Does charcoal help?

Hi there, I was diagnosed with IBS around a year ago but have had it for many years, I am condtantly bloated, doesn't help that I'm cabin crew so I'm in different states of pressure all the time, I am trying charcoal capsules at the moment, haven't noticed a change in bloating, but it's only been 3 days, but my stools are quite dark, nearly black, someone said charcoal indicates underlying problems? I just wanted to know as I just thought the charcoal has simply coloured my stools. Also any advice about food/drink to settle ibs would be greatly appriciated.

8 Replies

  • Were you prescribed these or was it a recommendation from someone? I don't take charcoal tablets but I did a quick google and it would seem that it is the tablets making your stools black. According to the information there though, charcoal's side effects can include constipation and diarrhoea so it doesn't sound like a good idea with IBS. Have you tried the low FODMAP diet?

  • I was recommended these by Holland and Barrett staff, I have stopped taking these now and on peppermint tea after every meal, I will try low fodmap although my will power to sticking to certain foods is bad! I will try though as it will help me in the long run, thank you for your help!

  • Peppermint tea is a life saver for me. Have you got info on low FODMAP? the Monash app is excellent and there are a few websites that have essential information too. I've been following low FODMAP for 6 months now and am still re-introducing but can now see what my triggers are. It's a question of finding your individual tolerances as everybody is different

  • Hi

    I have tried charcoal tablets, and they did help with bloating a little, but i found they caused constipation, which started making matters worse. I find peppermint oil capsules and peppermint tea really help, but the thing that really did something for me was switching from white rice, pasta and bread to wholegrain. I can't even tell you the difference its made. I also tend to keep away from stuff like onions, spicy foods, beans... foods that are hard to digest or could irritate your bowel.

    Hope this helps and you get some relief soon, i feel your pain

  • Thanks so much! I will stop the charcoal, I have started using peppermint tea and this helped almost instantly! Thank you for such great advice! :)

  • No problem, I'm glad I could help. Drinking lots of water (or teas) is definitely the way to go! All the best :)

  • I agree that FODMAPS could probably help. You could also try going lactose free and or gluten free. Onions beans peas garlic are all known to affect IBS people adversely. I too found peppermint oil capsules helpful. Switchi g TO whole grains is usually the opposite to what is recommended for IBS as they are less digestible than soluble carbs.

  • HI

    nO EXPERIENCE OF CHARCOAL BUT I FIND WINDEZE help with bloating and buscopan with pain when bloated.try fodmap diet for 2 weeks. you may find an answer.

    i am on a very low fibre diet as fibre makes me bloated and colon spasm.

    i take normacol as fibre substitute which keeps me regular. foods i avoid are onion, mushroom,sultanas and veg fruit peelings. cutting back on sugar n tea cofee helps me too. artifival suga a no no. hard to avoid onion in ready meals but essential for me.

    hope this info helps.


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