Cbd oil benefits for ibs and depression

Cbd oil benefits for ibs and depression

R ecent research shows great promise for CBD as a potential treatment for IBS. Some studies indicate that CBD even promotes proper functioning of the brain and body. In this article we look at current IBS treatments and focus on the academic research related to using CBD to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other gut related issues.

WHAT IS IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS)?

IBS is a medical condition which causes stomach pain, decreased GI motility and digestive distress. Although the medical community has not identified the root cause of IBS symptoms, recent research indicates two potential factors. A study by Dr. Ethan Russo suggests that IBS and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) may be caused by Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CED). According to his study, chronic inflammation and IBS symptoms appear when the body is unable to produce endogenous cannabinoids like 2-AG or Anandamide. Other studies indicate a bacterial overgrowth of the small intestinal tract (SIBO) as the potential cause of IBS and other related digestive health conditions. In both cases, the inflammatory response of the body is increased when there is a lack of Endocannabinoids or a bacterial or parasitic infection (possibly created by a lack of endocannabinoid signaling).

IBS STATISTICS

  • IBS affects between 25 to 45 million people in the United States alone and affects approximately 10 to 15 percent of the global population.
  • Statistics show that 60% of IBS patients are women, while 40% are men, although it is likely that women are less hesitant to visit a doctor when experiencing discomfort.

IBS SYMPTOMS

Symptoms vary from mild to severe, yet the majority of IBS sufferers experience:

  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Irregular Bowel Movements
  • Increased Diarrhea or Constipation
  • Gas and Bloating
  • Food Intolerances and Sensitivities
  • GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder)
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Insomnia and Difficulty Sleeping
  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headache and Backache

WHAT CAUSES IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME?

Most researchers agree that IBS is linked to chronic stress, gut flora imbalances, and low digestive enzymes in the digestive tract. Although Dr. Ethan Russo agrees that IBS is most likely related to chronic stress and gut flora, he suggests a deeper connection to the endocannabinoid system. He found that the body is unable to manage stress levels when it does not create enough endogenous cannabinoids such as anandamide and 2-AG. This inability to produce a necessary amount of endocannabinoids may cause the symptoms of IBS.

Your body’s GI tract may be telling you that you need more rest, balanced nutrition, and stress-relieving activities to get things back to normal. These may include activities such as walking, exercise, meditation and supplementing with phytocannabinoids like CBD or CBG.

CURRENT TREATMENTS FOR IBS

Depending on the severity of your IBS symptoms, you may benefit from a simple lifestyle or diet change. In severe cases you may try prescription or over the counter medications which are used for the treatment of IBS. Some of these medications come with unpleasant side effects, such as nausea or discomfort, and their long term efficacy has not been determined. It is important to note that while some people find relief from pharmaceutical prescriptions, many others do not. We encourage you to rule out all potential causes of your digestive symptoms with your primary care physician prior to using any pharmaceutical products.

Most doctors recommend dietary changes such as an elimination diet, lifestyle changes, probiotics and fiber supplements as a first trial to improve symptoms. These changes address the symptoms of IBS but may not address the root cause. You can also try an OTC test kit for harmful bacteria or parasites in your digestive tract. These are not uncommon in the era of factory farming.

1. Dietary Adjustments:

Nutrition is a key part of any health strategy and a well-balanced diet can benefit your symptoms in many ways. Depending on your severity level, try the following strategies.

  • Mild symptoms : try to eliminate unnatural sugars and processed foods. Get the bulk of your nutrition from lean meats and high omega 3 fish such as wild-caught salmon, anchovies and sardines. Also, include eggs, fermented dairy and other Low FODMAP fruits and vegetables as a part of your daily diet.
  • Moderate symptoms : follow the Low FODMAP guidelines or try an elimination diet for high sensitivity foods such as gluten or lactose. Some symptoms of IBS occur due to food allergies and sensitivities.
  • Severe symptoms : stick to the temporary B.R.A.T. diet of Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. You may try to add a vegetable or bone broth if you can tolerate it. After 5 days try to implement a new food suitable for the low-fodmap diet one day at a time. Continue with a low-fodmap diet for at least 1-2 months.

