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How to relieve IBS pain instantly?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive disorder that causes abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhoea, constipation, or both. It affects about 10-15% of people, particularly women and those under 50.

IBS can significantly disrupt your daily life, making work, social activities, and everyday tasks difficult. The pain and discomfort can also cause anxiety and stress, which can worsen symptoms. 

How to ease IBS pain?

If you’re currently dealing with pain caused by your IBS, try following this simple step-by-step guide to help reduce your pain. Try to follow it as closely as possible, and it should help you feel better quickly:

Apply heat (10-15 minutes)

  • What to do: Find a hot water bottle or heating pad.

  • How to do it: Place it on your abdomen.

  • Why it works: Heat helps relax the muscles in your gut and reduces pain.

Take peppermint oil (5 minutes)

  • What to do: Get peppermint oil capsules or make a cup of peppermint tea.

  • How to do it:
    • For capsules: Follow the dosage instructions on the package.
    • For tea: Steep a peppermint tea bag in hot water for 3-5 minutes.

  • Why it works: Peppermint oil has antispasmodic properties that relax the gastrointestinal muscles.

Use over-the-counter medications (5 minutes)

  • What to do: Take antispasmodic or anti-diarrhoeal medication.

  • How to do it:
    • For antispasmodics (e.g., Buscopan): Take the recommended dose as per the package instructions.
    • For anti-diarrhoeal (e.g., loperamide): Take the recommended dose as per the package instructions.

  • Why it works: These medications can quickly reduce muscle spasms in your gut and control diarrhoea.

Drink water

  • What to do: Drink a glass of water.

  • How to do it: Slowly sip a glass of room temperature or warm water.

  • Why it works: Staying hydrated helps soothe your digestive system.

  • Amount: Aim for at least one full glass (approximately 250 ml) of water.

Try gentle exercise (10 minutes)

  • What to do: Engage in light activities such as walking or stretching.

  • How to do it:
    • Take a slow, gentle walk around your home or outside.
    • Perform simple stretches, focusing on your abdomen and lower back.

  • Why it works: Gentle exercise stimulates digestion and reduces stress.

Frequently asked questions about IBS

What are the common triggers of IBS symptoms?

Common triggers of IBS symptoms include certain foods (like dairy and gluten), stress, hormonal changes, and medications.

How can I manage IBS pain naturally?

Managing IBS pain naturally involves strategies like dietary changes (e.g., avoiding trigger foods), stress reduction techniques (such as yoga or meditation), regular exercise, and ensuring adequate hydration.

What foods should I avoid if I have IBS?

Foods commonly known to trigger IBS symptoms include dairy products, gluten-containing foods, spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners.

A woman holds her tummy in discomfort caused by appendicitis

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