Probiotics are generally accepted to be
potentially beneficial strains of bacteria and yeast, often
found in the human gut. One research study has shown a clear
link between the ingestion of Lactobacillus plantarum 299v
(Lp299v) and sufferers of IBS who reported resolution of
their abdominal pain. Another study showed the utility
of B. infantis 35625, a strain of Bifidobacteria, in
normalizing bowel movement frequency in sufferers of
IBS. Some practitioners of Integrative Medicine now
recommend a strain of Lactobacillus rhamnosus known commonly
as "LGG" after its discoverers Gorbach and Goldin. This
strain in particular has shown an ability to endure the
acidic environment of the stomach and survive until
presentation to the intestinal tract.
A prospective placebo-controlled study found
patients with diarrhea predominant IBS taking Saccharomyces
boulardii, a probiotic yeast, had a significant reduction on
the number and improvement in consistency of bowel
Many sufferers of IBS seek relief using
Acupuncture, a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The meta-analysis by the Cochrane Collaboration concluded
'Most of the trials included in this review were of poor
quality and were heterogeneous in terms of interventions,
controls, and outcomes measured. With the exception of one
outcome in common between two trials, data were not
combined. Therefore, it is still inconclusive whether
acupuncture is more effective than sham acupuncture or other
interventions for treating IBS'. One practitioner of
Traditional Chinese Medicine asserts that IBS has become a
bit of a "garbage diagnosis" for some medical practitioners.
Traditional Chinese Medicine does not recognize the Western
diagnosis of IBS per se, as the named condition has no
definitive single test for diagnosis, clear cause, or cure.
Traditional Chinese Medicine approaches IBS on an individual
symptom-by-symptom basis, rather than recognizing a standard
"IBS" diagnosis, which then warrants a blanket "IBS"
treatment. According to the National Institutes of
Health, "Preclinical studies have documented acupuncture's
effects, but they have not been able to fully explain how
acupuncture works within the framework of the Western system
of medicine that is commonly practiced in the United
Herbs and extracts
The multi-herbal extract Iberogast was found
to be significantly superior to placebo via both an abdominal
pain scale and an IBS symptom score after four weeks of
Enteric coated peppermint oil capsules has
been advocated for IBS symptoms in adults and children;
however, results from trials have been inconsistent.
For severe diarrhea-predominant IBS, more
potent opioids may be used, such as codeine or propoxyphene;
refractory cases may even be treated with paregoric, or, more
rarely, deodorized tincture of opium or morphine sulfate. The
use of opioids remains controversial due to the lack of evidence
supporting their benefit and the potential risk of tolerance,
physical dependence and addiction.
Cannabis has theoretical support for its
role, but has not been subject of clinical studies.
Although illegal in many countries, it has been prescribed to
patients in nations such as Canada. Some of the argued benefits
of cannabis are the reduction of pain and nausea, appetite
stimulation, and assisting in falling asleep.