2. Lifestyle Changes

The cornerstone of your successful health plan is a daily routine and healthy habits. Try the following activities for stress reduction and general well-being:

  • Exercise : exercise helps to remove toxins in the digestive tract that may build up with certain IBS related symptoms. It is also a great way to boost your endorphin levels for pain relief and stress reduction.
  • Meditation or yoga : meditation and yoga have been proven to reduce stress levels and anxiety which may benefit some IBS sufferers.

3. Natural Treatments

Make sure that your body is getting all the necessary macro and micronutrients for optimal gut health:

  • Natural Fiber Supplements : taking natural fiber such as psyllium husk can help remove blockages in your lower digestive tract and reduce the occurrence of constipation.
  • Prebiotics and Probiotics : these micro bacteria are essential to a healthy gut and GI motility. You can find these in naturally occurring sources such as yogurt, natto, or sauerkraut. Prebiotics like Larch Arabinogalactan is another worth looking into supplementing with.
  • Epsom Salt Baths : helps to reduce bloating and cramping associated with IBS. Epsom salts also contain magnesium which is beneficial during periods of high stress.
  • Slippery Elm : a wonderful herb for gut repair that has been used for centuries in the United States. Slippery Elm has 3 main benefits:
  • Increased mucilage content in your digestive tract.
  • It stimulates nerve endings which help neutralize excessive acidity in the gut, soothing ulcers.
  • Provides antioxidants to relieve inflammation in the body.
  • Marshmallow Root : boasting a high mucilage content, this multipurpose herb covers your digestive tract with protective lining and eases inflammation in your gut. Many users report it helps to soothe ulcers, diarrhea, and constipation, as well as other symptoms of the digestive system.

4. Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabigerol (CBG) as potential new treatments for IBS

CBD and CBG are gaining new popularity as beneficial treatments for IBS symptoms including pain, inflammation, low GI motility and overall discomfort. Research is starting to show a relation between CBD and CBG and their anti-inflammatory effect for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Additionally, new research suggests that overtime, CBD and THC may alter the gut microbiome in a positive fashion. This can have positive long-term results on IBS symptoms, and the ECS may be a future route for a IBS cure as well as additional gut diseases. While more research is needed, preliminary research studies suggest CBD and other phytocannabinoids may be able to cure IBS symptoms over time, most likely in combination with additional botanicals shown to help restore gut lining.

WHAT IS CBD? CAN IT CURE IBS?

CBD (cannabidiol) is a phytocannabinoid compound derived from cannabis, and a promising treatment for IBS sufferers. Although there is currently no definitive evidence that CBD can cure IBS, researchers have found that study participants report reduced abdominal pain, decreased gastrointestinal inflammation and less frequent constipation, and cramping after taking CBD to help alleviate the symptoms of IBS.

Additional research now shows that not only does CBD reduce abdominal pain, gastrointestinal inflammation, and constipation, CBD may also alter the gut microbiome. While the research is preliminary, early results bring about hope of CBD not only as an IBS symptom reliever, but also something that may be able to help cure IBS symptoms overtime and restore the microbiome to healthy function and makeup.

CBD RESEARCH FOR IBS

Here is a brief review of recent studies on the effects of CBD as a treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The first three studies will focus on the inflammatory and symptom reduction of IBS, while studies four through seven will focus on the microbiota effects of CBD and cannabinoids:

Focus: GI Inflammatory Reduction Studies

Study #1 – Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes By Ethan Russo.

In this study Dr. Ethan Russo explains the important role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) for gut health. We learn that the Endocannabinoid System regulates GI propulsion, secretion and gut inflammation.

