As many as 55 million Americans struggle with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a disorder marked by symptoms like abdominal pain, cramping, and constipation. One popular remedy for IBS is digestive enzymes, a type of natural substance sold in supplement form. Known to aid the body in breaking down nutrients, digestive enzymes include such compounds as bromelain and papain.
While research on the use of digestive enzymes in treatment of IBS is fairly limited, there's some evidence that they may help soothe some IBS symptoms. For instance, a pilot study published in Frontline Gastroenterology in 2011 found that a digestive enzyme called pancrealipase may help ease cramping, bloating, and pain among IBS patients.
For more help in fighting IBS naturally, consider such remedies as peppermint oil, probiotics, and guar gum (all found to alleviate IBS symptoms in scientific studies). To find out more about digestive enzymes and their health benefits, see my article on Digestive Enzymes.