urge to pass the stool but with little or no stool. The stools are difficult to pass and there is an incomplete feeling of evacuation. They are highly irritable and impatient with sedentary lifestyles. The symptoms of IBS do get worsened because of a sedentary lifestyle and irregular eating habits. The overwork or stress aggravates the digestive symptoms and leads to constipation or alternating constipation diarrhea and abdominal discomfort.


2) Sulphur: Individuals who benefit from Sulphur experience morning diarrhea, especially after waking up in the morning with a burning sensation in the anus. There is urgency to pass stool and stools are watery, yellowish-greenish in colour. The symptoms may sometimes get worse after taking coffee. The coffee aggravates the symptoms of abdominal cramps and worsens diarrhea.


3) Pulsatilla: The characteristic symptom of Pulsatilla is the changeability of symptoms, they do experience alternating constipation and diarrhea. It is indicated for individuals who experience bloating and distension, the abdomen feels full and tender to touch.  The complaints are triggered after eating rich, fatty foods.


4) Lycopodium clavatum: Lycopodium is often indicated for individuals who have the sensation of fullness even after eating a small quantity of food. The patient complains of a lot of bloating and abdominal distension with the sensation of tightness and gurgling or rumbling in the abdomen. The complaints are more on the right side of the abdomen. They do suffer from constipation and pass little amount of stool and feel as if stool remains in the rectum after bowel movement.


5) Argentum nitricum: Argentum nitricum individuals experience symptoms of IBS before upcoming events. They do suffer from anticipatory anxiety, this anxiety may manifest in the form of digestive symptoms.  They have a sudden urge to pass stool, compelling the need to rush to the washroom with abdominal cramps. They have a strong craving for sweets.


6) Podophyllum: Individuals who require Podophyllum have profuse, watery diarrhea. The stool is copious, gushing, and has a putrid, offensive odour. The stools are in large volumes and may be expelled explosively. They do suffer from morning diarrhea, the urgency to pass stool is intense, and individuals do feel weak and exhausted after passing stool.


7) Silicea: It is indicated for patients who have a long-standing history of chronic IBS. They do experience laxity of the muscles of the rectum causing symptoms of constipation. They do feel distension and bloating, causing tightness in the abdomen, particularly after eating. They experience excessive flatulence which may be loud and offensive smelling.


8) Colocynthis: Useful for individuals who suffer from severe colicky pain which comes like waves and is mostly located in the lower abdomen and makes one bend double, bending double or firm pressure helps to relieve pain. The symptoms of IBS include diarrhea with cutting and colicky pain. One of the key indications for Colocynth in IBS is aggravation of symptoms after suppressed anger.


9) Lilium tigrinum: Lilium tigrinum patients experience symptoms of bearing down in the rectum; there is a sensation as if the contents of the abdomen will fall out through the pelvis. There is the sensation of tightness or constriction in the abdomen. They find relief by lying down and the symptoms of IBS like abdominal discomfort worsen with physical activity.


10) Asafoetida: One of the key indications for a prescription for Asafoetida is severe abdominal pain with excessive flatulence and sensation of fullness in the abdomen. The IBS symptoms do get aggravated during periods of emotional stress and excitement.


Our Experience In Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome At Life Force Homeopathy

At Life Force, we have been treating cases of IBS for over 30 years, under the care of Dr. Rajesh Shah, M.D. We have carefully treated and documented many cases of IBS.


Cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Using homeopathy, we have observed substantial results in most cases of IBS where we were able to provide symptomatic relief and control the further progression of the disease. Also, the future complications, which could have occurred if it was not managed properly, were prevented with homeopathic treatment. Based on our significant experience, we strongly recommend homeopathy for the treatment of IBS.


Pathogenesis Of IBS:

Our intestines are made up of layers of muscles that contract and relax to move the food through them and digest it. This is also called Peristalsis.


These contractions and relaxations usually occur smoothly and in a rhythmic manner. Thus, the normal frequency of defecation is maintained, and there is a satisfactory and timely evacuation of the bowels.


In cases of IBS, sometimes strong/violent contraction of the intestines occurs for a prolonged time, or the intestines may contract and relax very slowly. This results in the entrapment of the stools in the contracted portion of the intestine for a long time causing the stool to become hard. This eventually results in constipation. Also, air may get entrapped in the intestines causing abdominal bloating, swelling, and discomfort.


Sometimes the bowels may contract very rapidly, so much that the intestines will not get time to absorb the water from the stools which may result in watery stools or diarrhea.


Due to the sharp contractions, the patient can experience excruciating pain. Also, in IBS patients, the gut tends to send pain signals with increased intensity, so IBS patients can experience pain even after a normal meal or even when a small amount of gas is present in the bowels.


Mucous is usually secreted in the bowel lumens, this secretion can increase in IBS patients, but it is not a serious problem.