Dr. Russo references a previous study from 2004 which found that the Endocannabinoid system contained a powerful pain blocking mechanism which was able to mitigate the pain response in IBS sufferers:

“Cannabinoids have similarly demonstrated the ability to block spinal, peripheral and gastrointestinal mechanisms that promote pain in headache, fibromyalgia, IBS and related disorders.”

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– Russo EB. Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2016;1(1):154–165. Published 2016 Jul 1. doi:10.1089/can.2016.0009

This is good news for the majority of people who suffer from chronic pain such as headaches, cramping, or stomach pain.

Study #2 Cannabidiol Reduces Intestinal Inflammation through the Control of Neuroimmune Axis by Department of Experimental Pharmacology, University of Naples FEDERICO II, Naples, Italy.

A group of scientists from Naples studied the effects of CBD on the immune system’s inflammatory response system. They found that CBD can prevent intestinal damage by reducing the inflammatory response.

“Taken together all these results suggest, for the first time, that CBD, by modulating the glial-immune axis, regulates the fire up of the inflammatory reaction in the intestine thereby preventing the detrimental intestinal damage.”

“Our results indicate that CBD is a key modulator molecule that may interfere with the enteroglial-mediated interactions in an intestinal inflammatory environment. Its activity, markedly focused on S100B protein downregulation, leads to consequent reduction of intestinal damage occurring during acute and chronic intestinal inflammatory status and highlights the importance of glial cells control during these pathological conditions.”

By regulating the inflammatory reaction, CBD helps to limit the damage caused by the body’s immune system as it tries to protect itself from the effects of irritable bowel syndrome and leaky gut.

Study #3 Therapeutic Use of Cannabis in Inflammatory Bowel Disease by Waseem Ahmed , MD and Seymour Katz , MD

Dr. Seymour Katz and Dr. Waseem Ahmed studied 30 individuals who were diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. All of the 30 patients reported an improvement in their general well-being due to cannabis use and 22 patients reduced their use of corticosteroids after treatment with cannabis.

“The authors conducted a retrospective, observational study of 30 CD patients in Israel who were legally using cannabis due to a lack of response to conventional treatments and chronic intractable pain. Disease activity before and after cannabis use was estimated using the Harvey-Bradshaw index for CD. All 30 patients rated their general medical well-being as improved after cannabis use via a visual analog scale. Twenty-one patients had a notable improvement after treatment with cannabis use, and the average Harvey-Bradshaw index for all patients improved from 14 to 4.7 (P

Focus: Impact of Phytocannabinoids on Microbiota

Study #4 Muccioli GG, Naslain D, Bäckhed F, Reigstad CS, Lambert DM, Delzenne NM, Cani PD. The endocannabinoid system links gut microbiota to adipogenesis.

A team of Belgian researchers revealed that altering the gut microbiome of obese mice through prebiotics, found that the promoted growth of beneficial bacteria, altered ECS expression in fat tissue with implications for lipid metabolism and fat cell formation.

While this is a preliminary study not done in humans, it does suggest there is a link between microbiota and the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).

Study #5 – Prevention of Diet-Induced Obesity Effects on Body Weight and Gut Microbiota in Mice Treated Chronically with Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol

Researchers in Canada administered a daily dose of THC to mice on a strict high-fat diet. Gut microbiome health in these animals improved in 3-4 weeks to resemble more closely that of animals fed a healthy and balanced diet.

This study looks at the opposite pathway of study #4. Instead of showing that the ECS is impacted by changes in microbiome, this study suggests the opposite is true as well. That cannabinoids stimulate the ECS and thus impact the microbiome makeup.

Study #6 – Endocannabinoids — at the crossroads between the gut microbiota and host metabolism

In 2018 researchers used anal swabs to assess the microbiome of HIV positive individuals. They found that cannabis use was associated with a decrease in abundance of a certain bacterial strain linked to obesity.

Study #7 – Administration of Δ9‐Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Post‐Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B Exposure Protects Mice From Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and Toxicity

A June 2020 study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology, Nagrkatti and colleagues demonstrated that administering THC to mice affected with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) could stop the condition. A severe consequence of runaway immune response known as cytokine storms. ARDS occurs in a small percentage of COVID-19 patients, but it is often fatal.

