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What Are The Symptoms Of An IBS Attack?

Hayley Dawes
20 January 2022

It's the surprisingly common ailment that is rarely talked about. Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS flare ups can be hard to diagnose and it is often confused with other conditions or simply accepted as part of life. But IBS relief is possible.

The main symptoms of IBS range from stomach pain or cramps, bloating and irregular bowel habits. There will be days when you feel better and days when you feel worse, often referred to as a “flare up”. Symptoms of an IBS attack can come on quickly which can be hard to manage - the pressure of a job interview, a first date, an argument with a partner, family life stress, work pressures can all be an IBS trigger. Women are more likely to suffer this condition and it is not fully understood why. Hormones come into play - don’t they always! - and many women report symptoms get worse depending on where they are in their cycle. So much of the condition is accepted as ‘one of those things’, but at Dreem Distillery we believe wholeheartedly in maximising good health and maintaining balance in our wellbeing. IBS is not something to endure needlessly. 

One of the reasons IBS is so misunderstood is the interplay between the physical and the emotional triggers that cause the pain and symptoms of IBS. Doctors historically have not taken the condition seriously because of this perception that it is not a real illness. This is changing, thankfully. Anxiety has a big role in IBS, and much is being discovered about the relationship between the gut and brain. At Dreem Distillery we are especially interested in IBS because we know that CBD and Terpenes have a double-pronged benefit on IBS pain. The action of cannabidiol and the many various plant terpenes found in our potent Night Drops are proven to act on anxiety and pain pathways in the brain. When IBS flare up symptoms occur the relief that good quality, superior strength CBD oil drops can have is profound. It treats the underlying anxiety that could be triggering the cramping and relaxes the physical body too to soothe the tension held in the body. Taking CBD oil for IBS brings on physical relief and eases anxiety, which in turn allows the headspace to look into what could be causing the condition in the first place. There is no specific single cure for IBS but there are certainly triggers for irritable bowel syndrome. An IBS diet plan is a proactive step that can help you feel more in control of the situation. And keeping a diary of IBS foods to avoid is critical in understanding what negatively affects you and working out what works well. Other more simple steps since as treating yourself kindly when you have an attack. A warm bath with soothing essential oils can be hugely comforting, or the application of an anti-inflammatory rub to the area causing concern can be beneficial. Dreem Distillery developed the fragrant, enveloping treatment salve Bed Balm for exactly this reason; to directly treat the area of pain and discomfort. The act of gentle massage too can be reassuring and we are firm believers in the power of ourselves to improve our wellbeing. 


Ten foods to avoid with IBS

We know how important the food we consume can be and even more so, if you have IBS. It can be the difference between triggering symptoms and avoiding them. Identifying and eliminating these certain food groups from your diet could mean less abdominal pain, bloating, gas and constipation:

  • Dairy
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Fried foods
  • Gluten
  • Insoluble fiber
  • Beans and legumes
  • Processed foods
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar-free sweeteners

Ten foods to eat with IBS

While the conversation often centres around the food we should avoid, it is extremely helpful to be aware of the type of foods that work to ease IBS symptoms, Here is a list of foods reported to have a positive effect or unlikely to worsen IBS symptoms:

  • Lean meats 
  • Bone broth 
  • Fermented foods
  • Salmon and other omega-3 fish 
  • Nuts and Seeds 
  • Clear soups 
  • Kefir 
  • Skinless chicken 
  • Dried fruits
  • Oat bran 


Dreem Distillery’s top 5 relaxation techniques for the gut

How long does IBS last? It is unique to each person but we know that there are many things that can help shorten attacks. Here at Dreem Distillery we have compiled our best tips for IBS sufferers to help an IBS flare up…

Stomach Massage:

The pain that IBS can be significant, it’s vital to incorporate tools of relaxation. Massage, specifically stomach massage can be a powerful tool of relaxation. The aim of stomach massage - an intentional sequence of massage techniques - with IBS, is to treat the cause of symptoms, relax tight muscles, and help to free up arteries that provide the organs with nutrients, aid breathing and ease the movement of food through the intestines. Next time you’re booking a massage, consider a stomach massage. 

Mindful Meditation: 

The connection between the mind and gut is a very real thing, don’t knock meditation, as viable option to soothe IBS flare ups. Several studies have reported that meditation lowered symptoms of IBS flare ups, including pain and bloating. The brain-calming system aims to encourage a clear state of mind, focus on the present and even effective in pain reduction. People, who’ve included meditation as part of their daily routine have sweared it has been life-changing. Try Calm’s meditation app for their easy introduction series to meditation.


IBS flare ups, are more than often triggered by stress, tackling stress is one of the sure ways to ease the painful symptoms. Gentle, low impact exercise such as stretching are amazing at reducing stress, which in turn, ease symptoms of IBS. The gentle movements and deep breathing will work to open up the front of your torso and create more room for digestion. In addition, the process of relaxing and contracting the abdominal muscles, acts as a sort of massage for the internal organs to encourage digestion.

Dreem Distillery Night Drops:

It all comes back to the mind - gut connection. There is a nerve, called the vagus nerve, which directly connects the brainstem to the gut. It means that how you feel can directly impact the gut and in turn, your gut health can influence how you feel. Stress and anxiety are found to be the cause of many gut related issues including IBS. By targeting stress, you’re fighting the issue at its root cause. Studies show that targeting the endocannabinoid system with CBD can provide some ease for IBS patients and their symptoms. Our Dreem Distillery Night Drops, is created with superior high strength board spectrum CBD oil activating the most powerful response to ease an anxious state. As well as the stress reducing effects of our Night Drops, it’s our favourite night time companion to help us sleep through the night, and a good night sleep is essential for gut health. Bad sleep can have several disrupts effects on your gut health and as a result trigger IBS flare ups. In addition, the added peppermint oil in our Night Drops has a soothing effect on IBS symptoms. The active ingredient in peppermint oil is menthol, which has a cooling effect - it dulls pain receptors and relaxes the muscles of the colon.

Warm Bath:

Some times it’s the small pleasures that provide the greatest ease, a warm bath can relieve the body and mind in so many ways. Getting into a warm bath and submerging the body during a flare-up can ease discomfort and pain. According to Harvard Medical School, the addition of heat is an inexpensive and effective way of soothing abdominal pain, the heat works to relax cramping muscles. Try a warm bath with our Into The Deep aromatherapeutic bath oil, containing our potent complex. A triple threat, with high grade broad-spectrum CBD to calm, organic essentials oils to relax and arnica to soothe pain.