Although I was never officially diagnosed as having irritable bowel or ulcerative colitis for years I had terrible gas, bloating, alternating diarrhea and constipation. I had what the doctors called urgency too, meaning when I had to go, it was immediate. I lived in panic I wouldn't make it in time. At my very worst, I had explosions of blood and mucous that were so frightening I thought I was dying.
At first, the colorectal specialist thought I'd picked up an infection while traveling and put me on two heavy duty courses of multiple antibiotics. Well, needless to say, that made my condition worse, I assume wiping out any good bacteria I had working for me in my intestinal track. Although I went for a complete colonscopy the colorectal specialist couldn't identify the source of my difficulties.
Thinking I had no where to go but up I was open to any and all ideas. A friend consulted her massage therapist and natural healing colleagues on my behalf. They recommended I take the herbs slippery elm (to lubricate the intestinal lining) and marshmallow root (to get waste to hold together). I used tinctures, just a few drops of each mixed with warm water. They also made diet recommendations. No bran - too abrasive, but lots of cellulose fiber. I ate tons of winter squash (like butternut), broccoli stalks, carrots and short grain brown rice. When I felt I needed more, I supplemented my diet with Citrucel. The herbs and the dietary changes made a huge improvement. They made my stools bulky and smooth so the lining of my intestines could relax.
My friend, a massage therapist, also gave me postures or positions to sit in to allow my intestines to open. That really work too. It felt like my intestines were tied up in knots and it felt like they opened as I heard gurgling sounds and gas bubbles released.
See my additional post about how Yoga helped my digestion too