How I Stopped My IBS Naturally

How To Cure IBS Naturally 1

How I Stopped my IBS Naturally

My IBS began suddenly after the birth of my first child when I was 22 years old.  At my six week post-natal check up, I talked with the doctor about my constant stomach upset.  She told me it was my hormones regulating and that I would be fine after a few months.  I didn’t worry too much because I had already noticed a connection with my menstrual cycle and my digestive system.

After a few months, my stomach issues became cyclical, alternating between IBS-D and IBS-C.  I went to a different doctor because I knew it wasn’t normal and he ran some tests.  The tests showed that there was nothing wrong with me and I was told that once I weaned my son, my digestive issues would likely return to normal.  

Instead of weaning my son, I chose to practice child-led weaning and eventually became pregnant three more times (one miscarriage) and nursed throughout those pregnancies.  The only time that I found relief from IBS was when I was pregnant.  

Elimination Diet for IBS

After my last child weaned at 15 months old and my IBS failed to cease, I went back to the doctor.  After running more tests, which only reconfirmed the IBS diagnosis, he asked me to try an elimination diet and report what happened.  He asked me to start by eliminating dairy.  When I stopped eating my from favorite food group and nothing about my digestive issues got better I was pretty upset.

Eating for IBS

Over the years I read a lot about IBS and health.  I figured that my gut bacteria was probably bad and I took probiotic supplements, but they only seemed to add to my pain. I didn’t understand that the bad bacteria had to die off before I could get better, so I never took them long enough to reap the benefits because the pain of the die-off was too great.

I tried different ways of eating from becoming vegan to avoiding certain plant foods that seemed to give me trouble, but nothing worked.  However, there were two things that I refused to give up — grains and sugar.

When I was in my early thirties, I began to have other health problems that were likely made worse by the IBS.  After I was prescribed several medications to deal with my other health issues, I became determined to find a natural way of becoming well again.

Real Food and IBS

Around that time I discovered the writings of Weston A. Price and began to follow a real food diet.  That led me to discover the Paleo/Primal way of eating.  When I eliminated grains and refined sugar from my diet, my IBS went away completely.  It was an answer to prayers and a dream come true.

My health began to improve rapidly and within months I was off of all medications.  I had energy and lost 50 pounds.

Here are the steps I took to stop my IBS naturally:

1.  Eliminate Grains and Sugar

Although I am not allergic to wheat, I found that eliminating wheat from my diet improved my IBS dramatically.  When I do eat wheat, I try to only eat wheat that has been properly prepared by soaking, sprouting or souring.  I find that grains in general cause me to gain weight rapidly and ultimately cause me to crave more grains and sugar.  

Eliminating refined sugar from my diet was a big step toward healing my IBS.  Sugar detoxing can be rough, but after a few days the cravings go away.  When I overindulge in refined sugars my digestive system pays for it.  Now, I prefer to stick with natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey and coconut sugar.

(Here’s a great post from Oh Lardy about how to beat sugar cravings.)

2.  Take a Good Probiotic

There is only one probiotic that has helped me without producing severe die-off symptoms as well.  You can find it here.  When I do eat indulge in grains or sugar (while away from home) I double up on the probiotic.  Otherwise I take one capsule daily.  

(If the cost of a probiotic is prohibitive, try incorporating fermented foods into your diet regularly.)

3.  Gelatin

Grass-fed gelatin has been an important addition to my diet.  I make homemade bone broth which has gelatin in it naturally.  In the winter months, I add more grass-fed gelatin to the bone broth to both continue healing my gut and to ward off stomach viruses.  I make homemade fruit juice gelatin as a snack for my family.

4.  Manage Stress

At the height of my worst IBS symptoms, I also had a lot of anxiety symptoms.  It was as if my engine was running all the time, but my wheels were spinning and I couldn’t move.  I learned to meditate and practice mindful living.  

Overall, my health has improved drastically since implementing these 4 steps.  I no longer have to stay home or take medication because of IBS.  I have returned to the workforce and am able to hold down a full-time job, attend graduate school, home school my children and write.  

I know if I stray from too far from the four things that stopped my IBS I will have to deal with it again.  I never want to go back to that way of life.  I am finally free and you can be, too!


How To Cure IBS Naturally

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29 thoughts on “How I Stopped My IBS Naturally

  1. Great information…there was not a link to the probiotic you took…I have a hard time with die off and usually give up so could you send the link to the one that worked so well for you? Thanks much! Connie :)

  2. Thank you Allison for the information. I have been using the essential oils, but you gave me some more things to try. I know in my gut (pun not intended) that I need to quit the sugar & grains but I have been putting it off. Thanks again!

  3. Thank you so much for posting this! I have been struggling since 10th grade with this, i’m now 24 and basically stick to eating carbs…It wasnt as intense as the years went on but I still deal with it! Hearing there was no cure made me depressed. I’v read so many articles and done so much research to find nothing for a cure! I would love to live without this-Going to try it immediately. do you watch what meats you eat?

