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Prescribed IBS Treatments I’ve Tried (Did They Work?)

As an IBS sufferer for many years now, I’ve tried a number of different prescribed treatments. Many of these treatments didn’t work and/or made me feel worse due to the negative side effects. However, there were some that were fairly effective for relieving some of my IBS symptoms. Regardless, everyone is different, so what might not work for me, might work for others; or vice versa, what might work for me, might not work for others. I should also mention that I’m not recommending or trying to discourage you from trying any of these treatments. I’m just simply sharing my experiences.

Xifaxan and Bentyl

One of the many prescribed treatments I’ve tried was Rifaximin, also known as Xifaxan, which is a prescribed antibiotic. I was told to take this medication for two weeks, and if I followed the protocol properly, then I could possibly feel great relief. Well, unfortunately, I couldn’t meet the 2 week mark because the negative side effects were greatly outweighing the benefits. I was experiencing even more nausea than I already was before I took the medication and also constipation that added more discomfort to my stomach cramps. It would progressively get worse and I couldn’t take two weeks of that kind of suffering, especially since at the time I was working a job that required me to be on my feet all day and the pain was affecting my productivity. So, unfortunately, I stopped after one week.

Another prescribed treatment I’ve tried was Dicyclomine, also known as Bentyl, which is an antispasmodic. This treatment is supposed to relax the muscles in your stomach and intestines, therefore relieving stomach cramps. Unfortunately, this was another medication that didn’t work for me. My stomach cramps were never relieved, and again, I experienced nausea and constipation as negative side effects.

Low FODMAP diet and peppermint

One treatment that personally has been more effective than others is sticking to the low FODMAP diet. It’s a diet that helps reduce the intake of certain carbohydrates which tend to ferment in the gut and are very hard to digest. It helped me realize which foods actually trigger my symptoms, and now, for the most part, I know what to stay away from. Also even some “acceptable” foods on the list also trigger symptoms for me so this diet requires trial and error before finding what works best.

Another treatment that has been effective for me is peppermint capsules. I just recently came across this kind of treatment at the drug store and, surprisingly, it gives me the relief I need from the bloating and stomach cramps. I was somewhat amazed that the peppermint capsules would help because, after a while, I just stopped trusting any medication (or pill) other than food and medical marijuana, which I’ve already written about in another article. I do drink peppermint tea from time to time because that also soothes my stomach cramps and bloating slightly, so I wasn’t too shocked by the capsules working, but was happy to find that they worked even better (and for longer) than the tea. The only side effect I’ve noticed is that I end up having peppermint-scented burps, but I guess that’s more pleasant than any other kind of scent, right?

These are just a few of the many IBS treatments I’ve tried. As I mentioned before, we’re all different in how we react to certain treatments and I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all medication. Unfortunately, for us IBS sufferers, we have to go through trial and error to find what does or doesn’t work best for us. I might have found a few things that help me, but I’m by no means cured from IBS and am still on the search for other ways to cope.

Please feel free to share some of the IBS treatments that you’ve tried, and whether or not you found them effective. Thank you for taking the time to read my article and I look forward to reading your answers.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.