The Real Deal With Ibs
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common, lifelong health condition that affects one in 6 Australians. The most common symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, acid reflux, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, and gas.
What exactly causes IBS is still unknown, but experts suggest it may involve bacterial overgrowth. A study conducted in 2014 showed that over 80% of IBS patients have bacterial overgrowth in their small intestines, which may be the culprit behind their symptoms.
What About Kijimea And Saccharomyces Boulardii
Kijimea is a popular IBS probiotic pill in the US.
It contains a strain of bacteria called Bifidobacterium bifidum MIMB75 and is the only product with this strain.
Theres been one clinical trial using this strain, which included 122 patients. After 4 weeks, 47% of those taking B. bifidum MIMB75 reported significant improvements in pain, bloating, urgency and digestive disorders . Whereas 11% of patients taking the placebo pill reported benefits .
So Kijimea certainly shows some potential, but the science supporting it is thin. The popularity likely comes from the fact it is easily and has great user reviews.
Nhs Recommends Probiotics For Ibs
The NHS includes the use of probiotics as part of tips recommended to help relieve IBS symptoms23.
This is a big milestone in the world of probiotics because, although probiotics are routinely prescribed in many European hospitals, it wasnt always part of the NHS recommendations. The NICE guidelines , which provides evidence-based guidelines/framework that many medical and health care professionals work within, now recommends that probiotics can be used for at least 4 weeks for managing IBS related symptoms24.
The NHS website states that:;“Probiotics may help reduce bloating and flatulence in some people with IBS.”
The inclusion of probiotics for IBS relief was due to the result of a systematic review by Moayyedi et al., published in 2010, which concluded that probiotics were effective in the management of IBS25.
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Low Fodmap And Gluten Free Diets
Roughly 50% of patients with IBS show significant symptom relief when adhering to a low FODMAP diet. However, the power of this diet can be harnessed even further when a patient is guided by a dietitian trained in this specific diet.
Its important to remember that while this eating plan involves changes to nutrition and lifestyle, this is not a forever diet. It is comprised of three specific phases, with the first restrictive phase lasting for two to six weeks. During this period, patients can assess whether or not their bodies are responding to the diet in a positive way.
Following a gluten-free diet is important for patients with celiac disease, but many other individuals without the disease can also have GI symptoms related to gluten.
However, its important to acknowledge that some of these symptoms may not actually stem directly from gluten, but instead, from components of wheat or fructans
If an individual has a desire to start dietary therapy, they should discuss the options with their health care provider, especially given the risks for nutrient deficiencies on restrictive diets.
Current Treatments For Ibs
There are currently a number of options available to treat IBS symptoms. The problem with medications and drugs is that people experience negative side effects. People face having to decide which symptoms are worse; those from IBS or those from the medications.
Laxatives: specifically used to treat constipation and must be used under direction from a physician.
Bulking agents: can help with stool passage but also have been known to worsen symptoms.
Anticholinergics: usually helpful when symptoms appear right after eating, but relief is limited.
Anti-diarrheal agents: these can be helpful in relieving diarrhea but can have worse side effects.
Anti-depressants: these are used to minimize gut-brain communications, by reducing the pain signals sent from the gut.
We have a symbiotic relationship with our intestinal flora and when their composition is compromised, we are exposed to health risks and disease. Our reliance on antibiotics has been identified as causing serious problems.
We take medications to help prevent diseases and kill off pathogenic bacterial strains that have invaded our body. The problem lies in the fact that these medications also kill off the bacteria that we rely on. ;
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Do Probiotics Help Ibs
The ;jurys still out on whether or not probiotics are helpful for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but a lot of the research did have one thing in common: At the very least, probiotics arent harmful! Even if there isnt enough evidence in the medical community regarding the benefits of probiotics for IBS, many healthcare professionals are willing to give it a try.
Because there are so many varieties of probiotics and several types of IBS, the answer could be finding the right combination of both.
The Best Probiotic Supplements For Ibs
Robert Burakoff, MD, MPH, is board-certified in gastroentrology. He is the vice chair for ambulatory services for the department of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, where he is also a professor. He was the founding editor and co-editor in chief of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
The role of gut bacteria in the onset and maintenance of irritable bowel syndrome is a compelling topic for scientists. While the research is still limited, probiotic supplements are being studied around the world to see if they have the potential to reduce IBS symptoms.
Your large intestine is filled with thousands of strains of bacteria, often referred to as the gut flora. Having a favorable balance in your intestinal microbiome is known to help your body function optimally and stay healthy.
Probiotics are sometimes called “friendly” bacteria. It’s believed that they support the immune and digestive system by;keeping “unfriendly” gut bacteria in check. When unfriendly bacteria predominate , it’s believed that inflammation develops and may cause physical symptoms.
Taking a probiotic supplement may help maintain higher levels of helpful bacteria in the gut while reducing levels of unhelpful bacteria. If you have IBS, having balanced gut flora may help manage your symptoms.