  4. The only thing doctors told me was to take fiber daily and they advised taking out milk years ago-I still eat cheese though-havent had ice cream or milk shakes in years :(

  5. Reading your story about IBS was like I could have written it myself. I began having issues when I was 23. When I was 24 I got pregnant with my daughter. After I had my daughter around 6 weeks post partum I had terrible episodes. I just kept thinking it was a “bug”. I even passed out at the check up from being dehydrated due to nursing and having the ibs. I finally went to the doctor after deciding this couldn’t be normal. I have IBS-D, the doctor basically said there’s nothing we can do but we can give you some meds. I declined them. I’m about to start my healing journey. Eating paleo, no grains and no sugar. I have a few questions though. How long was it before you could eat sugar again? I’m so addicted to sugar it’s insane and that’s literally all I can think about. Did your cravings eventually go away for sugar? Also how long were you on the diet before you were healed? =) Thanks for any input I look forward to hearing from you!

  6. Hi, Jessica! When I finally realized that I’d have to give up sugar, I immediately switched to natural sweeteners. I still can’t eat refined sugar without triggering my IBS.

    My sugar cravings have never gone away completely. They get worse when I eat grain, and of course, if I indulged in a refine sugar treat. Stress also causes me to crave sugar.

    To combat the cravings, I use dill essential oil, try to manage my stress and keep naturally sweetened treats on hand if I know I’ll be headed into a stressful period.

  7. I have a toddler (almost 3) who swings between constipation and diarrhea.
    I plan on asking her doctor about it at her check up.. but in the mean time I have noticed that aside from tummy issues —
    she does function better without grains and sugars!

    Does Bio-kult offer probiotics that are safe for littles?

    Right now I have her taking a chewable one that looks like a teddy bear face. She loves it but I’m not sure how effective it really is..

  8. Hi, Abbey! The label on the box of Biokult I have reads: “Children under 12: half adult dose”. The serving size is 2 capsules for adults (more for special circumstances like antibiotic use.)

    I give Biokult to my children by sprinkling it directly on their tongues (it’s mostly tasteless) or sprinkling it over food or in a drink.

  9. Thank you so much for your reply, I’m struggling with a grain free and refined sugar free diet. I go without for a week or 2, I go through the detox. Then all of a sudden I get a not so brilliant idea that one day of eating bad won’t bother me. That becomes 2 days then it becomes a week. I don’t know why I do it to myself it’s so stressful. Like you when I’m stressed I crave sugar and carbs. I’m going to try once again to stay away from grains and sugars. It’s like a never ending battle with me. I do so good and feel great then fall off the horse. Thanks for the encouragement though, I’ll check out dill eo.

  10. Hang in there! I know it’s tough. I still give in, especially around “candy holidays”. I regret it every.single.time.

    We aren’t the only ones. Sugar blisses out our brains just like drugs — and it tears up our bodies just like drugs, too. :(

  11. I absolutely agree with you sugar is such an addictive and dangerous drug. I also get weak around birthdays and holidays. We are normal it’s hard especially with the normal diet being crap. It’s hard for us to do well. But we just have to keep on keeping on. =)

  12. Thanks for info. I’m a vegetarian and have struggled for yrs with IBS-C. I feel grains are essential to my diet to help with fiber. By eliminating grains where do you get your adequate dose of daily fiber? I’m afraid if i eliminated grains it would make my IBS-C that much worse.

  13. Such an interesting article and different angle to take when dealing with IBS-C. One is always told to increase fiber (up to 30g/day). I will start with focusing on increasing fruits and vegs and TRY and cut back on that sugar. ugh. Love my dark chocolate. I will also maybe increase my probiotic intake. Thanks so much. It can be so, so discouraging and feel so isolating dealing with this for so long. Its nice to chat about it.

  14. Hi Fascinating article. And here I am always trying to eat more grains/bran to help with IBS-C — up to 30g/day is often recommended. I think I will instead focus on increasing fruits and vegs. And (try to) reduce sugar intake – ugh. Love my dark chocolate. Thanks for the info. It can be so, so frustrating and isolating at times to deal with all of this. Chatting helps. Take care

  15. I agree. It has definitely contributed to isolation for me in the past. It’s hard to get out when you never know what your stomach is going to do while you’re away from home.

  16. Weird, my IBS went away during my pregnancy too. So did my migraines. I have IBS C/D. Also, fiber makes mine worse so I stick to a low carb high fat diet. I take probiotics and digestive enzymes. The enzymes seem to make a big difference for me.

  17. I read this a while ago, and like others, I could’ve written it myself. I mainly maintain with a Clean Eating diet, but I’m more curious about the probiotics portion of this article. I’ve been telling people for years that probiotics do not work for everyone. They not only bring on symptoms for me, but exacerbate them greatly! Would you mind providing the resources of your research in this area? I would really like to read more about it, if possible. Thanks!!

  18. Hi, Tiffany! This book –> was fundamental to my understanding of the importance of probiotics. However, I agree with you that sometimes they cause problems for people and need to be started slowly to make sure that they aren’t going to lead to more pain and symptoms.

  19. I was able to add rice back to my diet by fermenting it. Fermentation removes the phytates that are an extreme irritant. And rice is one of the few grains that is very low in gluten like molecules.

  20. Wonderful article! I am struggling with this SO bad right now.. I feel awful all the time, no matter what I eat, but haven’t tried this. Do you have a meal plan or list of foods you can eat? That would be so helpful! Thanks so much.

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