Probiotics in IBS: How Do They Help
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- Health Conditions
- Written by: Rama Manikumar
- Stress in early adulthood, overuse of antibiotics, and food intolerance may cause irritable bowel syndrome.
- Loose motion, bloating and gas, constipation, unexpected weight loss, rectal bleeding, and iron deficiency are major symptoms of IBS.
- Along with medicinal treatment, probiotics shows good result in IBS.
- Probiotics are good bacterial flora that is found naturally in our gut.
- Probiotics may help to balance the healthy levels of good bacteria in the gut.
- Yogurt, cottage cheese, buttermilk, fermented pickles, kimchi, and miso soup are some of the best food containing natural probiotics.
- Probiotics use is safe for your health.
How is your relationship with food? We aren’t just asking about your appetite and food choices, but also about how you feel after eating.
Do you feel bloated, gassy, and uncomfortable after having a meal or severe constipation, or severe diarrhea? If yes, then it’s time to head to your doctor, as you might have what is known as the Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Now you may be wondering what is IBS. Well, IBS is a chronic digestive illness. Read on to know about IBS and how can probiotics help IBS.
What Is IBS?
Irritability Bowel Syndrome is a chronic condition in which the patient experiences a group of digestive symptoms that affects their quality of life and productivity.
About 7% to 21% population is affected by irritable bowel syndrome—more prevalent in women than men.
IBS is characterized by diarrhea, constipation, abdominal bloating, gas, and discomfort. Some people can manage to control symptoms by diet, reducing stress, yoga and meditation, and some lifestyle changes.
There are some environmental and host (patient) factors that can cause IBS.
Environmental factors for IBS
- Psychological stress in early adulthood
- Overuse of antibiotics
- Frequently having infections
- Some food intolerance
Host (Patient) factors for IBS
- Dysbiosis or imbalance in the gut flora
- Changes in the brain-gut relationship
- Changes or increases in the permeability of the intestine
- Increased immune activity in the gut
Risk factors For IBS
Many people experience IBS symptoms regularly. However, if you fit into any of the following, you’re more likely to develop the syndrome:
- Young age: IBS is more common in adults under the age of 50.
- Females: IBS is more common in women. Estrogen therapy, whether used before or after menopause, is also linked to IBS.
- Family History of IBS: Genes, shared variables in a family’s environment, or a combination of genes and environment may all have a role.
- Stress, anxiety: A history of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse could also put you in danger.
Typical symptoms of IBS
- Loose motions or diarrhea
- Bloating and gas
- Abdominal discomfort and pain
- Unexpected weight loss
- Rectal bleeding
- Iron deficiency
Treatment for IBS
There is no permanent treatment for IBS. Some commonly prescribed medicines include antibiotics, antipsychotics, supplements, etc.
We will see how probiotic therapy can be a good option for managing symptoms of IBS.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria and/or yeasts that are found naturally in your body. Bacteria are commonly thought of as a pathogen that makes people sick however, you have two types of bacteria in and on your body at all times: healthy bacteria and bad bacteria.
Healthy bacteria promote our gut health, immunity, and overall wellbeing, whereas bad bacteria can lead to infections and an imbalance of the gut flora.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that assist in keeping your body healthy and functioning properly. These beneficial bacteria aid you in a variety of ways, including fighting off bad bacteria when there is an excess of it and making you feel better.
Probiotics are a part of your microbiome, which is a larger picture of bacteria and your body. The main function of probiotics is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Probiotics help to digest food, fight bad bacteria, and process medicines or drugs consumed by us, improving gut health.
You can increase the number of good bacteria in your body through the food you regularly eat. Some food items have probiotics that help you to maintain balance in your body. Some probiotic foods are yogurt, cottage cheese, buttermilk, fermented pickles, kimchi, miso soup, and sourdough bread.
There are some common types of good bacteria such as Lactobacillus, and Bifidobacterium and one yeast found in probiotics is Saccharomyces boulardii.
How do probiotics help IBS?
IBS symptoms may be exacerbated by gut microbiota imbalances. So, the question is: how are probiotics good for IBS?
Probiotics aid in the maintenance and restoration of our gut flora’s bacterial balance in a variety of ways, including limiting the growth of dangerous bacteria, lowering inflammation, mending gut barrier function, and boosting the immune system.
Our gut has 400- 500 different types or species of bacteria. Some of these bacteria are good and help to balance our gut health.
Probiotics can improve symptoms of IBS
Diarrhea is commonly caused by bad bacteria in the gut. For Example, E.Coli and Clostridium difficile. If the existing gut flora is imbalanced there is a chance for such bad bacteria to grow in the gut.
There is one clinical condition called bacterial influence on gut mobility in which gut mobility increases and causes diarrhea. Probiotics are made up of some combination of good bacteria that fight bad bacteria and maintain a healthy balance in the gut.
Like diarrhea, harmful bacteria can cause clinical conditions like alleviating constipation. How do probiotics help constipation management-you ask? Here’s the answer. Probiotics help to maintain a healthy mucous layer in the wall of the intestine, which helps the stool to move easily in the colon.
Our gut bacteria play important roles in digestion. But when bad bacteria are high in the gut it can cause an imbalance in the digestion process and cause gas, bloating abdominal pain, and discomfort. Probiotics can help to digest your food properly and reduce these symptoms.
There are numerous health benefits to taking a high-quality probiotic supplement, especially probiotics for IBS. It’s important to note that all probiotics are not created with equal effects. In actuality, the term “probiotic” refers to a wide range of bacteria strains and kinds. Consult your physician to determine which probiotic supplement is ideal for you to reap the maximum benefits of probiotics.
We hope that the article has given a satisfactory answer to the question – Are probiotics good for IBS? For more such healthy living tips, and to keep your gut health in top condition, keep reading our blogs on digestive health.
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