Scientists are still researching how to cure IBS permanently. Although there is no cure yet, people with IBS can improve their symptoms with treatments, diet changes, and medication.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) causes symptoms that affect a person’s intestines. These can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. A person’s doctor can advise on ways that they can manage symptoms.

This article discusses if it is possible to cure a person’s IBS. It also looks at medical treatments for IBS, home remedies, diet, and more.

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It is not possible to completely cure IBS. Treatments for IBS tend to focus on a person’s symptoms but not yet the cause of their condition.

However, people with IBS can use some treatments and strategies to manage their symptoms. Doing so may help people have periods of relief from their IBS symptoms.

Scientists are also continuing research into new treatments for IBS.

Doctors may also prescribe a person IBS medication. The type of medication depends on a person’s individual IBS symptoms.

Treatments for diarrhea

Treatments for diarrhea can include:

  • prescription medication such as eluxadoline
  • over-the-counter (OTC) medication such as loperamide
  • antibiotics such as rifaximin

Treatments for constipation

Treatments for constipation can include:

  • laxatives
  • fiber supplements
  • lubiprostone
  • linaclotide
  • plecanatide

Treatments for abdominal pain

Treatments for abdominal pain can include:

  • coated peppermint oil capsules
  • antispasmodic medication
  • antidepressants

Psychological therapy

Doctors may refer a person for psychological therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and gut-directed hypnotherapy if other treatments do not relieve their IBS symptoms.

Doctors do not know exactly why people develop IBS. However, experts believe stress or mental health conditions may contribute to the condition.

Learn more about treatments for IBS.

Doctors may recommend home remedies such as lifestyle and dietary changes to help a person manage symptoms of IBS. These can include:

  • eating more fiber
  • avoiding gluten
  • getting enough physical activity or exercise
  • reducing stress and making time to relax
  • getting enough quality sleep

Discover more tips on coping with IBS.

A person’s diet can affect IBS. Eating certain foods, such as those containing gluten, may trigger a person’s symptoms. A doctor may recommend keeping a food diary to identify and avoid these foods.

Doctors may also recommend a low FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) diet.

Certain kinds of carbohydrates in some foods can make IBS symptoms worse. A low FODMAP diet lowers the amount of these carbohydrates in a person’s diet.

A person should contact a doctor for advice before making significant changes to their diet. A dietitian can help a person ensure they are getting the required nutrients.

Learn more about the low FODMAP diet.

Here are some frequently asked questions about IBS.

How can I get immediate relief from IBS?

IBS symptoms differ between people. Doctors can recommend medication and home remedies to help alleviate discomfort and other symptoms. For example, laxatives may provide quick relief from constipation, while pain relievers and antispasmodic medications may help relieve cramps and pains.

What is the best thing to drink for IBS?

Still, low-acid and low-FODMAP liquids are the best options for people with IBS. These include:

What irritates IBS?

Different foods can trigger IBS for each individual. However, some of the worst foods for IBS include:

  • fatty, spicy, or processed foods
  • fresh fruit
  • caffeinated drinks such as coffee
  • alcoholic drinks
  • carbonated drinks

Learn more about foods to avoid with IBS.

How do I get rid of IBS?

There is no cure for IBS yet. People with IBS have symptoms that come and go. However, people can manage their IBS symptoms with a variety of treatments.

Scientists do not yet know the cause of IBS. Although there is currently no cure, researchers continue to investigate one.

Doctors can recommend and prescribe various treatments to improve a person’s IBS symptoms. These include dietary changes, medication, and mental health therapies.

Some foods may trigger a person’s IBS symptoms. People can avoid these triggers to help further reduce their symptoms.