Will Probiotics Help My IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition that affects the lining of the colon and is more common than you may think. Symptoms of IBS can include abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea. People often are embarrassed about symptoms and don’t seek medical help or feel that they can manage with over the counter medications. Living with IBS can be extremely difficult due to the sudden onset and severity of symptoms. It is not uncommon for patients to be depressed and even struggle with leaving home due to fear of uncontrolled symptoms.

Treating IBS can be difficult because treatment isn’t just black and white but many shades of grey. Each patient can experience different causes and symptoms and may not get relief from the same medicines. Over the counter medications are useful for treating gas pain, constipation and diarrhea, but they all just treat the symptoms without really helping the cause.

Research shows that some people may benefit from taking a daily probiotic to help improve IBS symptoms. Probiotics are good bacteria that you take in pill form which help aid in healthy digestion. They also promote better colon function which may decrease IBS symptoms of bloating, cramping and pain.

Knowing what makes your IBS worse is key. Stress and anxiety, certain foods, caffeine, alcohol and other illnesses can result in a flare of IBS symptoms. Being careful to avoid triggers when possible will help make daily symptom control much more manageable.

If you feel you have symptoms that sound consistent irritable bowel syndrome talk with your gastroenterologist about your concerns and don’t be embarrassed to seek help. If you have IBS and need help controlling symptoms, talk with your doctor and see if a probiotic may be right for you. The doctors at Vanguard Gastro are specialists in the area of IBS and are here to help you.