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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What medications can help the pain with irritable bowel syndrome?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 4


    Jon Gamble


    Jon is author of ‘Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome’ and “Obstacles to Cure: Toxicity, Deficiency & Infection” - two books for CAM practitioners. He specialises … View Profile

    The following over-the-counter medicines may be helpful: peppermint oil capsules reduce cramping associated with flatulence. Buscopan reduces bowel muscle spasm. If you have constipation, then fibre or bulking agents are important. If you have diarrhoea  then probiotics sometimes help. If you have an undetected food sensitivity, however, then those foods must be identified and removed otherwise pain management won't be effective.

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    From a natural medicine stand point herbal remedies have been extremely helpful in helping several cases I have had with IBS.  Often backed up with appropriate live bacteria's.  Many people get confused about live bacteria assuming that acidophilus is what they need.  Health companies spend years researching the many different strains of bacteria and formulate appropriate remedies for either IBS with constipation or loose bowels.  Some people may even alternate between the two.
    Some lesser known herbs that I use often for bowel disorders and been helpful in healing the mucous membrane of the intestine and others for counteracting any parasistic infestation that is often present with any long standing bowel disorder.  One needs to take care when prescribing any remedies so thorough case history must be taken.  What works for one person may not for another.  If bowels have been loose for a long time the person is often suffering from a state of semi mal nutrition.  Appropriate supplements will need to be prescribed to build up nutritional profile along with dietary assessments.

  • 2


    Ashleigh Jones

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Pain is a major symptom of IBS, but it is not something you should have to put up with long term.  If you are still experiencing this symptom than I would recommend an appointment with an Accredited Practising Dietitian who is experienced in IBS management to develop a tailored eating plan that will help manage your symptoms and minimse a need for pain relief.  It might be a case of making some simple dietary changes that will greatly improve your symptoms!

    All the best,
    Ashleigh Jones, APD

  • 1


    Janice Bartley

    Massage Therapist, Western Herbal Medicine Practitioner

    Janice Bartley is a university qualified Medical Herbalist who fosters an evidence-based integrative approach to healthcare. Integrative healthcare focuses on the complexities of each individual’s … View Profile

    A lot of people present to my clinic for help managing the symptoms of IBS and my first question is always "Do you have medically diagnosed IBS?” If you have symptoms of an irritable bowel that persist for a long period of time it is very important you discuss them with your GP before you turn to complementary medicines. Changes in your bowel habits such as a swing between diarrhoea and constipation or severe cramping and bloating, may be early warning signs of more serious conditions. If you turn straight to complementary medicine to mask these symptoms you may in effect actually prolong the diagnosis of a potentially life-threatening condition. Based on your irritable bowel symptoms your GP can run tests and investigations to rule out serious conditions, if you are medically diagnosed with IBS as a result your GP can then recommend suitable medications or refer you to an allied health professional to look further into appropriate supplementation or necessary dietary changes.

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    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    I think that Janice makes an excellent point in stressing the importance of getting a GP (or a specialist medical professional) to do a careful investigation of signs suggestive of possible IBS before seeking help from a complementary medicine person.

    Dr Google is not a medical professional. 

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