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Struggling with IBS?

Here’s how Homeopathy can help you

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is an umbrella term for a wide range of digestive symptoms such as bloating, indigestion, pain, stomach cramps, diarrhoea and/or constipation.

It affects approximately 20% of the population, with many more managing undiagnosed symptoms. The prevalence of IBS is so significant that a national charity, “The IBS Network,” exists to support those affected.

But why is IBS so prevalent?

There is a significant connection between our emotional well-being and our digestive system. When we’re emotionally out of balance, it can compromise our digestion.

Discover why this happens and how homeopathic remedies can support your digestion and help you manage IBS.

What causes digestive disturbances?

Foods

Our digestive system functions as a tube that extends from the mouth to the anus. Everything inside this tube is technically outside the body until nutrients are absorbed through the intestinal lining into the bloodstream. Problems arise when the gut lining becomes compromised, allowing “wrong” or partially digested molecules to pass through, triggering an immune system. This response manifests as food allergies and intolerances, with common allergens including wheat, gluten, dairy and eggs.

Emotions

Stress is another common cause of digestive upset. Homeopaths recognise the link between emotional well-being and physical health, particularly in the digestive system. Many people experience an urgent need to visit the toilet during periods of worry, such as the morning of an exam. For those susceptible, long-term worry or suppressed emotions can lead to digestive complaints like IBS and more severe conditions such as Crohn’s or Colitis.

In homeopathy, we use the word “susceptibility” to describe an individual’s weakness or tendency to develop a particular pathology. Often, but not exclusively, these “susceptibilities” can be seen in a family history, e.g., a tendency towards stomach complaints or respiratory infections, in a family with a history of Tuberculosis.

Emotional suppression, the strategy of hiding or avoiding one’s emotions, is particularly prevalent in cultures where expressing emotions is subtly discouraged. In the UK, for example, maintaining a “stiff upper lip” can prevent emotions from being expressed. In many cultures, openly expressing anger or grief is frowned upon, while sobbing quietly into a handkerchief is deemed more acceptable. However, other cultures expect more vocal displays, such as death wails or Irish “keening”.

Emotional suppression doesn’t diminish the intensity or duration of emotions; instead, it keeps them bottled up, preventing resolution. This suppression can have detrimental effects on mental and physical health, including increased stress, anxiety and depression

When a child presents with a “stomach ache”, emotional burden is often a likely cause. Symptoms that worsen in the mornings before school can indicate anxieties related to school or even school phobias, which are sadly common today.

Homeopathic remedies for digestive issues

Homeopathy aims to reduce the frequency and intensity of IBS attacks and restore overall health by matching a remedy to the individual and their specific symptoms. Here are some common remedies for digestive complaints:

Nux Vomica 30c is an excellent remedy for stomach issues or IBS symptoms. It’s ideal for individuals who are driven, ambitious, work-focused and impatient. The Nux character tends to a enjoy fast paced life – having late nights, drinking alcohol, eating rich foods and using coffee a “pick me up” in the morning. As a result, they may suffer from bloating, constipation and abdominal pain (that is only relieved by a bowel motion). Diarrhoea is common after a night out. Nux vomica is also great for the liver which is why it’s often used a hangover remedy!

Lycopodium 30c is the best remedy for IBS when stomach distention, gurgling and wind are prominent. Lycopodium characters are shy (at first) and can feel unconfident. Imposter syndrome at work is not uncommon, and therefore, they hate public speaking. Craving sugar and a need to eat sweets (and not be able to stop), along with immediate bloating and feeling uncomfortable after a meal is often associated with Lycopodium characters.

Sulphur 30c is an important remedy for digestive disturbance. Sulphur-type characters are intellectual and avid learners; they also love to talk non-stop and have a tendency to get fixated with a project or collection. They tend to be hot blooded and often have a messy appearance, even after a wash. These individuals love to eat, especially hot and spicy foods, resulting in digestive upset and making them prone to heartburn and urgent, smelly stools.

Arg Nit 30c is a highly effective remedy for digestive complaints triggered by emotional excitement or nerves, characterised by bloating and watery (green), noisy and flatulent stools. Belching can also accompany. Wind and diarrhoea can develop with the anticipation of an important event or social engagement. Argentum nit characters are nervous and impulsive and extremely hurried in all activities – they act a bit like a “headless chicken”!

Dosage guidance

If one of these remedies seems to match your symptoms and you want to try homeopathy, choose a 30c potency. Homeopathic remedies can be purchased from health food shops or specialised homeopathic pharmacies like Helios or Ainsworth.

Take one dose (5 drops or 5 pills) daily for 3 days. If you notice an improvement, continue taking 1 dose once per week. Stop taking it after 4 weeks and consult a professional Homeopath to assess further. Homeopathic remedies can cause reactions if taken for too long (NB – if this did happen, any reaction would disappear once you stopped taking the remedy).

There are hundreds of different homeopathic remedies to choose from. If one of the remedies mentioned above doesn’t yield the desired results, or if you’re unsure which remedy is right for you – especially if your symptoms are chronic – seek the guidance of a professional Homeopath. They can suggest a different remedy or recommend adjusting the strength (potency). A constitutional prescription is often the best approach to finding a remedy that matches your unique set of symptoms.

Tackle IBS with homeopathy

Homeopathy is highly effective for addressing IBS and alleviating uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, constipation and flatulence. If you’d like to learn more about using homeopathy for digestive issues and first-aid situations, take a look at CNM’s short course Homeopathy for Everyday Living. For more in-depth training, see the Homeopathy Diploma.

Written by Zoe Scanlan (SDS Hom), CNM’s Homeopathy Director

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