They concluded that THC alters the microbiome in the gut in a way that is beneficial in suppressing inflammation because bacteria that are favored by THC seem to produce short-chain fatty acids that suppress inflammation.

“We have a mouse model of ARDS where we inject bacterial toxins into the mice, and they die within four to five days because of cytokine storms. We found if you give THC, it cures the mice. They are just running around and healthy. That was amazing.”

While most would assume this study only shows the immune suppression activities of phytocannabinoids, this study found that a change in microbiota within the gut and lungs is what leads to the halting of cytokine storms.

The Takeaways:

  • While certainly more research is needed, we now have more insight than ever before on how gut health impacts the body and the inter-relationship between bacteria, the endocannabinoid system and almost all organs including the brain.
  • Not only does CBD reduce inflammation and reduce the symptoms of IBS, but it also stimulates the endocannabinoid system, which has been shown in mouse models to reshape the microbiome makeup.
  • The ECS serves as a bridge between bacteria and the body itself, including the brain, relaying signals back and forth in a symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship.
  • CBD and THC can act as a probiotic and increase the natural count of lactobacillus bacterial strain, commonly found in over the counter probiotics.

WHAT IS CBG? CAN IT HELP WITH IBS?

Cannabigerol (CBG) is another important cannabinoid that shows promise in relieving IBS symptoms and potentially addressing the root cause of endocannabinoid deficiency. Surprisingly, CBG has shown to be an effective broad-spectrum antibiotic with an ability to fight antibiotic-resistant superbugs like MRSA. This may be particularly helpful if you suffer from GI conditions caused by bacterial infections like SIBO.

CBG RESEARCH FOR IBS

Study #1 Beneficial effect of the non-psychotropic plant cannabinoid cannabigerol on experimental inflammatory bowel disease

In this study, researchers at the University of Naples Federico II found that CBG showed an ability to regulate GI motility in animal studies of mice afflicted with chemically induced hypermotility. Additionally, CBG showed a curative and protective mechanism for Colitis within the GI tract.

“We have found that CBG reduced colon weight/colon length ratio of the inflamed colonic tissue, which is considered a reliable and sensitive indicator of the severity and extent of the inflammatory response [34]. CBG was effective when given both before and after the inflammatory insult, suggesting a preventive and a curative (therapeutic) beneficial effect. Significant protective effects were achieved starting from the 1 mg/kg dose (preventive protocol) and 5 mg/kg (curative protocol). Maximal efficacy was achieved with the 1 mg/kg dose and the 30 mg/kg dose in the preventive and in the curative protocol, respectively.”

Study #2 Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: A Structure−Activity Study

The study showed an antibacterial effect from CBG and CBC. In the study both CBG and CBC were highly effective at fighting MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which is highly damaging to the body.

“All five major cannabinoids (cannabidiol (1b), cannabichromene (2), cannabigerol (3b), Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (4b), and cannabinol (5)) showed potent activity against a variety of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains of current clinical relevance.”

CBD FOR IBS: WHAT’S THE RIGHT DOSE?

We recommend starting out your CBD intake with a low dose to see how it works. Depending on the type of CBD you are using, you may experience varied effects and a different uptake time. Have a look at the chart below to see what might work best for you:

**Consult a physician regarding if CBD is right for you and guidance regarding dosage. The above recommendation is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease. CBD affects everyone differently and we recommend staring low and going slow.

