Pre and Probiotics for IBS
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is irregularity within your digestive tract. Symptoms range from constipation, abdominal cramps, bloating, diarrhea and more. It is a chronic condition without a cure all treatment and must be managed on a case by case basis.
Many individuals notice flare ups when they consume certain types of food such as dairy. Knowing which foods to avoid is the first step to managing IBS, but often times IBS will worsen for unknown reasons. (If you can't pin point triggering foods, using a Low FODMAP diet short term can help - this should not be done long term.)
One of the possible reasons for IBS is a difference microbiota composition. This means that the bacteria levels and species in individuals with IBS are different than in those with a healthy gut. One of the ways to change this composition is through ingesting pre and probiotics.
Probiotics are the living bacteria that will add to your existing microbiota, and prebiotics are the fibres that feed them. If you're struggling with IBS that doesn't seem to be controlled with dietary changes, try consuming pre and probiotics 3-4 times a week. There are natural sources such as yogurts and saurkraut, or you can purchase supplements. I recommend purchasing a spore forming type as these are more resilient to the low pH of your stomach.
What You'll Need
- Probiotic yogurts: Biomel, Activia, Fage
- Probiotic products: Andean Sol Probiotic Milled Chia Seeds (you get your prebiotic too!), Troo Probiotic Granola, Planet Organic Crunch Bars
- Probiotic supplements: Align, Jigsaw, VSL #3
What You'll Do
- Eat a probiotic rich snack 3-4 times a week. It may take 3-4 weeks before you notice changes.
- Make sure you're getting enough prebiotics - these can be found in fibre rich fruits, veggies, and seeds such as bananas, artichokes, and chia seeds
Tips & Warnings
- Not everyone will benefit from changing their microbiota, consulting a nutritionist or doctor beforehand is a good idea.