The Best Intestinal Probiotics for IBS:Get the Germs You Need!

Why you should spend money to buy bacteria.

Probiotics stamp.
Your intestinal bacteria is a HUGE part of your health. Make sure you treat it kindly
© Can Stock Photo

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.

Once the residents of your bowels become unbalanced, you can get those familiar IBS symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, etc.

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!

Probiotic cartoon holding a sign saying he is a bowel professional.
He may not look like much, but he’s doing a very important job for you!
© Can Stock Photo

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.

So remember:

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!

Comments

    • says

      Hi Natasha, sorry for the late reply. The way I do it is I go to a health food store, then I look at the brands. I then try to avoid buying the cheapest, but I don’t buy the most expensive brand either. I know that’s not scientific. Another method would be to go somewhere like Amazon.com and look at the reviews. Some reviews can be fake, but you may get a better idea on what to buy. I don’t have a particular brand to recommend. HEY OUT THERE, DOES ANYONE OF YOU HAVE A FAVORITE BRAND???

  1. Nancy says

    Hi – Just wondering if I “cannot” consume Greek yogurt if probiotics would also be a bad idea. Plain yogurt is fine but Greek style means curled up in a ball missing work and hating life. It’s been suggested I try probiotics but I’m terrified.

    • says

      In my layman’s opinion, I think that you are probably having a problem with other things in the yogurt. Casein or lactose or whatever. Our bodies have many kinds of microorganisms like the probiotics. They’re already inside you. So I don’t think taking them would hurt you. Just my opinion.

  2. Sufia says

    A gastroenterologist recently told me about VSL 3 and also peppermint oil capsules as well. This seemed to help me so far, as I’ve been suffering for years! It’s rather expensive, but sometimes your health shouldn’t be compromised because of cost… The VSL brand also carries another probiotic that is stronger and is only available through prescription. Perhaps, this will help cut the cost since it might be covered by insurance.

  3. Meg says

    My gastroenterologist recommended VSL3 for my recently diagnosed IBS….. I am taking the non Rx capsules. I LOVE THIS STUFF. It is expensive, but it has improved my symptoms 90%. I am beginning to think I may be intolerant of wheat. Best of Luck.

  4. Sean says

    I had a doctor recommend an over the counter probiotic called Align – and I have been amazed with the progress over the first four weeks – bowel movements back to normal, no bloating. Now that being said, I have had my first real bad “cramping” days over the last two days – usually these last for one to two weeks, and they now seem to be fairly mild and might only last a couple of days….here is hoping. But the Align is worth a try!

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