The only thing worse than a stomach problem is a stomach problem that never, ever goes away.

If the pain, bloating and other symptoms aren't bad enough, there's also the embarrassment of knowing you might have to dash from your job, meeting or dinner in a desperate run for the bathroom.

Your own doctor will keep trying different meds until he finds one that kinda-sorta works without causing too many side effects, but there are much better approaches for recurring stomach issues.

And the latest research shows that a promising approach for IBS may work just as well for Crohn's disease: vitamin D3.

Researchers at the Weill-Cornell Medical Center in New York gave either common 1,000 IU doses or 10,000 IU mega-doses of natural D3 (as opposed to the synthetic D2 often given via prescription) to 15 Crohn's patients every day for six months.

And those who got the higher doses had fewer symptoms.

Obviously, it's a very small study -- but the other research on D3 confirms that this stuff can work wonders for an out-of-control digestive system, and it's not the only safe and natural option for getting your gut back under control.

One of those options is about as safe and natural as they come: nothing at all.

Earlier this year, a groundbreaking study found that placebos helped bring about a remarkable level of improvement in IBS patients -- remarkable, because it even worked when the patients knew they were taking a placebo!

All told, 59 percent of the people who knowingly took their nothing pills got irritable bowel relief -- versus just 35 percent in the control group. That's actually in line with or even better than the drugs most often given for the condition.

But that's no surprise -- because many of those drugs were never very effective to begin with. In fact, the overall success rate of meds for IBS and Crohn's disease is embarrassingly low.

Along with vitamin D3 and even those placebos, cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation therapy and hypnotherapy have all proven to be better choices for relief from recurring stomach problems… and they come with none of the side effects of meds.