NOT ALL CBD IS EQUAL: TYPES OF CBD

The three main types of Cannabidiol (CBD) are Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and CBD Isolate. At Potter, we go a step further to select specific terpene combinations that provide benefits such as relaxation, pain and inflammation relief, and promotion of sleep. Here is a short overview of the different types of CBD:

Full Spectrum CBD:

The full spectrum variety of CBD is derived from the whole plant. It contains a balance of helpful cannabinoids, terpenes and a micro dose of THC (

Broad Spectrum CBD:

Broad Spectrum CBD products are similar to full spectrum products with one exception. They contain 0% THC. Broad spectrum products still contain helpful terpenes that contribute to the entourage effect, although the removal of THC may reduce the percentage of terpenes that remain in the end consumer products. Studies have also shown that having even a small amount THC (

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CBD Isolate:

This is the purest form of CBD with all other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and residual plant matter removed completely. The isolate is often derived directly from the hemp plant and contains no detectable THC.

Potter CBD

While full spectrum products have been shown great benefits compared to broad spectrum and isolate based products, there is one drawback.The terpenes and additional cannabinoids that are present with CBD are not consistent with every product or every batch. The naturally occurring terpenes found in hemp dictate the flavour and effects of all CBD products. Depending on their type and concentration, terpenes can: easily cross the blood brain barrier (making it easier for cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream to be more effective), increase energy and focus, cause sedation, decrease anxiety and depression symptoms, etc.

Potter CBD combines organic full spectrum CBD with a selected and research-based terpene formula to provide a consistent and effective and dose of CBD, based on the effect you need: Calm, Sleep, Relief and Uplift.

Potter Select Spectrum oils:

Our Select Spectrum line utilizes full spectrum CBD and consistent terpene profiles along with beneficial cannabinoids like CBG (cannabigerol) at a consistent ratio of CBD to CBG. The high concentration of additional cannabinoids like CBG, CBC, or CBN contribute to a powerful entourage effect, designed for specific wellness needs.

The combination of multiple cannabinoids and terpenes which have shown in studies to fight inflammation should be more effective than traditional full spectrum CBD oil for certain ailments such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

NEW Leaky Gut Repair!

Potter has combined all the knowledge acquired from the research studies included in this write up as well as working with local naturopaths to develop our NEW Targeted Effects Leaky Gut Repair product. It combines water soluble CBD with other ingredients that heal the gut lining, reduce inflammation, and improve the epithelial barrier.

SIDE EFFECTS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS OF CBD

Most people are able to use CBD without any difficulties. However, some of the common side effects that are reported are dry mouth, lower appetite, minor fatigue and diarrhea at higher doses. If you are taking any medications, check with your doctor before using CBD. It may interact with blood thinners, potentially enhance the side effects of NSAIDs, and reduce the effects of other medications.

Are CBD and CBG Safe?

Due to the growing number of CBD, hemp and other cannabis products, it is important to buy CBD oil from a trusted supplier. Always look for high quality, third-party lab tested CBD products for your maximum benefit and safety. This ensures that they are independently tested for quality purity and strength.

At Potter, we test all our products at ProVerde Labs, an accredited third-party cannabis testing facilitly in Millford, Massachusetts. You can easily access the the lab report for each Potter product by batch number here , or by simply scanning the QR code located on our product labels. Recent studies have shown that up to 1500mg of CBD is generally well tolerated in humans. Side effects tend to be mild compared to traditional pharmaceuticals and may include appetite suppression, diarrhea, and fatigue.

USER REPORTS

Many of our users have personally experienced the unique benefits of CBD oil in their own lives ranging from mild indigestion to severe stomach pains and cramping due to food allergies, SIBO or IBS. There are many online users that have also reported significant benefits after using CBD oil for their IBS pain, such as this reddit user: Years of severe IBS curbed with CBD hemp oil! :

You can even find some Quora discussions related to Cannabis and IBS. Here is a response from Kellie G: Has cannabis helped alleviate SIBO or IBS issues at all?

SUMMARY

Research suggests that both scientists and patients have found benefits for IBS with CBD due to its anti-inflammatory action, pain relief, stimulation of the ECS, and its impact on gut microbiota. It is specifically helpful for people suffering from Gastrointestinal Disorders like IBS, SIBO, CD and IBD. While the science and feedback is promising, everyone’s body reacts differently and you may not experience the same effects as other users. However, if IBS symptoms are impacting your quality of life, then it is worth trying a natural treatment that is backed by science, such as CBD, CBG or Beta Caryophyllene.

