Homoeopathy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Ibs)

Role Of Homoeopathy In Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, is an Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a problem that affects the large intestine. It can cause abdominal cramping, bloating, and a change in bowel habits. Some people with the disorder have constipation. Some have diarrhea. Others go back and forth between the two. Although IBS can cause a great deal of discomfort, it does not harm the intestines. Most people diagnosed with IBS can control their symptoms with diet, stress management, probiotics, and with the help of homoeopathic medicine. Observations with respect to age, sex, occupation, remedies were done and efficacy of Homoeopathy was analyzed in these cases. Homoeopathy is useful in treating cases of IBS.
KEYWORDS: Irritable bowel syndrome, Homoeopathy.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is important because of its high prevalence, substantial morbidity, and enormous costs. IBS is characterized by the presence of abdominal discomfort or pain associated with disturbed defecation. Bloating or visible abdominal distension often are present in patients with IBS but are not considered essential symptoms for diagnosis. It‘s now proposed with subsequent studies that the Rome criteria can be used in clinical practice with success.
Comparison of the Major Diagnostic Criteria for the Irritable Bowel Syndrome [1]

Manning Criteria  Rome I Criteria Rome II Criteria
Abdominal pain that is relieved after Bowel movement  Looser stool at pain onset   ·  More frequent stool at pain   · onset  Abdominal distention   · (Visible)  Sensation of incomplete   · evacuation  Passage of mucus   More than or equal to 3 months of continuous or recurrent symptoms of abdominal pain or discomfort relieved with defecation or associated with change in frequency or consistency of stool and Disturbed defecation (more than or equal to 2 of the following): –  Altered stool frequency   ·  Altered stool form (hard or loose ·  Altered stool passage (straining ·  or urgency, feeling of incomplete   · evacuation)  Passage of mucus   ·  Bloating or feeling of Abdominal   ·  Distention   More than or equal to 12 weeks, which need not be consecutive, in the preceding 12 months of abdominal discomfort or pain that has at least 2 of the 3 following features: –  Relieved with defecation   ·  Onset associated with   · change in frequency of stool  Onset associated with a   · change in stool form

