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Can you take probiotics if you live with IBS?

Can you take probiotics if you live with IBS?

The answer is yes. If you are the one in ten people living with IBS worldwide, you don’t have to put up with it anymore. There is hope. Probiotics are a well-recognized, natural alternative to support this widespread health condition.

Living with IBS greatly affects quality of life

On IBS Day, we trust it is important to raise awareness about this prevalent, recurring and persistent gastrointestinal disorder. IBS affects about 10 to 15 percent of the World population. It is twice as common in women as men and typically occurs before age 45. Symptoms include, abdominal pain, bloating, abdominal distension, constipation (IBS-C) or diarrhea (IBS-D), or both conditions (IBS-M).

What causes lead to this syndrome? The exact cause of IBS is unknown… and the varied possible causes make IBS difficult to prevent. For many people, the key to managing IBS symptoms is to avoid triggers, such as certain foods as well as stress and anxiety. Gut motility disorders, pain sensitivity, infections including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, genetic factors, and food sensitivity are other possible causes. As symptoms and causes vary, a full cure is currently non-existent. However, specialists are offering multiple solutions to try ease some symptoms.

Supportive solutions exists

Although IBS affects a lot of people’s life, not everyone consults a healthcare practitioner to talk about their condition. On top of that, it is still quite difficult to diagnose IBS. The current reference for doctors is the Rome IV criteria, but this tool is rarely used to assess the syndrome.

The solutions include lifestyle and diet changes, such as participating in regular physical exercise, cutting back on alcohol and caffeinated beverages, which stimulate the intestines, eating smaller meals, minimizing stress, avoiding deep-fried or spicy food or any food that triggers the symptoms.

Probiotics, a documented and naturally healthy alternative

The ability of specific probiotics to support gut barrier integrity can provide positive benefits for certain individuals with IBS-like symptoms (occasional diarrhea, constipation, and bloating). Several randomized trials have shown probiotics’ benefits on IBS-like symptoms, thus improving quality of life and well-being.

The strain B. lactis LAFTI® B94 has been granted a natural product health claim by Health Canada for IBS in kids and teens: “Helps children and adolescents with bloating and constipation in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (ages 4 years and above)”. With a total of 15 clinical trials, the probiotic combination IBacilluS+ (E. faecium Rosell®-26 and B. subtilis Rosell®-179) targets adults with IBS-D and has approved Canadian health claim: “Could help reduce the duration of diarrhea in those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome”. Recent findings in this area also revealed that the two single strains B. longum Rosell®-175 and L. paracasei HA-196 could participate to a good quality of life in population with occasional gut discomfort. The clinical study, performed on 251 adults with different IBS subtypes, shows positive results on emotional well-being, social functioning, and energy/fatigue ratio, as well as frequency of bowel movements (Lewis et al., 2020).

So, stop simply tolerating IBS, and start acting to relieve your symptoms and win back your quality of life!

Published Apr 18, 2021 | Updated Jun 6, 2024

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