***Disclosure: Please consult your physician and/or dietician before taking any supplements or making drastic changes to your diet..

CBD Oil for IBS: Can It Ease Your Symptoms?

With CBD oil being hailed as some sort of a “miracle-in-a-bottle” treatment for a laundry list of ailments, everyone wants to try it, including those suffering from bowel problems. This begs the question: could CBD oil for IBS be the much-awaited solution for the condition’s debilitating and vexing symptoms?

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD as it is well-known, is a naturally-occurring, non-psychoactive chemical compound found in hemp and other cannabis plants. Not to be mistaken for its controversial cousin THC, which is the active compound that makes one feel high when they take marijuana, CBD is thought to have numerous therapeutic qualities, although the medical jury is still out on that.

While the existing evidence is vastly anecdotal, early research seems to suggest that CBD oil may help quell symptoms and relieve conditions ranging from anxiety and chronic pain to side effects of chemotherapy. Plus, it’s technically legal in all 50 US states and Washington D.C., as long its THC content is no more than 0.3 percent.

What is IBS?

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a very common chronic condition that impacts the digestive system. It’s characterized by a collection of gastrointestinal symptoms that usually occur at the same, and may include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating and gas
  • Cramping
  • Abdominal pain

These symptoms tend to recur and can last for at least three months at a time. If these symptoms remain unchecked, they can cause so much discomfort and distress that they can significantly reduce work productivity and affect your daily life.

Roughly between 7% and 21% of the general population experience symptoms of IBS, although women are more susceptible than men, according to a 2015 clinical review.

Note that IBS shouldn’t be confused with IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) because, while the two are in many ways similar and are often referenced interchangeably, they are distinct bowel conditions.

By definition, IBD is an umbrella term used to describe a group of inflammatory disorders that affect the gut. The two most notable IBD conditions are:

  • Crohn’s disease, a long-term intestinal disorder in which the colon (large intestine) becomes inflamed.
  • Ulcerative colitis, another life-long condition that involves inflammation of any part of the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the rectum; however, the end of the small bowel typically shows the most symptoms.

In either case, the shared symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases include appetite loss, weight loss, fatigue, bloody stool, and recurrent diarrhea, as well as stomach bloating, cramping and pain.

Sadly, there’s currently no viable cure for both IBS and IBD, and neither do scientists know the specific causes of the conditions. And, in the absence of a cure, the treatment of IBS and IBD centers mainly on easing their debilitating symptoms in order to manage these digestive conditions and improve the patient’s quality of life.

In the past few years, there’s been growing interest in CBD oil for IBS as a promising treatment option. But can CBD safely and effectively relieve IBS and IBD symptoms?

Our easy-to-understand guide provides a fresh, scientific take on everything you need to know about CBD oil for IBS.

Why IBS Is Difficult to Treat

It’s worth reiterating that there’s currently no cure for irritable bowel syndrome. This is probably the single most significant reason why physicians often have a tough time treating IBS. Compounding the issue, the clinical and scientific community cannot seem to pinpoint the exact cause of IBS.

Nonetheless, a combination of factors is believed to play a role, and they include:

  • Genetics – if you have a family history of IBS, you are more likely to develop the condition.
  • Mild celiac disease – CD can damage your small intestine, causing symptoms of IBS
  • Hormonal changes – Unusual levels of serotonin in the colon are known to have an adverse impact on your bowel movements, which may cause IBS symptoms.
  • Stress and depression – Prolonged bouts of stress, anxiety or depression can affect your immune system and have been linked to IBS symptoms. This is especially the case if you have overly sensitive nerves in the gut.
  • Food triggers – Certain foods like dairy, beans, or dried foodstuff, especially in combination with stress, may trigger IBS.
  • Irregular bowel movements – IBS has been linked to food moving through the gastrointestinal tract (particularly the colon) too slowly or too quickly.
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Symptoms of IBS and IBD often vary from one person to another. And not all of the well-known symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, cramping, and stomach pain appear on a single patient, making it much more difficult for clinicians to not only diagnose the condition precisely but also to treat it conclusively.

