Can The Best Probiotics Really Help With IBS And Digestive Health Issues?

Digestive Health Issues

November 9th, 2022   |   Updated on January 23rd, 2023

Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affecting your quality of life? IBS affects around one in every five people at some stage. IBS is a chronic disease characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort.

The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but the triggers include oversensitivity, stress, infections, and certain foods.

While there is no cure for IBS, probiotics can ease and reduce symptom flare-ups. Probiotics are live bacteria or yeast found in foods and supplements.

A large quantity can assist your digestive system by strengthening the intestinal barrier that keeps harmful organisms out.

Probiotics will also lessen the inflammation in your gut and support your immune system. Read on to discover how probiotics can help with IBS and digestive health issues.

  • How Do Probiotics Treat IBS? Research suggests that probiotics can treat and manage IBS. The digestive system has beneficial bacteria called gut flora. However, the gut flora may sometimes become imbalanced for various reasons, allowing harmful bacteria to attack your digestive system. Probiotics can promote your health by balancing gut flora. IBS lowers the amounts of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, increasing the levels of harmful streptococcus and Clostridium. People with IBS experience bacteria overgrowth in their small intestines, leading to many symptoms. Probiotics can improve IBS symptoms by;
    • Inhibit the growth of disease-causing bacteria
    • Fight inflammation
    • Slow down bowel movements
    • Reduce gas production
    • Reduce gut sensitivity and build-up
    • Enhance the immune system’s barrier functions

The term “probiotic” covers different strains and types of bacteria and yeasts. So, not all probiotics are alike, and the health effects may vary depending on the type.

  • Improving IBS Symptoms. Studies show that specific probiotics have the potential to target some symptoms. One research suggested that the probiotic L. Plantarum improved pain and bloating symptoms. A four-strain probiotic called Symprove reduced the severity of overall symptoms after 12 weeks of treatment. These studies prove that probiotics are a promising solution to IBS. However, there is some inconsistency between studies. So, more research is required to confirm the results. Preliminary research has found ten probiotic strains that may improve the overall symptoms.
  • Diarrhea. Many IBS patients experience the diarrhea-predominant form. Studies show that the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii improves bowel habits and decreases inflammation. Another probiotic strain, VSL#3, slowed down the bowels and reduced gas. However, it did not improve bowel movement for people with diarrhea-predominant. Using B. coagulans and S. boulardii may have a positive effect, but more research is needed.
  • Constipation. This is the most common form of IBS and affects about half of all people with IBS. Research on constipation-predominant IBS has been conducted to determine whether probiotics can increase the frequency of bowel movements and alleviate associated symptoms. Treatment with L. acidophilus, L. reuteri, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus and L. lactis., resulted in frequent bowel movements and improved consistency. Another study used probiotic B. lactis and inulin on children with IBS. The treatment reduced constipation, bloating, and feelings of fullness. However, inulin may worsen the situation in some patients with IBS. S. cerevisiae also reduces pain and bloating symptoms.
  • Who is at risk of IBS? IBS is more common in women than in men. However, genetics can also play a role. Having a family member with IBS, a history of stress or trauma, and severe infections in your digestive tract can increase your chances of having IBS. A doctor will conduct many tests to diagnose IBS. Some of these tests will eliminate other conditions. The doctor will ask about your diet and family medical history and look at other patterns. Your doctor will use diagnostic processes like blood testing, stool sample, ex-ray, colonoscopy, CT scans, and lactose breath tests.
  • IBS and Your Diet. IBS trigger symptoms and severity are different for each person. Some foods can cause the symptoms to worsen. So, look at your diet and choose the most effective probiotic supplement. Taking lots of fruits, vegetables, and plenty of water can make a difference. If you are unsure whether certain foods worsen your symptoms, keep a diary and note when symptoms occur after you eat certain foods. Probiotic-rich foods include live yogurt, fermented tea, Korean pickled cabbage, and fermented milk.

Research on IBS shows that probiotics promise to manage the condition. However, more studies are needed to ascertain their effectiveness.

Probiotics are safe and an affordable treatment option for IBS. However, always select a probiotic with research supporting it, choose the strain that works with your issues, and use the recommended dosage. Take your time to select the best probiotic supplement that suits your needs.

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