Can Probiotics Help with IBS?

You may have heard the word probiotics mentioned when discussing a healthy lifestyle. Firstly, let’s get into what probiotics are. 

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that help to balance our gut microbiome. They add good bacteria to our gastrointestinal tract, ensuring our gut functions well.

In a functioning gut, we have over a hundred trillion good bacteria, which far outweighs how many bad bacteria are in there. Probiotics are consumed in certain foods in our diet or can be taken as dietary supplements to help the gut function well - restoring and enhancing gut health. 

What Is The Gastrointestinal Tract?

It is the digestive system - it flows right from our mouths to the anus. It is made up of “hollow organs”, which are the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine and anus.1

It also contains “solid organs, " the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.1 It is the system in our body that breaks down food, takes the nutrients and expels the useless stuff from our body when we go to the toilet.

These separate parts of the gastrointestinal tract work together to keep our bodies working harmoniously. When we suffer from conditions like IBS, the gastrointestinal tract has issues working well.

What Is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a super common condition that impacts our digestive systems. It is thought that around 11% of the global population have IBS, with only 30% of those seeking a diagnosis and help from medical professionals.2

Studies suggest that more women suffer from IBS than men, and symptoms of depression, anxiety, fatigue and lower quality of life are more prevalent for women with IBS3 

There are 3 main types of IBS, and which type you have is based on the type of bowel movements you are experiencing that is abnormal. The types are:4-

  • IBS with constipation (IBS-C)
  • IBS with diarrhoea (IBS-D)
  • IBS with mixed bowel habits (IBS-M)

IBS symptoms can be stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation. These aren’t constant but may last days, weeks or months and will come and go over your lifetime, as IBS is usually a lifelong condition.5 The stomach cramps can feel like twisting or a spasm in your lower torso, which can be incredibly painful.

Unfortunately, there is no known cause of IBS or cure. IBS has been linked to factors such as oversensitive nerves in your gut, stress, a history of abuse and a family history of IBS. Although there is no cure, luckily, there are things you can do to relieve symptoms.

What Can I Do To Help IBS Symptoms?

Well, although more research is needed, taking probiotics is suggested to have an impact on relieving symptoms of IBS. 

Probiotics from the Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and Saccharomyces families, in particular, have been shown sometimes to relieve IBS symptoms such as bloating, pain, constipation and diarrhoea.6 These probiotics can be found in daily supplements or food sources. 

Excellent food sources of probiotics are yoghurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi and other fermented foods.7 Fermented kinds of cheese such as cheddar8 and mozzarella9 are also excellent sources of probiotics. 

The Gut Co

At The Gut Co, we have created a daily supplement called “Gut Care” containing probiotics that can positively impact the symptoms associated with IBS. 

Gut Care contains probiotics Synbio, Saccharomyces Boulardii SP92 and Lactobacillus Rhamnosus CRL1505 - these are live bacteria and yeast that help our guts to be healthy and function well.

Taking Gut Care daily can improve bowel function and ease digestive discomfort by balancing out the good and bad bacteria and promoting the reproduction of the good stuff. 

Final Thoughts

Although it’s clear more research is needed into IBS and Probiotics, the link between probiotics reducing the severity of symptoms from IBS is promising. Including probiotics in your daily life could improve the quality of your life by helping your gut to function well.

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