Given the lack of a cure, treatment focuses on easing or managing IBS symptoms, as well as preventing symptom flare-ups and reoccurrence. It’s a good thing that there are many ways to treat symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome — what works best for one patient may not do the trick for another.

Let’s dig a little deeper into each treatment avenue.

a) Lifestyles Changes

Lifestyle change is the first point-of-call for most physicians when it comes to dealing with IBS symptoms. Before prescribing medications, your doctor will probably recommend a raft of lifestyle and dietary adjustments that may include:

  • Getting plenty of regular, physical exercise — Non-traditional workouts like yoga, breathing exercises, and Aikido can help you pull double duty: work out your core and beat stress!
  • Eating small meals several times throughout the day rather than consuming huge portions once, twice or thrice a day
  • Avoiding too fatty, spicy or overly processed foods
  • Making sure to get enough, quality sleep
  • Reducing stress and finding ways to relax
  • Increasing intake of anti-inflammatory foods like oily fish loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Not eating too quickly
  • Avoiding alcohol and fizzy drinks
  • Not smoking
  • Trying probiotics to improve your gut health

At the same time, your doctor may propose that you keep a food journal to record what you eat for each meal and the resulting symptoms. This way, you will likely be able to zero in on foods that might be triggering your IBS symptoms.

The big idea here is to identify food triggers (so you can avoid them), get your digestive system revving normally again, and keep stress at bay.

b) IBS Medication

If your IBS symptoms don’t respond positively to changes in diet, lifestyle, and other home remedies, you may have no choice but to get on medication. Even so, different patients respond differently to the same IBS drugs, which is why it pays to consult with your physician when choosing the right medication for your specific conditions.

To help tailor the most effective treatment plan, your doctor will need to know which other medications and herbals remedies you’re taking. The best news is that you can safely combine doctor-prescribed medications with non-drug therapies like CBD oil for IBS.

In today’s market, there are multiple medical drugs geared towards IBS symptoms. Some are general and work on all the symptoms, while others target a specific symptom.

As a general rule of caution, it’s vital to take medications approved by the FDA especially for IBS, of which there is a handful on the market. The following drugs have been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration for treating IBS:

  • Rifaximin (Xifaxan): Approved by the FDA back in 2015, this is an antibiotic cocktail that’s supposed to be taken for 14 days, three times each day to help alleviate symptoms of IBS-D (a medical term for Irritable Bowel Syndrome with diarrhea).
  • Alosetron hydrochloride (Lotronex): This is a 5-HT3 blocker approved by the FDA from IBS-D.
  • Lubiprostone (Amitiza): These drugs work by way of chloride channels, helping treat IBS-C (IBS with constipation) in women 18 and over.
  • Eluxadoline (Viberzi): Approved by the FDA in May 2015 for IBS-D, Eluxadoline interacts with the gut nervous system, helping reduce rapid stomach contractions that often lead to diarrhea.

In addition to these, your doctor may prescribe medications to target specific IBS symptoms. These symptom-specific drugs include:

Antidepressants – These medications help reduce the effects of depression, anxiety, and stress, all of which can contribute to IBS symptoms. Examples of popular antidepressants include Celexa (citalopram), Zoloft (sertraline), and Prozac (fluoxetine).

Laxatives – You have probably used laxatives before to ease constipations. Examples include MilaLAX, milk of magnesia, and lactulose. Lubiprostone (Amitiza) and linaclotide (Linzess) are recommended by the ACG.

Antispasmodics – As the moniker suggests, these drugs help ease stomach muscle spasms and therefore reduce abdominal cramping and pain. Hyoscyamine and belladonna alkaloids are two classic antispasmodics, but you can use herbal remedies like peppermint oil as well.

