Digestive Health Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment Print Relief for Mild Irritable Bowel Syndrome Self-Care When You Have Mild Stomach Symptoms By Barbara Bolen, PhD Updated June 15, 2019 More in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treatment Causes & Diagnosis Living With Nutrition Symptoms Support & Coping IBS With Constipation IBS With Diarrhea Related Conditions View All Even if you are not dealing with a full-blown case of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), there may be times when your system acts funny, resulting in stomach problems and bouts of abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation. This may indicate mild IBS. Maybe this happens just when you are really stressed out, or maybe your stomach just doesn't feel right for a while after a bad case of the stomach flu. Just because you don't have it as bad as those heart-breaking stories you read about, or maybe as bad as you have had it in the past, doesn't mean that there is nothing you can do. Read on for some simple ways to get your system back to normal. Use Heat T-Pool/STOCK4B/Stock4B/Getty Images Heat can offer you more than just psychological soothing. Applying heat to your belly can relax the area and help to reduce your tummy pain as well as help to reduce muscle spasms and cramping from mild IBS. Invest in a hot water bottle or heating pad so that you will have this option whenever your belly acts up. Just be sure to protect your skin with a towel or a layer of clothing to prevent a burn. Avoid the Really Bad Trigger Foods Firdaus Jurahel/EyeEm/Premium/Getty Images Until your belly settles down, you may need to treat it with kid gloves. This means eating foods that are easier to digest and avoiding those foods that have a reputation for triggering unwanted digestive symptoms. This means avoiding greasy, fatty, and fried foods and junk foods. You may also want to avoid dairy for a short period of time until your stomach starts to feel better. Sip Some Tea Sally Anscombe/Moment/Getty Images Like the use of heat, sipping a cup of tea can bring you some oh-so-important soothing. In addition, the choice of the right tea may also bring about some relief of your symptoms. The best tea to use to soothe abdominal symptoms, hands down, is peppermint tea. Peppermint has been clinically shown to act as an antispasmodic, meaning that it eases cramping and thus relieves abdominal pain. Try a Probiotic Supplement AnnaMariaThor/iStock/Getty Images Probiotics are known as "friendly" bacteria, thought to be beneficial for your immune system and your overall health. Taking a probiotic supplement may be a good option for a mild case of IBS as this may help your gut re-establish a healthier balance among the various types of bacteria that live in your large intestine. The research on the effectiveness of probiotics is far from definitive, but they do seem to be of help to some people. Learn How to Physically Calm Your Body Jasper Cole/Blend Images/Getty Images The body's ability to respond to stress worked wonderfully when we lived in caves and occasionally encountered a hungry tiger. In our current stress-filled world, however, the system doesn't quite work as well. Because our digestive systems are closely connected to this stress response system, it is quite common to experience unpleasant intestinal symptoms during times in our lives when our stress levels are higher. Luckily, there are ways for you to counteract or turn off the stress response. Relaxation techniques are a simple, do-anywhere, non-drug method for calming your body and quieting your system. Learn how to use visualization, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation. When to Call Your Doctor Hero Images/Getty Images If your mild IBS symptoms persist for more than three months, call and make an appointment with your doctor so as to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will work with you to find the source of your symptoms and provide more options for relieving them. If you have any of the following red-flag symptoms, call your doctor immediately: Blood in the stoolHigh feverPersistent severe vomitingSevere stomach pain These symptoms must always be checked out as they can point to a condition or illness that needs immediate treatment. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! One of the most challenging aspects of having IBS is trying to figure out what's safe to eat. Our recipe guide makes it easier. Sign up and get yours now! Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources Ford, A., et.al. "American College of Gastroenterology Monograph on the Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chronic Idiopathic Constipation" American Journal of Gastroenterology 2014 109:S2-S26.