Prevalence of IBS:

It is estimated that about 15% to 20% of the people in the world suffer from IBS at some point during their lifetime. It is more commonly observed in South America and less common in South East Asia. Approximately, one-third population in the UK and 40 million Americans suffer from IBS. It is two times more common in females than in males. It is observed that IBS becomes less common with age, and mostly occurs before 45 years of age.


It is not a life-threatening condition. It does not affect life expectancy. However, it is very common and statistics say that IBS is one of the reasons for most people remaining absent from the workplace along with colds and other related disorders.


Causes of IBS:

It is difficult to find out the exact cause of IBS in a given patient, as many different causes are seen to be related to IBS. Different theories include Gut-Brain Axis Problems, Intestinal bacterial overgrowth, Motility (peristaltic movements) abnormalities of the Gut, Neurotransmitters, Food sensitivity, genetic factors, psychological factors, Post-infectious conditions, etc.


Causes for Irritable Bowel Syndrome


We would like to throw the light on some of the causes of IBS:


  1. Post-Infectious IBS: This can be observed in approximately 10% of IBS cases. This type of IBS usually manifests as Diarrhea Predominant IBS. Anxiety, stress, and genetic defects appear to contribute to postinfectious IBS. An acute attack of gastrointestinal infection can end up causing IBS due to increased gut permeability. IBS is strongly associated with increased gut permeability, regardless of the cause of permeability.


  1. Psychological Factors: STRESS: It is observed that many patients with IBS may experience a trigger or aggravation of their disease by one or the other psychological disturbance. It is during events like the loss of any loved one, school exams, financial stresses, emotional breakdowns, etc. when most people experience IBS symptoms. This shows that any problem in the stress system or incapacity to handle stressors disturbs the HPA axis (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis), i.e. disturbs the communication between the brain and intestines and causes altered movements of intestines (IBS).


  1. Overgrowth Of Bacteria: Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth is more commonly observed in people with IBS than in people not having IBS. This may occur due to the altered immune system response against the bacterial overgrowth which causes the release of cytokines (chemical substances) which increase the permeability of the gut and may lead to IBS.


  1. Sensitivity To Certain Foods: In some patients, it is observed that IBS gets triggered after the consumption of certain foodstuffs. Such patients are sensitive to certain foods, such as chocolate, coffee, milk products, etc.


  1. Genetics: According to several different studies, it is found that certain factors or inborn tendencies run in a family which make a person respond abnormally to stress or certain foods, etc., and result in IBS.


  1. Vitamin D Deficiency: Vitamin D deficiency is seen to be more common in people suffering from IBS.


  1. Conventional Medicines: In many patients, the IBS symptoms may get aggravated after the use of conventional medicines, such as steroids, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, etc.



Symptoms of IBS:

Most of the symptoms seen in IBS patients are similar, yet every IBS patient presents with a unique set of symptoms unique to himself/herself.


homeopathy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Even the intensity of the symptoms may vary from patient to patient. While some patients may have one or two mild episodes, others may have a severely debilitating form of IBS which compels them for taking frequent leaves from work.


Some of the common symptoms of IBS are:

  1. Change In Bowel Habits: Some patients may suffer from constipation, where the patient may experience less bowel movement, hard stools, and unsatisfactory stools. Some may have diarrhea resulting in loose motions and urgency to pass the stools immediately after meals. Some patients may have both, constipation for weeks followed by diarrhea (alternate constipation and diarrhea)


  1. Abdominal Pain & Discomfort: Abdominal pain may vary from severe cramps to continuous dull aching pain in the abdomen. Pain is aggravated after meals and is better after passing stools. Most commonly, the pain is experienced in the left lower quadrant.


  1. Urgency & Incomplete Evacuation: Urgency to pass motions after meals may be experienced by the IBS patient. The patient experiences a desire to defecate even when he has already passed the stools. This is termed an incomplete evacuation.


  1. Gas, Bloating, & Abdominal Distension: Most IBS patients complain of abdominal distension due to the gas. The patient feels heaviness and a sense of discomfort due to the rumbling of gas. The person feels better after passing the gas.


Other Symptoms: Apart from the common symptoms mentioned above, other symptoms include Gastroesophageal reflux (nausea with or without vomiting and heartburn), the sensation of fullness after eating a small meal, the sensation of something being stuck in the throat, genitourinary symptoms (urinary urgency, feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder), headache, body ache, and muscular pains (fibromyalgia). Some may also experience sexual dysfunction, reduction in libido, and pain during sexual intercourse.


homeopathic medicine for Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Diagnosis of IBS:

There is no specific test for investigation for the diagnosis of IBS, however, ruling out other diseases and other serious symptoms like blood in stools, onset after 50 years of age, weight loss, iron deficiency i.e. anemia, family medical history of colon cancer, etc. can help in diagnosing IBS. It is usually recommended to minimize the use of investigations to diagnose IBS and depend more on symptoms for diagnosis.


