Here's a gutsy, nutritional, low sunlight kind of blog post to suit our post-holiday season. First the gutsy bit. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) - with its characteristic symptoms of abdominal pain, altered bowel habit, and possibly bloating - is very common, affecting about 15% of the population. Ford et al systematically reviewed all research on treating IBS with fibre, antispasmodics, or peppermint oil. Fibre was some use, but only in the form of ispaghula (UK Fybogel, Isogel). The antispasmodics otilonium and hysocine (UK Buscopan) seemed also to be of help. But what attracted me to the study was the finding that most helpful of the three treatments seemed to be the old-fashioned remedy of taking peppermint oil.