IBS and Probiotics

If you are searching for a natural solution to managing your irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, then probiotics should be on your list of products to try. Probiotics are microorganisms that, when taken as a dietary supplement, may be able to reduce or eliminate IBS symptoms like abdominal pain, gas, and incomplete bowel movements.

There are over 400 types of microorganisms that live in the gastrointestinal tract. These organisms perform a variety of functions including keeping potentially harmful bacteria from growing out of control in the gut. One theory regarding the cause of IBS is that there may be an imbalance between good and bad microorganisms in the person’s intestines. Consuming large quantities of probiotics could remedy this problem.

The American Journal of Gastroenterology published a study that looked at the effects the bifidobacterium infantis strain of probiotics had on the gastrointestinal system. After four weeks of testing, researchers found that taking a 1 x 108 c.f.u. dose of the probiotic was more effective than the placebo at alleviating bloating, straining, gas, abdominal pain, and bowel dysfunction in people with IBS. While there are many different strains of probiotics, each study conducted consistently found bifidobacterium infantis to be the best one for gastrointestinal issues.

It is unknown exactly how probiotics alleviate IBS symptoms. One theory is that the microorganisms kill foreign bacteria and keeps bad bacteria from sticking to the walls of the intestines. Since probiotics are not harmful and do not cause any side effects, they have been deemed safe for IBS sufferers to try. However, they may be more effective for people suffering from bouts of diarrhea rather than constipation.

In addition to probiotics more and more people are opting for natural remedies that are found to be effective for Ibs and don’t’ cause side effects.