Why you should spend money to buy bacteria.
Studies have shown that intestinal probiotics, (often just called probiotics), can help IBS symptoms.
The trouble is that many people buy probiotics that don’t contain the right bacteria for IBS.
Okay, what are intestinal probiotics and why do I need them?
“Probiotic” is a name for bacteria that your body needs (more below).
Probiotic capsules are one way to get that bacteria.
If you have IBS, there’s a good chance your intestinal bacteria might be out of whack (the technical term for that is dysbiosis).
There are many ways this can happen, including a poor diet, illness, or the use of antibiotics.
If it’s dysbiosis, I’ve only seen a few ways to fix that (remembering I’m just a person like you with IBS, that reads
too much a lot :) ).
- Taking more antibiotics to kill off bacteria in the wrong place (see SIBO)
- A complete diet change to encourage the needed bacteria to multiply (which can take a while and may never happen).
- Adding helpful bacteria by taking intestinal probiotics.
One of the most effective options seems to be taking the probiotics.
So you’re saying I need more bacteria???
First of all bacteria has an unfair reputation for being bad. You actually need the bacteria in your bowels. They’re part of your immune system; they help digest food; they even create some of the vitamins you need!
You couldn’t survive without the little guys.
Unfortunately, bacteria in an infection or illness gives other bacteria a bad name.
And when you do get an infection or illness, sometimes the doctor needs to give you antibiotics to kill the bad bacteria.
The trouble is, antibiotics also wipe out good bacteria that you need.
Are antibiotics bad, then?
No, they can save your life. Antibiotics have saved many, many lives. But they kill bacteria you need, and when that happens you need to build that bacteria back up.
Now some people that exercise and have the perfect diet, may be able to get their intestinal bacteria back in balance with no assistance. Others, (like some people with IBS for instance) need a bit of help.
That’s where intestinal probiotics come in.
Study proves that intestinal probiotics can help IBS symptoms!
But they have to be the right kind.
According to this study, the best probiotic for IBS is bifidobacterium infantis, sometimes called bifidobacterium or b. infantis.
People in the study took either took Lactobacillus salivarius , b. infantis, or a placebo (which can also surprisingly help IBS).
The people taking the b. infantis had the best results, showing improvement in bloating, abdominal pain, and difficulty “going”.
So if you try probiotics, you may want to look for bifidobacterium infantis, bifidobacterium or b. infantis on the bottle.
Remember the enteric coating.
An enteric coated capsule dissolves in the intestines instead of the stomach.
That means the bacteria has a better chance of not getting destroyed by your stomach acid.
The best probiotics for IBS won’t do you any good if the bacteria gets wiped out before it reaches your intestines.
Eat your germs, they’re good for you!
Sorry. I couldn’t resist :).
Note: you should talk to your doctor before using probiotics, especially if you have a compromised immune system.
Let me know what you think about it in the comments section!