I have come across a couple of articles over the past few days relating to treating irritable syndrome or IBS. The first from the BBC discusses how older treatments for the condition are often overlooked in favour of more modern and often expensive drugs. The article suggests that fibre, anti-spasmodic drugs and peppermint oil are all effective in treating the condition and that guidelines that deal with the treatment of IBS should be updated to reflect these findings. Personally I agree with this I have never resorted to prescription drugs preferring to eat less of my trigger foods (red meat, cheese and dairy products) and use natural remedies when I do have a problem.
The second article looks at the effectiveness of peppermint oil when treating the condition and suggests that it is the most effective treatment. According to the article 40% of sufferers experienced an improvement in their symptoms after using peppermint oil as opposed to only 20% taking drugs. Reading the comments on the bottom of the article is it apparent that a lot of people are interested in trying peppermint oil as a treatment but are unsure how to take it. I make either home made peppermint tea with mint from the garden or for bad attacks I take peppermint oil capsules available from Woods Health. They are designed to dissolve slowly once you have swallowed them and are best taken overnight. Even with the worst bloated tummy (beach ball size) I find three of these capsules taken before bedtime and a hot bath with a few drops of lavender oil added to it will leave me able to fit into my normal trousers the next morning.