IBS is one of the most common stomach conditions in Western society, with one in five people said to suffer from the condition at some point during their life. Probiotics are a popular method for the treatment and management of the condition. Read on to find out what IBS is and how you can use high quality probiotics to alleviate your symptoms and help the resumption of normal gut function.
What will you find in this article?
- 1 What is IBS?
- 2 An Introduction to Probiotics
- 3 Probiotics as a Treatment for IBS
- 4 Which Symptoms of IBS can Probiotics Help to Treat?
- 5 How do the Best Probiotics for IBS Actually Help?
- 6 How to Take Probiotics for IBS
- 7 The Best Probiotic Brands for IBS
- 8 How to Treat Yeast Infections, Candida and IBS the Natural Way
- 9 Beneficial Properties of Probiotics for IBS
- 10 Treating IBS and Other Digestive Issues
- 11 Further Reading
What is IBS?
IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is a long-term condition that affects the gut and digestive system. The symptoms vary greatly between individuals, but they can usually include bloating, wind, constipation, diarrhoea and stomach cramps. Some people will only suffer mild symptoms whereas more serious cases can require medical intervention.
The symptoms will often come and go in phases, lasting anywhere from a day to several months. They usually become apparent to individuals in their 20s and can last for life. Often particular foods trigger a reaction, and as with many health problems IBS can be made worse by constant stress.
An Introduction to Probiotics
Probiotics are supplements packed full of “friendly” gut bacteria. There are millions of bacteria living inside our large intestines and these supplements ensure we maintain a healthy balance while keeping the numbers of harmful bacteria in check. Unsurprisingly this means that the best probiotics can help to alleviate many of the symptoms of IBS and prevent flare ups over the long term.
Probiotics can be found in specially formulated foods, but they are most commonly taken through supplements. These are often in the form of specially designed capsules that safely transport the bacteria to your intestine without the risk of damage from your stomach acid. There are plenty of top rated probiotic supplement brands with products specially designed to treat IBS – see the bottom of this article for a list of ten of the best.
Probiotics as a Treatment for IBS
There is no known cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome but there are certain ways to alleviate the symptoms and reduce pain or discomfort. Avoiding trigger foods is the simplest option, but it is not always clear what sets off IBS and for many people it is not a specific type of food that causes symptoms to show.
In these cases, top rated probiotics provide an inexpensive and effective option for managing IBS symptoms. These supplements are taken on a daily basis and are designed to promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria that reduces sensitivity and encourages healthy bowel movements.
To date, most research has focused on the positive effects of a particular probiotic named Bifidobacterium infantis. This friendly bacteria is found in most top rated probiotic brands and has been proven through clinical trials to have a beneficial effect on IBS – mainly by improving the symptoms of excess gas and bloating.
Which Symptoms of IBS can Probiotics Help to Treat?
Different studies have shown a variety of positive effects from probiotics on the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. They include:
- Decreased bloating
- Normal and regular bowel movements
- Reduced pain in the abdomen
- Less wind and flatulence.
How do the Best Probiotics for IBS Actually Help?
Research suggests that regularly taking probiotic supplements will help to improve the symptoms of IBS by tackling a variety of different problems.
Firstly, probiotics reduce the number of unfriendly bacteria in the gut. These bacteria can be responsible for a range of painful or uncomfortable digestive problems, not just those that we associate with IBS. High quality probiotics have also been shown to wipe out small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), another issue that can contribute to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Another way that probiotics can help IBS sufferers is the positive effect they have on the gut lining. Regularly taking friendly probiotics has been shown to strengthen the lining of the intestine while also helping to reduce intestinal permeability (more commonly known as leaky gut).
Probiotics will also help to reduce discomfort in the abdomen by reducing visceral hypersensitivity. Pain can also be managed by the therapeutic effects of probiotics on nerve endings found along the lining of the intestine.
How to Take Probiotics for IBS
Guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says that if you want to try probiotics for IBS, for the best results you should take the supplements for at least four weeks at the manufacturer’s recommended dose.
It is a good idea to keep a written log of your symptoms while you are taking probiotics. This will help you to gauge which particular supplements are working effectively – remember that everyone’s natural combination of gut bacteria is different, and so what works well for others may not necessarily work well for you.
The Best Probiotic Brands for IBS
Some of the best probiotics brands for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome are:
- Elixa Probiotic – our Top Rated Probiotic for IBS
- Renew Life
- Garden of Life Whole Food
- Dr Formulated by Dr Perlmutter
- Prescript Assist
- Mega Spore
- Klaire Labs
- Bifido Maximus by The Gut Institute
- Designs for Health
How to Treat Yeast Infections, Candida and IBS the Natural Way
The human digestive system benefits immensely from the use of probiotic IBS supplements. These provide the tiny organisms that help to promote good intestinal health. They also assist with proper balance within the intestines.
You don’t have to take probiotics in supplement form to get these good bacteria into your system though. You can also get it from certain foods like kefir, yogurt, kimchee and sauerkraut.
The main problem with food is that you can never be too sure how much of the good bacteria you’re getting into your system from diet alone. This is obviously not a problem with quality supplements forms. You also need to consume the same foods on a regular basis for them to be effective. This is another reason why supplements are becoming the popular option for people of all ages.
Beneficial Properties of Probiotics for IBS
Supplemental probiotics for IBS help to promote cleansing of the intestinal systems. They work in much the same way as naturally occurring probiotics do.
Once you restore the balance of good bacteria to bad, you get all kinds of great health benefits. To start with, your body no longer develops harmful microorganisms like Candida and IBS.
The best probiotics for IBS come in liquid, tablet, powder and capsule form. For the best outcome, you need to take these supplements on an empty stomach, before a meal. The suggestion is to leave a gap of at least 20 minutes to an hour to let the supplements absorb into your system. If you eat any sooner than 20 minutes after taking the supplements, you will lose some of the benefits.
Take some time to read a few of the probiotic for IBS reviews online, you will find plenty of positive feedback. In fact, in the vast majority of cases, the testimonials are glowing.
Treating IBS and Other Digestive Issues
Studies have shown how certain probiotic supplements are linked to alleviating various ailments. This includes things like chronic IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and candida. There is also evidence that suggests probiotics help to reduce stress levels.
An Irish study group found Bifidobacterium infantis to be a probiotic bacterium which inhabits the intestines of both infants and adults. Bifidobacterium infantis is quite good at minimizing IBS effects. In fact, these dietary supplements are more effective than those FDA approved drugs. At least in most cases they are.
The ill effects related to Candida can respond well when treated with probiotic supplements. For Candida, probiotic acidophilus supplements are the recommended choice. These supplements are useful for replenishing the microflora within the bowel.
Using vaginal creams and antibiotics are what sometimes destroy this microflora. Probiotic acidophilus enhances the immune system and cuts down the duration of Candida overgrowth.
There are several probiotic types available on the market. Not all probiotic supplements are equal though, and nor do they all serve the same purpose. It’s important to know how to read the labels and become familiar with the various products. If you need probiotics for IBS, it’s imperative that you come away with the right supplement from a quality brand.