Can Probiotics Help My IBS?

When most people hear the word bacteria, they tend to associate it with something negative…something that makes people sick. What they don’t realize is that there are both good bacteria and bad bacteria. Some studies are indicating that patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can greatly benefit from taking probiotics, which introduce good bacteria into the digestive system.

Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria and work in tandem with other naturally occurring bacteria in the gut. The two must have a proper balance in order for the bowels and intestinal tract to function well. When the “unfriendly” bacteria is found in larger quantities, inflammation may occur, worsening IBS symptoms.

Regularly taking probiotics may be a simple step in optimizing the health of the gut, thus reducing IBS symptoms. A recent study that combined taking probiotics and monitoring with an MRI showed that patients with IBS reported an overall improvement in depression, GI symptoms and quality of life. So not only did probiotics assist in proper digestive health, it also had the side benefit of helping patients function better in their day to day life.

Probiotics come in different forms, so accessing them and adding them to your diet can be pretty simple. Certain foods that have undergone fermentation contain probiotics – foods like yogurt, traditionally prepared sauerkraut, kimchi (a Korean vegetable dish), soft cheeses, kefir, fortified milks, and many others. They are also available as supplements in the form of pills, capsules, or powders.

It’s very important to see your gastroenterologist if you suspect you may have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS can be very frustrating and the doctors at TDDC are here to help you manage it. Find a location  near you today!