IBS and Probiotics – What is Probiotic Good for?

The word of the decade is probiotic – whether it comes from foods or from a laboratory. To understand probiotics is to understand what is probiotic good for and to sum it up, it’s good for overall health because probiotics are incredibly beneficial to gut health. As such probiotic supplements are ideal for irritable bowel syndrome. IBS and probiotics go well together for most sufferers.

Understanding Gut Flora

The digestive tract is complicated for average people to understand, but once understood, even a little, it can help those who suffer from IBS attacks. Trillions of bacteria live in the digestive tract. They are tiny organisms that mostly inhabit the colon in the large intestine. This is what is known as gut flora and it is these bacteria that keep your health in check. With over 1000 kinds of bacteria in the large intestine, they help to protect you from infections caused by bad bacteria. As such, they keep the immune system healthy, even producing various substances that provide the body with essential vitamins. Bacteria that causes infection are known as pathogens.

Gut Flora and IBS

The exact role bacteria may have in IBS is still not known. Whether or not these effects come about through subtle and perhaps localized changes in the number or type of bacteria in the colon and/or small intestine, it is evident that manipulation of the flora, whether through the administration of antibiotics or probiotics, deserves further attention in IBS. More medical research is needed. To date, studies have shown that the best probiotic for IBS is Bifidobacterium infantis, where sufferers have shown improvement in their symptoms.

IBS and Probiotics

Evidence exists that show that probiotics help with IBS symptoms. Probiotics are bacteria, or living microorganisms. But, these are the good bacteria the body needs for promoting a healthy gut.
IBS and Probiotics

Treating IBS with Probiotics

Probiotics are friendly bacteria.

Taking probiotics regularly may reduce IBS symptoms by altering the gut bacteria.[1] With probiotics that secrete short fatty acids which result in decreasing the production of bactericidal proteins and luminal ph. They also could improve bowel movements caused by bowel dysmotility.

The beneficial effects of probiotics for IBS include the suppression of growth of pathogenic bacteria, while altering the immune activity of the person through the barrier function improvement in the digestive tract.  Just altering the gut bacteria with probiotics can bring positive results and relieve IBS symptoms. The best probiotics to treat IBS contain Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium and these will possibly bring relief from various IBS symptoms, such as constipation, gas, and bloating.

Other Ways to Treat IBS at Home

In addition to introducing probiotics to your diet, you could also take digestive enzimes. One of the biggest problems that IBS sufferers complain about is trouble with digesting. Often, this leads people to taking other medications, like antacids, PPIs, and the like. While these can bring relief to some extent, people need to recognize the root causes and make compromises and lifestyle changes. Digestive enzymes help you digest in a more natural way, but never stop taking medication prescribed by a doctor on your own. It is imperative to discuss the issue in detail and develop a plan to improve your condition.

Read also: Essential Oils for IBS Treatment

Some lifestyle changes that can help treat IBS include changes to your diet. Keep a log that shows, in detail, what you eat and drink each day, and when and if you experience and IBS attack. Even when starting probiotics, be sure to track your progress with the log. From there, begin to eliminate suspicious foods and drinks until you determine the culprit. It could take a while, but it will be worth it in the end. Also, IBS and smoking don’t go well together. We all know the harmful effects of tobacco, but smoking with IBS just worsens symptoms.

[1] NCBI

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