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How to Treat Constipation due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS-C)

Updated: Jan 2

Constipation, bloating, and abdominal pain. These are familiar symptoms to anyone with Irritable Bowel Syndrome type C (constipation). Some people take pooping for granted, but here you are, having a hard time squeezing one out. Don’t worry. There is a solution.

As a gut health specialist and a Sibo Naturopath, I see patients all the time with constipation. I find that with the help of a few dietary changes and supplements, we can address constipation and improve gut motility naturally. Use this article as your guide for IBS-C.

What Is Constipation due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS-C)?

IBS-C is a type of Irritable Bowel Syndrome that causes bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation. Constipation means that you don’t go to the bathroom for number two regularly. It is usually less than three bowel movements a week with hard, difficult-to-pass stools, and the feeling of having an incomplete bowel movement.

Causes of IBS-C:

The exact cause of IBS-C is not yet understood. Some experts believe that IBS-C is connected to the changes in how your intestines move and contract. In some people, IBS-C is related to a past or chronic gut infection. Gut microbiome imbalance also likely plays a role. Some experts believe that IBS-C may also be related to the communication between your gut and the brain. A poor diet, food sensitivities, and chronic stress can also play a role. Lastly, the possible role of the immune system and genetics are also currently being investigated by researchers (1).

Nutritional Guidelines for IBS-C

To treat constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome I recommend following an anti-inflammatory diet. Such a diet can help to reduce chronic inflammation, repair the gut lining, and improve gut microbiome balance.

Remove refined sugar, refined oils, fatty meat and dairy products, gluten, and overly processed foods. Eat plenty of greens, vegetables, herbs, spices, fruits, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meat, and pasture-raised dairy.

Unless it’s triggering, eat plenty of fiber-rich and prebiotic-rich foods, including onion, garlic, leek, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, Dandelion greens, apples, and bananas. Eat probiotic-rich fermented foods, including sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented herbs, coconut oil, coconut kefir, and kombucha.

You may benefit from a low-FODMAP diet. Fermentable, Oligo Di-saccharides and Monosaccharides Polyols (FODMAPs) include fructose, glucose, galactan, polyols, and lactose. Many people with IBS find these foods triggering and can benefit from a low-FODMAP diet until they repair their gut health. While for most people, a low-FODMAP diet is only temporary, some individuals do best with a low- or moderate-FODMAP diet long-term. Try it and see if it works for you (2, 3).

Best Herbs for IBS-C

You may also try some herbs and supplements for IBS-C. There are many options in the world of natural medicine that can help treat constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However, before you try any of these options, I recommend consulting a qualified Naturopath to recommend you the most accurate supplements for your condition. Here are some supplements that were found to benefit IBS-C and address underlying microbial overgrowth, gut microbiome imbalances, and leaky gut syndrome:

Black walnut (4), Wormwood (5), Berberine (6), Tribulus (7), Clove (8), L-glutamine (9)

My Recommendation

If you are looking for natural treatment options for IBS-C or digestive issues from a qualified Naturopath, you can send me a message and I will get back to you asap. As a gastrointestinal specialist and Sibo Naturopath, I specialize in IBS natural treatment, Crohn's natural treatment, Ulcerative colitis natural treatment, Sibo natural treatment, and other digestive imbalances.

constipation and IBS


1. Understanding irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Link Here

2. Staudacher J, Lomer M, et al., A Diet Low in FODMAPs Reduces Symptoms in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and A Probiotic Restores Bifidobacterium Species: A Randomized Controlled Trial, 2017 Oct., Gastroenterology, Vol. 153, Issue 4, p936-947. Link here

3. Zahedi MJ, Behrouz V, Azimi M, Low fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols diet versus general dietary advice in patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome: A randomized controlled trial. 2018 Jun; 33(6): 1192-1199. PMID: 29159993

4. Amarowicz R, Dykes GA, Pegg RB. Antibacterial activity of tannin constituents from Phaseolus vulgaris, Fagoypyrum esculentum, Corylus avellana, and Juglans nigra. Fitoterapia. 2008 Apr;79(3):217-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2007.11.019. Epub 2008 Feb 9. PMID: 18325686

5. Wicks S, Taylor CM, Luo M, Blanchard E 4th, Ribnicky DM, Cefalu WT, Mynatt RL, Welsh DA. Artemisia supplementation differentially affects the mucosal and luminal ileal microbiota of diet-induced obese mice. Nutrition. 2014 Jul-Aug;30(7-8 Suppl):S26-30. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.02.007. Epub 2014 Feb 26. PMID: 24985102

6. Zhang L, Wu X, Yang R, Chen F, Liao Y, Zhu Z, Wu Z, Sun X, Wang L. Effects of Berberine on the Gastrointestinal Microbiota. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2021 Feb 19;10:588517. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2020.588517. PMID: 33680978

7. Soleimanpour S, Sedighinia FS, Safipour Afshar A, Zarif R, Ghazvini K. Antibacterial activity of Tribulus and its synergistic effect with Capsella bursa-pastoris and Glycyrrhiza glabra against oral pathogens: an in-vitro study. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2015 May-Jun;5(3):210-7. PMID: 26101754

8. Agbaje EO. Gastrointestinal effects of Syzigium aromaticum (L) Merr. & Perry (Myrtaceae) in animal models. Nig Q J Hosp Med. 2008 Jul-Sep;18(3):137-41. doi: 10.4314/nqjhm.v18i3.45015. PMID: 19062476

9. Zhou Q, Verne ML, Fields JZ, Lefante JJ, Basra S, Salameh H, Verne GN. Randomized placebo-controlled trial of dietary glutamine supplements for postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome. Gut. 2019 Jun;68(6):996-1002. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2017-315136. Epub 2018 Aug 14. PMID: 30108163


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