Probiotics for IBS to Keep Your Gut in Balance
It's certainly becoming much more common for a doctor to recommend probiotics for IBS and to help with any other digestive problems you may be having. Whether you have IBS or not, a probiotic should be a daily supplement, right along with your daily multivitamin.
Probiotics are friendly bacteria that are naturally present in our bodies. Our bodies have bacteria in them, some good, some bad. The microorganisms in a probiotic are the good guys. The good bacteria help control the bad guys from taking over. The good bacteria help to keep the environment in your colon healthy, thus reducing bloating, gas and diarrhea. They also control viruses from taking over, by stimulating the immune system.
Since those of us with IBS know we have sensitive digestive systems, it becomes very important to keep the delicate balance in our intestines in check.
Poor diet, antibiotics and stress all affect the balance of these friendly microorganisms. To get them back in balance and help keep them that way, you need a probiotic supplementation. Some of these microorganisms you may heard of, but you may be confused about how and why they work.
There are two well known and important bacteria you need to keep in mind when looking for probiotics for IBS and to help keep the digestive system running smoothly.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is the most predominant friendly bacteria in the upper intestinal tract (esophagus, stomach and start of the small intestine)
Bifidobacteria is the primary friendly bacteria in the large intestine.
Other good bacteria are added to many supplements, but be sure your probiotic has at least these two microorganisms. Just as important is the quality of the probiotic. It must contain at least One Billion Units of the bacteria. Some probiotics should be refrigerated, while others are manufactured in a way that allows them to remain “shelf stable”. A good, reputable health food store will be able to direct you to the best probiotics, and answer any questions you have.
Many people talk about yogurt being an adequate solution for supplying and replacing friendly bacteria, but many of us with IBS are sensitive to the lactose or the high amount of sugar in yogurt. If that is the case, a probiotic supplement will be more beneficial. If your stomach does okay with yogurt, lucky you! There are so many very delicious flavors of yogurt to choose from!
A probiotic does not work instantly and is not the only solution to IBS. It takes time, approximately 30 days, before you will see an improvement, so be patient. A probiotic should be used in combination with other natural remedies to get the best results for your IBS treatment.
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