The primary symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain or discomfort in association with frequent diarrhea or constipation and a change in bowel habits.[4] Symptoms usually are experienced as acute attacks that subside within one day, but recurrent attacks are likely.[5] There may also be urgency for bowel movements, a feeling of incomplete evacuation (tenesmus), bloating, or abdominal distension.[6] In some cases, the symptoms are relieved by bowel movements.[3] People with IBS, more commonly than others, have gastroesophageal reflux, symptoms relating to the genitourinary system, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, headache, backache, and psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety.[2][6] About a third of men and women who have IBS also report sexual dysfunction typically in the form of a reduction in libido.[7]
A strong physician-patient relationship is paramount in an effective management strategy for IBS. A good physician-patient relationship has also been shown to reduce repetitive office visits.[8] The patient may need to be reassured repeatedly of the positive diagnosis, and specific patient concerns and fears will need to be addressed. The patient needs to be confidently told that there is no serious disease and there is no increased risk of complications (such as cancer) from IBS. A previous article[9]. American Family Physician outlines specific points in the development of an effective therapeutic relationship with patients who have IBS.
While no specific dietary advice has been shown in trials to be efficacious, many authors advocate having patients limit alcohol, caffeine, sorbitol, and fat intake.[10] Lactose should be eliminated only in those with proven lactase deficiency. If a patient believes a particular dietary substance is exacerbating the symptoms, then a trial of eliminating that substance is warranted. However, in general, there is no association between IBS and food intolerance.
Lycopodium clavatum
This remedy is well-suited to people with IBS & food intolerances, especially onions, oysters, cabbage and beans. The pains are worse in the evening, typically from 4- 8 pm and are relieved by passing wind. The inflamed digestive tract struggles to get enough nutrition from food, so there can be loss of weight with fullness and bloating in the abdomen. The appetite is very changeable and can go from being ravenous to very full after a few mouthfuls.
This remedy has terrible stomach cramps that are better for doubling up and maybe worse from anger or indignation. The pains are short, sharp & pinching and aggravated after eating, especially fruit. Heat & pressure give some relief to the pains which can extend to the lower back or into the buttocks. It is also a very useful remedy for sciatica and neuralgic pain in general.
Nux Vomica
This remedy suits people who burn the candle at both ends, working hard and playing harder. Eventually, this stressful lifestyle takes it’s toll and the digestive system suffers. There are severe stomach cramps and acid reflux that is aggravated by mental exertion. Hiccough, belching, fullness, and indigestion are worse after coffee, spicy foods, and smoking. There can also be a lot of nausea and feelings of being sea-sick. The remedy is also very useful to treat a hangover.
Arsenicum album
Stomach cramps that are worse after taking cold. This remedy suits people who always feel chilly; so much so that even eating cold food such as ice cream aggravates. There is a great deal of diarrhoea that can come on after drinking whilst moving around makes everything worse. Taking regular sips of a warm drink and lying down to rest relieve.
Argentum nitricum
In this remedy, there is a lot of wind, with very loud and forceful belching or flatulence. There is nausea and indigestion associated with nerves or anxiety, especially when anticipating a stressful event like a job interview or exam.
Stomach cramps aggravated by touch, with burning pains worse in the morning and at night. Appetite is usually increased, especially around 11 am with an ‘all-gone’ sensation. The stomach feels very heavy straight after eating.
Bryonia alba
A useful remedy in IBS that is aggravated after eating bread and where the thirst is increased. The stomach may feel so heavy that it is like a stone is sitting there. Belching relieves the pain and tastes of undigested food. Tight clothing and walking about also worsen the condition.
Carbo vegetabilis
The remedy is well-suited to older people or those suffering from general fatigue with stomach pains that are burning, sore or pressing. There are cramps that feel like the stomach is being contracted with a lot of bloating after eating. Butter, fats & rich foods can cause belching, heartburn, and indigestion with weakness or faintness.
China officinalis
Stomach acidity with a great deal of bloating & bitter or sour belching. The appetite swings from being ravenous to being completely off food, with a feeling of fullness after eating a small amount. Fruit and milk aggravate and the pains are pressing or sore. Digestion, in general, is very slow.
Natrum muriaticum
Indigestion after too much starchy food with sour belching & terrible hiccough. There are painful stomach cramps, aggravated by touch. Strong emotions such as grief, or stewing on the past can aggravate the condition.
Prevalence of Irritable bowel syndrome is increased day by day, mainly in middle-age men, who suffer from abdominal cramping, bloating, and a change in bowel habits. Some people with the disorder have constipation. Along with the homoeopathy, general management with dietary improvement is beneficial in this.

  1. Peckham, E. J., Nelson, E. A., Greenhalgh, J., Cooper, K., Roberts, E. R., & Agrawal, A. (2013). Homeopathy for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. The Cochrane Library
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irritable_bowel_syndrome#cite_ref-White2002_9-2
  3. Mayer EA (April 2008). “Clinical practice. Irritable bowel syndrome”. The New England Journal of Medicine. 358 (16): 1692–9. doi:10.1056/NEJMcp0801447. PMC 3816529. PMID 18420501.
  4. Schmulson MW, Chang L (November 1999). “Diagnostic approach to the patient with irritable bowel syndrome”. The American Journal of Medicine. 107 (5A): 20S–26S. doi:10.1016/S0002-9343(99)00278-8. PMID 10588169.
  5. Tamparo C (2011). Fifth Edition: Diseases of the Human Body. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company. p. 407. ISBN 978-0-8036-2505-1
  6. Talley NJ (November 2006). “Irritable bowel syndrome”. Internal Medicine Journal. 36 (11): 724–8. doi:10.1111/j.1445-5994.2006.01217.x. PMC 1761148. PMID 17040359.
  7. Sperber AD, Dekel R (April 2010). “Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Co-morbid Gastrointestinal and Extra-gastrointestinal Functional Syndromes”. Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. 16 (2): 113–9.
  8. Owens DM, Nelson DK, Talley NJ. The irritable bowel syndrome: long-term prognosis and the physician-patient interaction. Ann Intern Med. 1995;122:107–12.
  9. Dalton CB, Drossman DA. Diagnosis and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Am Fam Physician. 1997;55:875–80,883–5.
  10. Paterson WG, Thompson WG, Vanner SJ, Faloon TR, Rosser WW, Birtwhistle RW, et al. Recommendations for the management of irritable bowel syndrome in family practice. CMAJ. 1999;161:154–60
  11. https://www.homeopathyschool.com/news/2019/03/top-10-homeopathic-remedies-for-ibs/

About the author

Dr Digambar Wadkar