Natural ways to improve IBS-D

Natural ways to improve IBS-D

What are the symptoms?

IBS-D is IBS that causes increased diarrhea. Symptoms can include, stomach pains, frequent bowel movements, sudden urges to rush to the toilet, or other IBS symptoms.

IBS with alternating constipation and diarrhea, also called IBS-M (IBS mixed) is when you are constipated and your body reacts to being constipated by having diarrhea. So addressing the constipation is key.

Diarrhea is the body’s response to the toxins. It wants to get rid of the toxins as soon as it can!


Where to start

The BRAT (Banana, Rice, Apple sauce, Toast) diet is a good first place to start for a day or so, as it binds things up a bit. After experiencing a lot of diarrhea, we can become dehydrated and lose a lot of electrolytes, so you can feel quite weak and poorly, you need to replace your minerals. Coconut water is a good balanced electrolyte. You can find this now in most supermarkets. Obviously make sure you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

Some of the foods you’re eating maybe causing the diarrhea and inflammation in the body. So I often suggest beginning with an elimination diet and slowly reintroduce foods to find the culprit/s. I then suggest to clients to remove foods TEMPORARILY that are affecting you, while you heal the gut. An experienced nutritionist in this area can help you to do this elimination diet correctly.

Bentonite clay or activated charcoal are two natural methods of absorbing toxins and stopping diarrhea, instead of using anti-diarrhea medications. For appropriate dosing for you, I suggest obtaining advise from a naturopath or nutritionist.


Natural treatments to help the gut

  • Address any stomach acid issues, see more about how to do this here. Digestive enzymes are an option prior to every meal. Some people do really well with them, others don’t. If you tolerate foods like pineapples, banana’s and avocado’s, these contain natural enzymes to help digest your food.
  • Heal the gut: There are many ways to heal the gut naturally, Aloe Vera or Bone broth are just two good examples (see a recipe here). Bone broth is an amazing healing food, it has so many benefits, it provides a rich source of minerals, is soothing for the digestive system and helps inflammation.

* Bone broth is very high in histamine and glutamine, so don’t have broth if you know you have issues with either of these. If you’re not sure if you do have these issues, just start slowly with the broth to see if you get any sensitivity symptoms.

  • Take high quality probiotics. Different products have different species; the quality varies between products a great deal too. Some people need to heal the stomach for longer, before starting probiotics.


For more stubborn cases:

The body may be overloaded with toxins and is trying to get rid of waste ASAP! So you may need to address liver, bile health and lymph congestion. I suggest working with a Nutritionist for these issues.

Alternatively, you may have an infection (e.g. viral or bacterial), many herbal or natural remedies can help here. However, before treating this, I would first get a quality stool test. These can be obtained through a nutritionist, who can then also help with appropriate treatment.


Please note: If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with your GP or other health-care professional.  

If you are taking any medications and choose to take supplements suggested from this site, please make sure you check with your GP or pharmacist for any interactions.

If you have any questions about supplements, please seek advise from a qualified nutritionist.

If you have other symptoms, like rectal bleeding, weight loss, or a family history of gastrointestinal cancer, your doctor may want you to have tests to rule out other possibilities.