IBS/ indigestion treatment is often based on eliminating certain foods from your diet. There is significant evidence for the FODMAP diet in treating indigestion and digestive disorders (Chumpitazi et al., 2015; Gibson, 2011; Gibson and Shepherd, 2009; Roest et al., 2013).
FODMAPS are carbohydrates that are difficult to break down and absorb
|Fructose||Some Vegetables||Sweeteners||Certain Drinks||Broader Categories & Other|
|Prunes & Cherries||Garlic & Onions||High-fructose Corn Syrup||Beer, Rum, & Wine||Fatty & Sugary Foods|
|Apples & Oranges||Broccoli & Cauliflower||Sugar Alcohols||Sports Drinks & Coconut Water||Dairy, Wheat, Barley, & Rye|
|Peaches & Pears||Artichoke & Asparagus||Honey & Hummus||Soda & Fruit Juices||Beens, Coffee, & Pizza|
|Watermelon & Mangoes||Cabbage & Brussel Sprouts||Jam & Fruit Paste||Soy Milk & Whey||Cashews & Pistachios|
|Plums & Nectarines||Mushrooms & Peas||Sugar Free Sweeteners||Chamomile or Fennel Tea||Sausage, Chorizo, & Spices|
This is a laundry list of foods and it is recommended that the diet be used with a registered dietician due to how restrictive and complicated it is (King's College). Some safe foods include white rice, oatmeal, bananas, broth as well as many more; consult with your dietician for additional safe foods if you go on this diet.
Food Allergies, Sensitivites, Intolerances
IBS may be a result of food sensitivities, allergies or intolerances. Eliminating one food from your diet for around twelve weeks and seeing if symptoms improve is a cost free way to test for sensitivities. A quicker and perhaps more comprehensive way to do this is to get tested for IgG food allergies and eliminate those foods (Yang and Li, 2007). This method is fairly expensive and while there is evidence for its efficacy and usefulness (Atkinson et al., 2004; Mullin et al., 2010; Park and Camilleri, 2005; Shanahan and Whorwell, 2005), studies have cast doubt on the effectiveness of the testing (Carr et al., 2011; Hunter, 2005; Monsbakken, Vandvik, and Farup, 2006; Vojdani, 2009). Still, many have sworn to its usefulness; here are two IgG testing kits ~$200 available for purchase- the first is cheaper but not available in MD, NY, NJ, or RI: *use the code EVERLY to get 12% off* EverlyWell At Home Food Sensitivity Test Kit or M.V. Labs Food Safe Allergy Test.
Unhealthy Gut Bacteria
Unhealthy gut bacteria likely contributes to IBS/ indigestion. To cure unhealthy gut bacteria an antibiotic may be necessary and after healthy bacteria and zinc supplements may be effective. Dr. Mark Hyman recommends "rifaximin (Xifaxin) and take two 200 mg tablets three times a day for seven to 10 days." The efficacy of rifaximin in treatment of IBS and specifically bloating and gasiness symptoms is well supported (Bailey and Carter, 2009; Di Stefano et al., 2004; Sharara et al., 2006). After rifaximin and an anti-fungal if necessary, he recommends VSL3 or S. boulardii which you should "take two capsules twice a day for two months" to get healthier gut bacteria. VSL3 is a well supported option (Chapman, Plosker, and Figgit, 2007; Guandalini et al., 2010; Kim et al., 2005). S. boulardii is much cheaper. He also recommends "digestive enzymes with meals" (see Papaya) and fish oil to heal the lining of the gut (Dr. Mark Hyman). Dr. Hyman is an expert in his field and this proposed treatment plan is viable for curing unhealthy gut bacteria.
Eliminating bad foods from your diet is a crucial step in dealing with many health issues. That being said, this site is Foods That Help. This page will focus on herbal remedies for IBS nonspecific to its diarrhea or constipation form. Since the foods you should eat differ based on symptoms, after looking at IBS herbal remedies go to each symptom page for specific foods to eat: constipation, bloating and gasiness, diarrhea, nausea.