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Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic
problem with varying symptoms, including abdominal pain and
bloating, alternating diarrhea and constipation, flatulence, back
pain, and fatigue. The cause is not clearly understood; however,
since no significant tissue changes in the bowel are evident on
medical examination, some speculation indicates that allergies and
emotional stress may contribute to this condition. Remedies listed
here may help bring some relief in moderate situations. A
constitutional remedy prescribed by an experienced professional is
often the best approach to help the person’s system regain its
For dosage information, please read the information at the end of
this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional
Guidance” in What
Argentum nitricum: Digestive upsets
accompanied by nervousness and anxiety suggest the use of this
remedy. Bloating, rumbling flatulence, nausea, and greenish diarrhea
can be sudden and intense. Diarrhea may come on immediately after
drinking water. Eating too much sweet or salty food (which the
person often craves) may also lead to problems. A person who needs
this remedy tends to be expressive, impulsive, and claustrophobic,
and may have blood sugar problems.
Asafoetida: A feeling of
constriction all along the digestive tract (especially if muscular
contractions in the intestines and esophagus seem to be moving in
the wrong direction) strongly indicates this remedy. The person may
have a feeling that a bubble is stuck in the throat, or that a lump
is moving up from the stomach. The abdomen feels inflated, but the
person finds it hard to pass gas in either direction to get relief.
Constipation brings on griping pains. Diarrhea can be explosive, and
the person may even regurgitate food in small amounts.The person may
exhibit a strong emotional or “hysterical” element when this
remedy is needed.
remedy is indicated when cutting pains and cramping occur, making
the person bend double or need to lie down and press on the abdomen.
Cramps may be felt in the area of the pubic bone. Pain is likely to
be worse just before the diarrhea passes, and after eating fruit or
drinking water. Problems tend to be aggravated by emotions,
especially if indignation or anger has been felt but not expressed.
Back pain, leg pain, and gall bladder problems are sometimes seen
when this remedy is needed.
Lilium tigrinum: When
this remedy is indicated, the person may make frequent unsuccessful
efforts to move the bowels all day and have sudden diarrhea the
following morning. A feeling of a lump in the rectum, worse when
standing up, is common. Hemorrhoids may develop. Constricting
feelings are often felt in the chest. The person is likely to be
worse from excitement and strong emotions, and may tend toward
irritability or even rage.
Lycopodium: This remedy is often
indicated for people with chronic digestive discomforts and bowel
problems. Bloating and a feeling of fullness come on early in a meal
or shortly after, and a large amount of gas is usually produced.
Heartburn and stomach pain are common, and the person may feel
better from rubbing the abdomen. Things are typically worse between
four and eight p.m. Despite so many digestive troubles, the person
can have a ravenous appetite, and may even get up in the middle of
the night to eat. Problems with self-confidence, a worried facial
expression, a craving for sweets, and a preference for warm drinks
are other indications for Lycopodium.
Natrum carbonicum: This
remedy is often indicated for mild people who have trouble digesting
and assimilating many foods and have to stay on restricted diets.
Indigestion, heartburn, and even ulcers may occur if offending foods
are eaten. The person often is intolerant of milk, and drinking it
or eating dairy products can lead to gas and sputtery diarrhea with
an empty feeling in the stomach. The person may have cravings for
potatoes and for sweets (and sometimes also milk, but has learned to
avoid it). A person who needs this remedy usually makes an effort to
be cheerful and considerate, but, when feeling weak and sensitive
wants to be alone to rest.
Nux vomica: Abdominal pains and
bowel problems accompanied by tension, constricting sensations,
chilliness, and irritability can indicate a need for this remedy.
Soreness in the muscles of the abdominal wall, as well as painful
gas and cramps are common. Firm pressure on the abdomen brings some
relief. When constipated, the person has an urge to move the bowels,
but only small amounts come out. The person may experience a
constant feeling of uneasiness in the rectum. After diarrhea has
passed, the pain may be eased for a little while. A person who needs
this remedy often craves strong spicy foods, alcohol, tobacco,
coffee, and other stimulants—and usually feels worse from having
remedy is indicated when abdominal pain and cramping with a
gurgling, sinking, empty feeling are followed by watery,
offensive-smelling diarrhea—alternating with constipation, or
pasty yellow bowel movements containing mucus. Things tend to be
worse in the very early morning, and the person may feel weak and
faint or have a headache afterward. Rubbing the abdomen (especially
on the right) may help relieve discomfort. A person who needs this
remedy may also experience stiffness in the joints and muscles.
Sulphur: This remedy is often
indicated when a sudden urge toward diarrhea wakes the person early
in the morning (typically five a.m.) and makes them hurry to the
bathroom. Diarrhea can come on several times a day. The person may,
at other times, be constipated and have gas with an offensive and
pervasive smell. Oozing around the rectum, as well as itching,
burning, and red irritation may also be experienced. A person who
needs this remedy may tend to have poor posture and back pain, and
feel worse from standing up too long.
Select the remedy that
most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where
self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a
physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C)
should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually
printed on the label.
physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one
dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue
to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags
significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be
taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and
the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times
an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a
day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be
If no response is seen
within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.
For more information, including references, see What
is Homeopathy? and Understanding
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Online is for informational purposes only. It is based on
scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical
experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article.
The results reported may not necessarily occur in all
individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment
with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also
available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented
healthcare practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health
problem and before using any supplements or before making
any changes in prescribed medications.
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