The Most Helpful Supplements for IBS And Other Stomach Problems
While the most important part of reversing IBS is following a healthy, gut healing diet, there’s some supplements that can speed up the process and help give you FAST relief.
The idea isn’t to become DEPENDENT on them for the rest of your life (like lots of medications), but to give you a major kick start in reversing your symptoms FOR GOOD.
While every person is different and some benefit from certain products more than others, I’ve put these supplements in my general order of importance, regarding how quickly they typically give relief.
However, keep in mind these are just the cliff notes and dosing can sometimes get complicated! I’d strongly recommend working with a practitioner that has done their research and has lots of experience with these!
Here’s the top five supplements I recommend to decrease IBS symptoms, broken down into 3 categories
CATEGORY #1: HELP WITH DIGESTING FOODS
These are EXACTLY what they sound like. They’re enzymes that help you digest your food. And if you have IBS, there’s no question that your gut is struggling to digest whatever you’re feeding yourself.
There’s close to a 100% chance that in it’s “irritable” state, your gut isn’t producing enough digestive enzymes to break down fats, carbs and proteins into absorbable nutrients. And if you’re not breaking them down like you’re supposed to, you can cause MORE damage to your intestinal walls AND you don’t absorb enough real nutrients.
Supplementing with digestive enzymes can effectively help break down foods and let your gut rest and destress more, allowing it to heal much more quickly.
These are my two favorites…
Betaine Hydrochloric Acid (HCL)
It’s estimated that about SEVENTY PERCENT of Americans are suffering from low hydrochloric acid (AKA stomach acid) levels today, which is A LOT. And if you have IBS symptoms, it probably means you’re one of them.
Low hydrochloric acid levels can EASILY cause pretty much any stomach related symptom, such as…
- excess burping… you name it!
When you eat, your stomach is SUPPOSED to use hydrochloric acid to get your food to a pH of 2-4 (which is VERY acidic). And if that’s not happening, you’re gonna have some problems with the entire digestive process!
That’s because hydrochloric acid plays MANY important roles in the digestive process and here’s just a few of them…
- It breaks down proteins and absorb amino acids
- Kills bad bacteria, parasites or other bad bugs you’re exposed to
- Triggers the production of digestive enzymes and bile
- You need it to absorb important minerals like magnesium, sodium and iron
So if you don’t have enough stomach acid, you can even find yourself malnourished, no matter how healthy you’re eating!
Because some people have lower levels of stomach acid than others, this one can be tricky to dose. First, it’s important to know that you should ONLY take it if you’re eating a protein dense meal (at least 15-20g of protein) because HCL isn’t needed as much to process carbs and fat.
Start by taking just 1 capsule with your meals for a few days, and then add another until you feel your digestion improving or you feel an extra burning sensation. If you get ANY burning sensation as you increase your dosage, that just means you took too much and to back down to your previous dose.
And I wouldn’t recommend going over 2000-2500mg unless you’re consulting with an experienced practitioner.
**It’s VERY important to pick one that ALSO has pepsin listed in the ingredients. Here’s my favorite in terms of quality and cost. You shouldn’t need to look further.
CATERGORY #2: HEAL THE GUT AND REDUCE INFLAMMATION
L-glutamine is an amino acid that first became popular in the fitness industry for it’s ability to greatly improve exercise recovery, but now research is showing it to have TONS of great benefits.
For our purposes, a good l-glutamine powder is VERY helpful when it comes to restoring good gut health.
First, l-glutamine is an important nutrient that the intestines need to heal and repair. In addition to that, it’s very anti-inflammatory and adds protection to your gut’s mucosa, helping prevent further damage.
When dosing l-glutamine, you ideally want to get a powder (instead of capsules), and slowly build up, taking it either with food or on an empty stomach (the jury is still out on what’s truly the most effective).
Try starting with 2.5g twice a day, and then go up to 5g twice a day and so on. If taking it with food, mixing it in with just a little bit of water at the end of the meal is ideal. (Because too much water can dilute your enzymes and stomach acids).
Experiment and see what works best for you. Remember, there’s good reason to believe taking it either with or without food is more beneficial, so see which you prefer.
These are my two favorites, which are great values. This is one of the few supplements where a cheaper brand can be OK. The supplement brands I normally use are overpriced (in my opinion) when it comes to their l-glutamine powders. And as far as I can tell, the quality is the same.
NutraBio L Glutamine
Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL)
DGL is a well-known “stomach soother” amongst natural health experts specializing in GI health. And it’s been VERY helpful to a number of my clients.
More specifically, DGL has been shown to DECREASE the intestinal damage caused by aspirin AND has also been shown to reduce general gut inflammation.
DGL has even been shown to be just as effective as Zantac when it comes to treating gastric ulcers, without all the negative side effects or stomach acid suppression!
I’ve noticed this supplement to be particularly helpful for my clients with long term heartburn, or GERD. So if that’s an issue for you, I’d highly recommend giving this a try!
It’s ideal to get the chewable tablets, which are supposed to be more effective. However, I’ve also had clients succeed with the easier, tasteless capsules. So here’s my two favorite options.
Douglas Labs Licorice Root V (DEGLYCERINATTED) – be sure to get DEGLYCYRRIZINATED
CATERGORY #3: PROMOTE FULLER BOWEL MOVEMENTS AND RELIEVE CONSTIPATION
Magnesium is a VERY important mineral and almost everyone today is deficient in it because we don’t get enough from food. In fact, it’s even known as the “miracle mineral”.
So first of all, EVERYONE should be taking a good quality multivitamin with high quality, bioavailable magnesium in it. My favorite is Designs For Health Twice Daily Essentials.
And if you’re dealing with constipation or feel like can’t completely “empty out” when going to the bathroom, then supplementing with EXTRA magnesium can be a big help for you and your bowel movements!
Again, it’s important to start at a lower dose or you might cause some surprise loose bowel movements! Start with taking about 150mg before bed for a few nights. And if constipation persists, continue adding another capsule every few nights, going to 300mg, then 450mg and potentially up to 700-800mg (but only if you need it).
The type of magnesium is VERY important – some terrible quality and don’t do anything for your body.
I recommend sticking with magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate. Magnesium citrate will typically have a more laxative effect.
And that’s it for now!
My clients and friends have truly been amazed at how fast they’ve felt relief from just adding some these supplements to their life.
Notes like, “The digestive enzymes, hcl, and probiotics are working. You’re a godsend.” are very typical! I’m so thankful I found these both for myself and others that are still suffering with IBS.
BUT keep in mind that these supplements shouldn’t be a long term crutch and definitely aren’t a long term solution. Unless you’re getting to the root cause of your IBS and following an IBS reversing diet, the supplements can eventually stop working if the root causes aren’t fixed!
So if you want to learn EXACTLY how to finally get over your embarrassing or painful (or both) symptoms, CLICK HERE to read my step-by-step plan.
It’ll only take a few minutes to get the big picture that most people never understand.
- 4 common strategies that almost NEVER work
- The 3 steps you MUST take if you want to truly eliminate your nagging symptoms
- How to get step-by-step guidance and eliminate the guesswork