1. Natural relief for Crohn's, IBS and more

    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.

  2. Mind over belly in battle of the bowels

    If you're suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, the problem might not be entirely in your stomach.

    What's locked inside your mind can be just as important as what's going on in your belly -- and a new study confirms the long-suspected link between hidden mental stress and this very physical disorder.

    Researchers from the Mayo Clinic examined 2,623 patients and found that those who had suffered through serious psychological traumas were far more likely to suffer from IBS than patients without those issues.

    Overall, the researchers found evidence of serious mental stress and psychological traumas in half of all IBS patients -- or roughly double the rate of what they found in people without the stomach-wrecking condition.

    Other studies have also made a link between past trauma and IBS -- but most of them have focused on abuse.

    For the new study, researchers found that any deep trauma at all can "trigger" the IBS symptoms -- car accidents, divorce, death of a loved one, house fires and more -- even if it happened years ago, and even if the patient thinks he or she has overcome it.

    In other words, you might be fooling yourself… but you're not fooling your body, and you're certainly not getting one over on your gut.

    That's not to say the problems aren't real -- because as the 10 percent of Americans who battle the stomach pain, cramps, bloating and sudden runs to the bathroom that mark IBS will tell you, it's all too real.

    And that's because stress, trauma and other issues often written off as "mental problems" can have a real and direct impact on the body itself -- and not just for stomach disorders like IBS.

    Pain conditions, including recurring back pain not tied to any specific injury, have strong links to stress and other problems of the mind. The mainstream even acknowledges it -- in its own twisted sort of way: Antidepressants and other "psychological drugs" are often given for pain as well as IBS.

    And they work about as well for those conditions as they do for depression -- in other words, not very well at all… and they can come with horrific side effects to boot.

    Fortunately, you don't need to turn to these dangerous and ineffective meds for stomach relief (or even pain, but that's a story for another day)… because you've got safer, better and far more natural options.

    The researchers behind the new study seem to suggest psychological help, but there are some things you can do on your own, right now, for relief from IBS and other recurring stomach disorders.

  3. The wrong approach for IBS

    It was downright frustrating to read a study in the New England Journal of Medicine pushing the antibiotic rifaximin for irritable bowel syndrome, despite lackluster results and far more effective drug-free alternatives.
  4. Real powers of fake drugs

    You've heard of the placebo effect--but now, a new study finds that even patients who know they're taking one of these phony meds can get some very real results.
  5. Antidepressants for IBS? Here's what they're not telling you

    A study found that antidepressants can provide IBS relief, at least in the short term.
  6. IBS relief through… imagination?

    Even though it's not fatal, irritable bowel syndrome can make life just about unbearable for people who suffer from it.

6 Item(s)