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What homeopaths say about IBS

What homeopaths say about IBS

Homeopaths say that along with medicines, counselling is also important to tackle the emotional cause of IBS.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Representational Image | Shutterstock

It all started four years ago when Hrushikesh More, an interior designer from Mumbai, began to get sudden stomach aches. There were days when the pain would last for 10 minutes, while sometimes it would last for more than an hour. More thought it was due to his poor food habits and lifestyle as he skipped meals due to his tight work schedule. He consulted a doctor who advised him to take a few tests and scans. However, nothing was found in the reports to diagnose his condition.

One of the doctors suggested that it could be because of acidity but the antacids he prescribed did not help More. Then the pandemic happened.

“I ate healthy food during the lockdown, but the issue persisted. That is when I realised that it was something more than just my poor habits,” says More.

A homeopathic physician diagnosed him with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Dr Kamlesh Suryawanshi, consultant at Take Care Homoeopathy, Mumbai, took a detailed history of his work environment, and mental and physical aspects. Along with medicines, he counselled him on lifestyle changes, diet, and workplace issues.

As IBS is often triggered by stress, he advised More to be calm. Dr Suryawanshi also suggested a non-spicy soft diet.

“It has been a year now. I don’t feel any pain in my stomach anymore,” says More.

Moreover, he can manage his work stress and has developed more resilience to it, he adds.

What is IBS

IBS is a chronic condition that affects the digestive system.  “The person can have symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, alternating constipation, and diarrhoea,” says Dr Suryawanshi.

There is no structural change found in the digestive tract in IBS, which is why it is not identified in scans or tests. It is often diagnosed by the process of eliminating other similar conditions.

According to the National Health Service, the exact cause of IBS is not known. However, it is linked to stress, a family history of IBS, and oversensitive nerves in the gut.

People with IBS find it difficult to carry out their daily tasks. Thus, it leads to poor quality of life.  Moreover, the unpredictable and uncomfortable symptoms cause stress, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. As stress triggers IBS, it becomes a vicious cycle.

How homeopathy can help

Dr Suryawanshi says that homeopaths give importance to the mental aspects of the person. A detailed history of the issues the person faces, is taken. “We always try to find the ‘why’ behind the condition. Why the person is getting these symptoms especially if they are triggered by any emotional cause,” he says. After receiving all the information, a suitable medicine is chosen.  Moreover, counselling is also given to help the person manage the issues efficiently, so it does not affect his physical health, he adds.

Dr Dheeraj Devgan, consultant at Happy homeopathy clinic, Firozpur, says, “Each person may have a different stressful situation in his life that might have triggered his condition.” He adds that it is important to go deep into the case to understand the individual’s emotional cause and educate them on the importance of keeping the mind calm and composed as many conditions are related to stress.

Dr Devgan adds that along with medicines, diet and lifestyle tailored to one’s condition play an important role in the management of IBS.

Dr Suryawanshi and Dr Devgan share some tips:

  • One must identify and avoid the things that trigger IBS. This can be done by maintaining a food journal for oneself.
  • Alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and spicy, deep-fried food can often exacerbate the symptoms. Thus, one should avoid them.
  • Curd, being a probiotic, may help in relieving symptoms. A meta-analysis study published in The Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology indicates that some combinations, species, and strains of probiotics could be beneficial for the overall symptoms of IBS.
  • Eating large meals may cause pain. This is because large meals need a stronger stimulus to push food forward. Thus, people with IBS should eat smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Artificial and processed foods must be avoided.
  • Adding sufficient protein, and natural foods like fruits and vegetables to the diet can help alleviate the condition. It can help in general well-being.
  • A low-fat diet is often suggested as fatty foods can lead to painful contractions in people with IBS.
  • According to The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, dietary fibre can help with IBS, especially in people with constipation. But it is important to alter the amount of fibre to suit the person according to their condition. Thus, it is always advised to consult a dietician for this.
  • Staying hydrated can help relieve constipation associated with IBS.
  • Having a proper sleep routine is also essential as poor sleep can aggravate the symptoms.
  • As stress triggers IBS, it is important to include stress-reducing interventions like meditation and yoga in the daily routine.
  • The Canadian Institute of Intestinal Research suggests walking in nature, listening to calm music, massages, and Tai chi as some other ways to relieve stress.

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