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Probiotics May Relieve Symptoms Of Ibs
The American College of Gastroenterology conducted a meta-analysis of more than 30 studies, which found that probiotics may improve overall symptoms, as well as bloating and flatulence, in people with IBS. However, the overall quality of evidence of studies included in the meta-analysis was low, and specific recommendations regarding use of probiotics for IBS remained unclear.
The probiotic strain Bifidobacterium bifidum MIMBb75 has been reported to adhere particularly well to intestinal cells, and therefore may have an advantage in altering the intestinal microbiota and increasing the intestinal barrier.
In a clinical trial published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, once-daily Bifidobacterium bifidum MIMBb75 significantly improved overall IBS symptoms, as well as individual IBS symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, and fecal urgency.
The 3 Best Probiotics For Ibs
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Before adding anything new to your supplement routine you should check with your healthcare professional. But if your doctor decides that probiotics are right for you, the best probiotics for IBS could help alleviate uncomfortable symptoms that you may be struggling with.
Along with a “probiotic rich-diet,” Dr. Smith explains, probiotics can help alleviate several uncomfortable IBS symptoms, like gas, bloating, and constipation as, “Probiotics appear to help rebalance the gut’s bacterial environment or microflora which can alleviate some of the symptoms.â
Dr. Smith’s recommendation is a probiotic supplement with eight or more strains where Dr. Pedre advises looking for a multi-strain probiotic with upwards of five strains; though he qualifies this isn’t a requirement for probiotics to relieve or resolve IBS symptoms.
Probiotics can be a great dietary supplement since they support beneficial gut bacteria growth, but again you should always consult medical advice before introducing any supplement into your diet or IBS management regimen, as their effects on IBS symptoms may vary.
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The Microbiome & Managing Ibs
There is no cure for IBS, but there are things you can do to ease the severity and duration of your symptoms. When you have an imbalance in your guts microbiome, it can trigger IBS symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, gas, constipation and/or diarrhea. Culturelle IBS Complete Support is a medical food that goes beyond symptom relief to help at the source of your issues by using HMO bioactive prebiotics to selectively feed good bacteria. Restoring the balance of bacteria in the gut microbiome may help by strengthening the gut barrier which may improve the health of your gut and balance your digestive system.
Saccharomyces Boulardii And Saccharomyces Cerevisiae
Saccharomyces is a type of non-pathogenic yeast.
The two main species used as probiotics are;Saccharomyces;boulardii and;Saccharomyces cerevisiae .
Research indicates that Saccharomyces;boulardii is;an effective treatment for;antibiotic-associated diarrhea and travellers diarrhea. However, the evidence for its use in IBS or IBD treatment is still in its infancy and is not recommended over the strains mentioned above .
I only found one human clinical trial investigating;Saccharomyces cerevisiae on IBS patients.
In this study 86 patients took;Saccharomyces cerevisiae for 8 weeks while the other 93 patients took a placebo pill. Results showed that 63% of the probiotic group reported an improvement in abdominal pain vs 47% in the placebo group in the last 4 weeks of treatment. Not exactly an overwhelming result .
There were no other differences between the groups, indicating that;Saccharomyces cerevisiae is not very effective.
Summary: Kijimea is a popular probiotic supplement that is easily available on Amazon. Only one human trial has found it to be effective compared to placebo pills.;Saccharomyces;boulardii appears effective for treating certain types of diarrhea, but not so much for IBS.;Saccharomyces cerevisiae does not seem very useful for IBS.
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What Other Supplements Should I Take For Ibs
The best supplements to take in addition to probiotics are digestive enzymes, turmeric, ginger, and magnesium.
Digestive enzymes help you digest your food better by breaking the protein down into smaller pieces for easy digestion.
Turmeric and ginger reduce inflammation while providing various other health benefits like soothing joint pain and menstrual cramps.
Magnesium promotes regular bowel movements, which can relieve constipation-related discomfort as well as promote better sleep.
Are Probiotics Good For Gas
Excess gas production can result in bloating, discomfort and flatulence. It can be a result of the fermentation process by bacteria in your gut whereby gases are released.;
Probiotics may therefore help to reduce gas and flatulence in the same way that they reduce bloating.;
Gas may also be an initial side effect of taking a probiotic, but this should settle.
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Not All Probiotics Are The Same When It Comes To Ibs
A word of caution when it comes to treating IBS with probiotics is that not all probiotics are the same. The word probiotics covers a lot of different types and strains of yeasts and bacteria. Because of this, the health benefits are going to differ depending on the type and quality of probiotics that have been taken.
This is why you need to make sure you purchase probiotics with a great amount of care and consideration. Moreover, while it is clear to see that there is definitely a link between probiotics and assisting with IBS, there still needs to be more research conducted. We are sharing some of the past research studies on the impact of probiotics for patients with IBS symptoms for better understanding.;
Which Probiotics Are For Ibs
When choosing a;probiotic it is best to opt for one which has;great research;behind it. You;want something that has been scientifically tested – and rightly so! The best type of research to look for is a clinical trial because it shows how the probiotic performs in real people with real health conditions, compared to a placebo.
