Irritable Bowel, Bloating, Frequent Abdominal Pain?

Studies show enteric coated peppermint oil to be inexpensive, safe and effective for many.

IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the most common condition seen by gastroenterologists with an estimated 10-15% of the American population suffering this painful and inconvenient condition. Although most statistics are on adult incidence, children can suffer IBS as well. Personally, as a child, I was a case in point. I clearly remember sitting on the toilet at about age eight in agonizing abdominal pain; seriously trying to figure out how hard to hit my head on the bathtub to in order to knock myself without damaging myself or having to do it twice. I was prepared to do almost anything to stop the pain. I never thought to complain until I was much older because I assumed this was normal and no one else was complaining.

A number of clinical studies have shown peppermint oil to be beneficial in 70-80% of participants. Peppermint oil gel caps may be used, but for those with hiatal hernia, any GERD (heartburn) or predisposition to same, the enteric coated form is the far better option. Peppermint oil not only soothes the stomach, it may relax the sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach. If it’s already not working well and causing GERD, this will only make it worse.

Clinical studies including double blind placebo controlled have shown that about 75% of adult and pediatric (child) patients taking enteric coated peppermint oil 2-4 times/day for a month experienced improvements in symptoms with nearly 80% experiencing a remission of abdominal pain.

Given the study results, testing enteric coated peppermint oil for indigestion, flatulence, bloating, painful gas and IBS seems a no brainer. Costs are minimal with for example, currently supplying enteric coated pure peppermint oil on special for $12.00 a bottle.

If taking stomach acid lowering medications, enteric coated capsules may dissolve in the stomach making them less effective, so take two hours before or after the medications. Peppermint oil is metabolized by the liver as are many prescription medications. As always, check with your pharmacist before taking along with any medications.

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Cappello G, Spezzaferro M, Grossi L, Manzoli L, Marzio L. Peppermint oil (Mintoil) in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a prospective double blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. Dig Liver Dis. 2007 Jun;39(6):530-6.

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