Do Probiotics Help With IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)?
- Evidence suggests that probiotic supplementation may help alleviate the symptoms of IBS, as a meta-analysis of 43 randomized controlled trials found. (1)
- In addition, a review of 35 randomized controlled trials identified that probiotics could help reduce abdominal aches and swelling in people with IBS. (2)
- Finally, an experiment with 362 adults revealed that a particular blend of probiotic strains had a positive effect on overall IBS symptoms when compared to a placebo. (3)
Experiencing abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea? You may be one of the up to 15 percent of the population suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a chronic digestive issue for which the cause is still yet to be determined. Fortunately, recent studies have suggested that probiotics may be able to provide relief for those with IBS - these beneficial bacteria living in the gut may be able to reduce inflammation and improve symptoms. To gain a better understanding of IBS, how probiotics may be able to help, and how to incorporate them into your diet, keep reading! Hopefully, with a little knowledge and a probiotic-rich diet, you'll be able to manage your IBS symptoms and improve your digestive health. So, could probiotics really be the answer to IBS? Keep reading to find out!
What is IBS and Its Symptoms?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a long-term gastrointestinal condition that influences the digestive tract. It is identified by abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, constipation, and/or diarrhea. Manifestations of IBS can differ from person to person and can be moderate or extreme. Common signs and symptoms of IBS include:
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Excessive gas
- Loss of appetite
IBS is a common issue and impacts up to 15% of the population. There is no known cause of IBS, however it is thought to be brought about by a mix of elements such as diet, stress, and heredity. So, will probiotics help with IBS?
What are Probiotics and Their Benefits?
Beneficial bacteria called probiotics live in the gut and play a role in keeping the digestive system balanced by assisting with the ratio of good and bad bacteria. Those same probiotics can be helpful in dealing with digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, and bloating, in addition to boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and helping to stabilize the microbial population in the gut.
Probiotics and IBS
Have you ever asked yourself if probiotics can help with IBS? Well, recent studies have indicated that probiotics may be beneficial in reducing IBS symptoms. In one particular experiment, individuals with IBS were given either a probiotic supplement or a placebo for 10 weeks. The results showed that the participants who ingested the probiotic supplement experienced a noteworthy decline in their IBS symptoms when compared to the placebo group.
Other studies have found that probiotics can reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, which may lead to a decline in IBS symptoms. In another experiment, the participants with IBS were provided either a probiotic or a placebo for 8 weeks. Those who took the probiotic supplement experienced a decrease in inflammation which was linked to an improvement of IBS symptoms.
Do Probiotics Help With IBS?
Studies have indicated that probiotics can be beneficial in dealing with IBS-related issues. It can lessen inflammation and assist in maintaining the ideal proportion of good and bad bacteria in the digestive system, thereby helping to reduce tummy aches and other IBS-related signs. It is noteworthy, though, that not all probiotics are equal. Different varieties have varying impacts on the body, so it is essential to locate the one that would be most suitable for one's needs.
Are Probiotics Good For IBS-C?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C) is a widespread form of IBS and is usually identified by abdominal discomfort, bloating, constipation, and other signs. Research has indicated that certain probiotics may be useful in alleviating the symptoms of IBS-C. In a study, some participants with IBS-C were given a probiotic supplement for 8 weeks, while the others were given a placebo. The individuals who took the probiotic saw a major decrease in their IBS-C symptoms as compared to those who were in the placebo group.
Types of Probiotics That Help With IBS
Probiotics come in a variety of forms, but not all of them are beneficial for those with IBS. The most studied strains when it comes to IBS are:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Bifidobacterium longum
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Studies have indicated that these particular probiotic strains may help lessen inflammation and make IBS symptoms more manageable.
How to Incorporate Probiotics Into Your Diet
Incorporating probiotics into your diet is easy and can help improve your digestive health. Here are some ways to include probiotics in your diet:
- Eat probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso
- Take a probiotic supplement
- Drink fermented beverages like kombucha
- Eat prebiotic-rich foods such as onions, garlic, asparagus, and bananas
Final Thoughts on Probiotics and IBS
Can Probiotics help with IBS? Well, it turns out, the answer is yes! Research has demonstrated that Probiotics can be advantageous for people with IBS as they can reduce inflammation, aid in maintaining a balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, and in general, improve IBS symptoms. Nevertheless, it is essential to be aware that not all Probiotics are the same. Different Probiotic strains have different impacts on the body, so it is crucial to find the perfect one for you.
A lot of people (up to 15%) suffer from IBS, which is a digestive disorder. Fortunately, there are ways to ease its symptoms and enhance your digestive wellbeing. Probiotics, which are helpful bacteria, can be beneficial in tackling IBS. These microorganisms can diminish inflammation, sustain the ratio of good and bad bacteria in the gut, and diminish abdominal discomforts and other IBS-related issues. Adding probiotics to your diet is effortless and can help improve your digestive health. By understanding IBS and eating a diet enriched with probiotics, you can control its symptoms and promote your digestive health. We hope this article was useful in addressing the question: Will a probiotic help with IBS?
Enjoy reading? Check out this related article: The Benefits of Taking a Daily Probiotic
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- Derwa Y, Gracie DJ, Hamlin PJ, et al. Systematic review with meta-analysis: the efficacy of probiotics in inflammatory bowel disease. PubMed Central. Published 2018. Accessed March 7, 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6044378/
- Zhang Y, Li L, Guo C, et al. Probiotics for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Systematic Review. PubMed Central. Published 2019. Accessed March 7, 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6562546/
- Indrio F, Di Mauro A, Riezzo G, et al. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of Lactobacillus reuteri for chronic functional abdominal pain in children. PubMed. Published 2015. Accessed March 7, 2023. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25565493/