Health & Fitness - - Pain Management -

From cramps and spasms to bloat­ing and di­ar­ro­hea, IBS af­fects one-in-10 peo­ple, es­pe­cially women. While there’s some ev­i­dence painkillers such as parac­eta­mol may ease the dis­com­fort of IBS, it’s thought other va­ri­eties, in­clud­ing ibupro­fen, may worsen symp­toms.


Ask for a re­fer­ral. Your GP can re­fer you to an in­te­grated health prac­ti­tioner for ad­vice. For ex­am­ple, the Royal Lon­don Hos­pi­tal for In­te­grated Medicine (uclh. nhs.uk) of­fers help with diet and nu­tri­tion, CBT ther­apy and hyp­nother­apy.

Re­lax. For many peo­ple, IBS is trig­gered by stress, so re­lax­ation tech­niques can help. Stud­ies show yoga pos­tures such as gate pose and half-seated spinal twist can ease the con­di­tion. Check for food in­tol­er­ances. Lat­est re­search sug­gests 30 per cent of IBS suf­fer­ers may be in­tol­er­ant to cer­tain foods – most com­monly cow’s milk or wheat. Ask your GP or try the med­i­cally ac­cred­ited York Food­scan Test, £250 (york­test.com).


1. VSL#3, £14.95 for 10 sa­chets; vsl3.co.uk. Clin­i­cally proven to re­duce IBS symp­toms, this pro­bi­otic sup­ple­ment con­tains 450 bil­lion ‘good’ bac­te­ria.

2. A.Vo­gel Sil­i­col­gel, £8.29 for 200ml; sil­i­col­gel.co.uk. This sili­cic acid gel soothes the lin­ing of the in­testines.

3. Healthspan High Strength Pep­per­mint Oil, £13.99 for 180 caps; healthspan.co.uk. Pep­per­mint oil cap­sules have been shown to re­duce IBS symp­toms in 16 clin­i­cally con­trolled stud­ies.

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