The following can be considered for the diagnosis of IBS:


  1. A Good Medical History Of The Patient: Considering a good medical history from the patient with regards to his symptoms will help a lot to arrive at the diagnosis. The presence of symptoms, such as abdominal pain relieved after defecation, abdominal distension, the sensation of incomplete evacuation, and the passage of mucus in the stools, indicate IBS and helps in diagnosing it.


  1. Laboratory Tests: A stool sample examination for the presence of blood in the stool may be recommended. This can help us to differentiate the diagnosis of IBS from other conditions as blood is not present in the stools of IBS patients, however, rarely some IBS patients can have blood in their stools. Blood in stools is mostly seen in diseases, such as Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, etc. Also, a stool culture will help us to find out if there are any microorganisms in the stool that are responsible for diarrhea or constipation patterns. Blood tests, such as CBC, ESR, LFT (Liver Function Test), etc., and tests for coeliac disease can help in diagnosis.


  1. X-ray: X-rays of the lower GIT can also be taken for the diagnosis of IBS. This is called Barium Enema, in which an enema of a chalky white substance called Barium sulfate is given to the patient, and X-rays are taken. This test helps the doctor to rule out other conditions, such as tumors, inflammation, obstruction, and Crohn’s Disease.


  1. Colonoscopy: In this method, a special flexible tube (Colonoscope) is inserted into the anus to view the interior of the colon. This can be used to rule out inflammations, tumors, ulcers, etc. in the colon.


Apart from the medical tests and investigations, certain criteria can also be applied to confirm the diagnosis of IBS.


Rome’s Criteria:

The patient should have had abdominal pain at least 1 day/week for the last 3 months, and the abdominal pain should be associated with 2 or more of the following criteria.

  • Related to defecation
  • Associated with a change in the frequency of stool
  • Associated with a change in the form of stool.


Diagnosis of IBS


General Management For IBS:

After having gained information about IBS, we all know that our diet, lifestyle, and stressors do affect IBS and its management. Here, we list some general things which we can follow to manage IBS.


  1. Avoiding Dietary Triggers

Although, different patients have different triggering factors for IBS, the most commonly found are as follows:

  • Milk and dairy products
  • Fatty, spicy foods
  • Beverages, such as tea, coffee, and aerated drinks
  • Certain vegetables, such as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli
  • Alcohol and alcoholic beverages
  • Smoking

Avoiding these common triggers can help manage IBS effectively.


  1. Small Meals At Frequent Intervals:

Eating meals in smaller proportions that have low fat, high carbs, whole grains, fruits, & vegetables facilitate easy digestion.


  1. Increase Your Water Intake:

Increasing your intake of water can help in treating constipation-predominant IBS.


  1. Eat Fiber-Rich Foods:

Consuming foods that are rich in fiber, such as wholegrain bread & cereals, fruits, & vegetables, keeps the bowel distended, thereby preventing crampy pain and regulating bowel movements.


  1. Manage Stress:

Stress has been closely related to IBS, and, thus, the role of psychological therapies in the treatment of IBS must be considered in its management. Although, there is no significant evidence that psychological therapies can be effective in the treatment of IBS, however, psychological therapies don’t have any adverse effects as such.

Hypnotherapy can help to achieve mental well-being. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help to provide strategies and ways to cope with stress and to reduce the thoughts or behaviors which can aggravate IBS symptoms. According to NICE guidelines for IBS, psychological therapies should be considered for the patients who have not responded to Pharmacological therapy for more than 12 months and the symptoms go on increasing.


Conventional Treatment for IBS:

Conventional medicines for IBS are targeted at treating various symptoms of this disease. Thus, they help to provide temporary relief in the symptoms and so cannot treat the disturbance at the level of the Brain-Gut Axis. Also, conventional medicines have side-effects that cannot be tolerated by every patient. Below are some of the medicines usually given in IBS:


  1. For Pain: Anti-Cholinergic and Anti-Spasmodic drugs are given to the IBS patients to help relieve them of the discomforting pain.


  1. For Diarrhea: Anti-diarrheal - Loperamide and other related medicines are given to the patient suffering from diarrhea.


  1. For Constipation: Laxatives (stool softeners) are given to the IBS patients suffering from the discomforts of constipation.


  1. For Bloating & Flatulence: Antacids/anti-foaming medicines help to relieve painful pressure caused by the excess of gas in the stomach and intestines. Smooth muscle relaxants may provide temporary relief to the patient.


  1. For Indigestion: Prokinetic Agents help in increasing the motility of the upper GI tract, thereby helping in treating the indigestion symptoms.


  1. For IBS Patients With Depression: As depression is closely associated with IBS, Anti-Depressants or Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are commonly prescribed to IBS patients with depression.


Related Disease: 

  • Coeliac disease
  • Colon cancer
  • Giardiasis
  • Gastritis
  • Acidity


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*Please note that results and duration of treatment may vary depending on the constitution of your body.