So, when choosing the best probiotic for;IBS;;it is a good idea to look for one which has been shown in clinical trials to be beneficial for this condition.;There are 5 categories of IBS that we will explore in this article:
Continue reading to find out which are the best IBS probiotic strains for each IBS subtype.
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Studies Evaluating The Effect Of Mono
Three of the included studies evaluated the effect of a mono-strain probiotic on IBS symptoms . None of these studies used the same strain of microorganism in their probiotic supplement. Two studies administered a supplement containing a bacterial strain and one administered a supplement containing a yeast . Majeed et al. reported a significant effect of a mono-strain probiotic in improving IBS symptoms , whereas the remaining two did not report any significant effect of mono-strain probiotics in improving IBS symptoms .
Majeed et al. conducted a study including 36 irritable bowel syndrome with predominantly diarrhea patients, with 90 days of probiotic supplementation . The probiotic supplement consisted of the bacteria Bacillus coagulans MTCC5856 in two tablets administered once daily. After intervention, they reported a significant improvement in the intervention group compared to placebo in all primary outcomes: Bloating , vomiting , diarrhea , abdominal pain , stool frequency , and consistency . Additionally, they reported a significant improvement in the intervention group in secondary outcomes compared to placebo group .
Herbal Supplements For Ibs
Peppermint oil may lessen diarrhea symptoms by slowing fecal transit time.
Research is fairly solid on the subject, with one group of researchers concluding that peppermint oil is more effective and benign than drugs for GI spasm and could be a drug of first choice for IBS patients with mild constipation or diarrhea.
“Peppermint oil has better research than many pharmaceuticals for IBS,” Rakel says.
For IBS patients who don’t tolerate peppermint, a chamomile-pectin combination works well, Low Dog says. Chamomile helps to relax colon muscles, Rakel says.
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Lactobacillus And Bifidobacterium Species
Saggioro performed a study with 70 IBS patients, randomizing them to 3 different treatment groups for assessing improvements in abdominal pain and severity scores of 7 IBS symptoms. These treatment arms included Group 1 ; Group 2 ; or placebo. Both treatment cohorts showed significant decreases in abdominal pain and severity scores at 2 and 4 weeks; however, the major limitation of this study was the inability to perform statistical evaluation due to its small number of patients and its short duration of follow-up.
A larger study by Whorwell and coworkers evaluating different doses of B. infantis 35624 was performed in 362 women diagnosed with IBS. The study participants were randomized to low or high doses of B. infantis or placebo and were followed for a total of 4 weeks. In the treatment group, there was a significant decrease in abdominal pain/discomfort at 4 weeks, along with improvement in the secondary endpoints of bloating/distension, sensation of incomplete evacuation, passage of gas, straining, bowel habit satisfaction, and a reduction in composite symptom score. These benefits were only noted in the high-dosing group containing 1 × 10 CFU/mL of B. infantis, and not 1 × 10 CFU/mL of B. infantis. The authors concluded that the discrepancy in the efficacy of the higher and lower concentrations may have been secondary to the methods that the different formulations use to release the active agent within the intestine.
How To Get Started With Probiotics
While these research studies show promise, please do not start any dietary supplements before first speaking with your healthcare team. Probiotic supplements are not appropriate for everyone with IBS and, like all supplements, should be used with caution. If you want to give probiotics a try, your healthcare provider can help you navigate the variety of options out there and ensure you are making the right choice for your health!
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Side Effects And Safety
Probiotic products may worsen or cause symptoms in some people, whether they have IBS or not. Temporary gas and bloating are sometimes reported in the first few weeks people try taking a probiotic. Depending on the ingredients, probiotics may cause symptoms, side effects, or reactions in people with other medical conditions or food allergies.
While there’s no guarantee they will help, most people don’t experience any serious side effects from taking probiotics. However, if you’re concerned about the safety of a product, you’ll need to check with the manufacturer.
Companies usually test their products for safety and effectiveness before they hit store shelves, but probiotic supplements aren’t consistently regulated in the United States.
A lack of regulation means that probiotic products don’t need to be approved by the FDA before they can be sold, while others do .
Probiotic supplements may not cause side effects for most healthy people, but that doesn’t mean they’re suitable for everyone. If you have certain health conditions, food allergies, or a weakened immune system, your healthcare provider might advise against taking probiotics.
What Is The Best Probiotic For Ibs
Before you rush out to buy a daily probiotic, theres a few things you need to consider. The first is that there are different types of IBS, and so there are different probiotics suitable for the different types. So, it pays to do your research into IBS and probiotics first.
Finding the best probiotic brands for IBS depends on your IBS type, your symptoms, and your microbiome. When it comes to probiotics and IBS, there is often a trial and error process involved to find which bacterial species and their strains work best for you.
If you want to know more about the composition of your own gut microbiome, an Atlas Microbiome Test can give you unique insight into your gut bacteria and how they influence your health.
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