IBS Network
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Charcoal tablets

Hi everyone, hope your all having a good day. Just a quick question, went to doctors yesterday as I have been having a massive flare up of, well I don't know what. But doctors has changed my meds which I have been on for about 4 years and suggested I start taking charcoal tablets, which I duely got and started taking, but what do they do????, I know I've been very bloated and having a lot of abdominal pain. No gas or different bowel movements. So I'm a bit confused. Any help would be appreciated from my forum friends. Thankyou

6 Replies

Morning. I am not completely sure what they do but I do know it sorts out some sort of deficiency in the bowl. I know a lot of dogs benefit from taking them and they are very cheap in pet shops. I am not in any way comparing you to an animal so please do not be offended. It has something to do with the lining of the intestines and so would make sense for you to be told to take them. Hope they work for you.


Charcoal gets rid of bloating and gas as it absorbs it and passes through system. Look up on Internet and you will get more info.


I've heard that's a myth. It works in a power station but not in intestines. Just another way of parting us from our cash. I'd be interested to see a definitive scientific answer.

Made zero difference to my smelly dog, so it must have some other benefit.

I used to eat charcoal bonio as a kid :P (ok, still am one)


Hello, it would be good to hear how you get on with those.


I had the same experience months back, was told by my herbalist to take charcoal tablets too, but when I mentioned to my doctor she said they work if you have problems with loose poo not constipation. What they do is put a lining on your stomach and help with excess acid

i think conventional doctors won't recommend charcoal tablets. Be warned they send your tongue black and your poo! Good luck!


Charcoal is an historic remedy for treating stomach upsets. Charcoal is able to bind toxins that cause you to feel unwell and I've found them really effective when I have been sick (stomach bugs and food poisoning). It is for this reason they suggest you don't take them if you're on some medication as it can bind to the medicine as well.

It is reasoned that charcoal might bind some of the chemicals that cause the odour in gas, or provide a surface for gas bubbles to form around (this is the same way other anti-flatulence drugs work) but there has been no substantive scientific evidence to prove this and NICE doesn't specifically recommend charcoal as a treatment for IBS.

From personal experience, while it really works wonders with food poisoning and stomach bugs, it made me constipated which consequently made my wind worse.


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