Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be a really troublesome, debilitating condition. It’s a common gastrointestinal problem that’s characterized by frequent bloating, pain, cramping, constipation or diarrhea.
IBS happens to be quite stubborn and difficult to treat – some sufferers find themselves of getting no relief, regardless of the remedy that they try.
Could probiotics be used to deal with the IBS symptoms? Numerous beneficial bacteria do assist the functioning of the digestive tract but can they help get rid of IBS altogether?
Probiotics For IBS: An Overview
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the digestive tract. These microorganisms are very important for our health. For a start, they kill pathogens and reduce the colonies of harmful bacteria. In addition, the probiotics play a role in digestion and the absorption of nutrients.
Many physicians already recommend probiotic supplements to their IBS patients. A lack of balance in the gut flora could make the IBS symptoms worse or get them to occur more frequently.
Certain strains of beneficial bacteria have been studied extensively and researchers already have an idea about the manner in which these microorganisms impact the body of IBS sufferers.
One bacterial strain, bifidobacterium infantis, can significantly reduce the abdominal pain, the bloating and the bowel movement issues linked to IBS.
To get the benefits, IBS sufferers have to choose the right probiotic products. The bacterial strains these contain and the concentration of the bacteria will both impact the outcome and determine the effectiveness of the supplement.
Clinical Studies And Evidence
Several clinical studies support claims that probiotics are beneficial for the treatment of IBS.
In 1977, researchers tested a new theory. They believed that IBS could be caused by bacterial overgrowth in the gut. More recent studies have confirmed the findings of those researchers. A large study was carried out and involved 202 IBS sufferers.
The researchers found out that 78 percent of the volunteers had evidence of bad bacteria overgrowth.
Upon the eradication of the harmful bacteria, the vast majority of IBS sufferers reported significant improvement in their condition.
Several other studies since then have been trying to establish the effectiveness of probiotics for the treatment of IBS. A Desbonnet study took in consideration the effectiveness of bifidobacterium infantis supplementation for the reduction of IBS symptoms.
In the study, bifidobacterium infantis supplementation in mice reduced pro-inflammation markers significantly.
Another study tested a combination of probiotics (lactobacillus hevelticus, lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium sp) for the treatment of 68 people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.
The volunteers were divided in two groups – one group got the probiotic and the second one was given a placebo for a period of 12 weeks. There was overall improvement in 80 percent of the IBS sufferers that took probiotics.
They experienced a reduction in bloating, abdominal pain and the diarrhea or constipation that they were suffering from.
Some Of The Best Probiotic Strains For IBS Sufferers
We’ve already touched upon the beneficial qualities of bifidobacterium infantis but several other strains could also prove to be quite beneficial for IBS sufferers.
Bifidobacterium infantis prevents some harmful strains of bacteria from adhering to the intestinal walls. Lactobacillus acidophilus is particularly beneficial for IBS sufferers, as well.
It reduces most of the prominent IBS symptoms like bloating, pain, poor digestion and bowel movement irregularities.
Choosing Probiotic Supplements For IBS
It’s very important to talk to your physician before choosing one probiotic supplement or another. A doctor will carry out a thorough diagnostic process, determining whether you’re actually suffering from IBS.
The symptoms of IBS could resemble those of more serious medical conditions. This is why you need to see a physician before doing anything else.
Once you’ve been properly diagnosed, your doctor will recommend the right probiotic product for your specific issue (such as this or this one). Physicians have a good understanding of bacterial strain and thus, they know which probiotic supplements are superior.