Fiber supplements – If you’re not getting enough fiber from your diet, you can use supplements. These are designed to ease constipation.

Antidiarrheals – If diarrhea is your predominant IBS symptom, you can use antidiarrheals, the vast majority of which are meant to slow down fast bowel contractions. Diphenoxylate and loperamide are excellent examples.

Probiotics – Most scientists believe that IBS symptoms are caused or worsened by a lopsided gut microbiome, a cluster of bacteria and yeast that inhabit our digestive tract. Probiotics help restore the subtle balance of microbiome in your gut, preventing constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating and other IBS symptoms.

c) Managing your Diet

Staying on top of your diet when you have irritable bowel syndrome or IBD may require a bit of planning but it’s often worth every effort.

Aside from reducing meal portions, it’s important to eliminate food triggers, such as hard-to-digest sugars, fatty foods, dairy, fried junk, and sometimes beans. You will be glad you did when diarrhea, constipation, cramping, and other IBS symptoms are no longer taking a toll on your digestive tract and weighing you down in your daily life.

In some cases, gluten, insoluble fiber, dried foods, caffeinated drinks, processed sugars, alcoholic beverages, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, soda, and even chocolate could be the culprits for your IBS symptoms. It might be best to seek medical advice before you skip some of these health-critical foods, though.

For some patients, incorporating herbs and spices like chamomile, peppermint, and ginger into your diet may help get rid of some IBS symptoms. This is where a gastrologist [The specialty is gastroenterology, and they would be unlikely to suggest herbs or spices. Maybe you mean a nutritionist?] or dietician might come in especially handy.

How Can CBD Help With IBS?

Sufferers of IBS and IBD often feel that they are diving into the deep end of the pool when looking for treatment because clinicians can’t offer them an outright cure.

Rather, doctors are likely to prescribe medicines based on specific symptoms, which leaves the patient with a cabinet full of antidiarrheal, antidepressants, laxatives, antispasmodics, probiotics, and so forth. Most of these IBS drugs come with a plethora of side effects, all of which may exacerbate your situation.

Lucky for you, CBD oil for IBS might help fill in the gap of managing the symptoms without the hassle of dealing with innumerable side effects. It’s a dual advantage!

Let’s get one thing straight right, though: CBD oil for IBS doesn’t cure the condition. Instead, just like most IBS medications in existence, it’s aimed at alleviating the various symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and IBD.

Here’s how CBD can help with IBS:

– CBD Oil Quells Gastrointestinal (GI) Inflammation

Gut inflammation occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the stomach, colon, small intestine, and other parts of the digestive tract. This abnormal response can be triggered by viruses, bacterial infections, and foods in the digestive tract that the immune system sees as foreign.

For instance, in celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that has been linked to IBS, the body reacts negatively to the presence of gluten, causing massive inflammation of the small bowel.

As stated earlier, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are two common inflammatory bowel diseases that result in IBS-like symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and cramping.

CBD oil is a well-known anti-inflammatory, and a growing body of research seems to concur that it may help reduce IBD- and IBS-related gut inflammation.

For example, in a 2011 study, scientists found that CBD oil may help minimize intestinal inflammation by activating enteric glial cells (EGC) that link between the nervous system and the immune system.

This coincides with the findings of another rat study which showed that oral CBD oil not only alleviates neuropathic pain but also reduces inflammation.

– CBD Oil Alleviates IBS-Related Pain

Stomach pain, discomfort, and cramping are some of the most common symptoms that people with IBS and IBD experience. All of these symptoms can bog you down and diminish your quality of life.

Medical researchers and clinicians are increasingly recognizing the pain-relieving potential of CBD oil for IBS.

According to several studies noted by Daily CBD Magazine, CBD may help relieve chronic pain by influencing endocannabinoid receptors and interacting with neurotransmitters in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), as well as reducing inflammation.

The ECS is a highly complex body system involved in the control or regulation of an array of biological functions like immune system response, inflammation, pain sensation, appetite, and sleep.