Probiotics for irritable bowel syndrome or IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. In this article, we will explore the different types of probiotics for IBS, discuss their benefits, possible side effects, administration guidelines and precautions to keep in mind.

woman with pain due to irritable bowel syndrome IBS
Tabla de Contenidos
  1. What Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS?
  2. Treatment of IBS with Probiotics
  3. Benefits of probiotics for IBS
  4. Side effects of probiotics for IBS
  5. A guide to the administration and use of probiotics for IBS
  6. Precautions and Warnings for Probiotics for IBS
  7. Conclusion

What Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder affecting the large intestine. It is characterized by a variety of symptoms, such as abdominal painbloatinggas and changes in bowel habits. IBS is a condition that is often chronic in nature, which means it is long-term and can cause persistent discomfort and disrupt daily life. The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of factors, including irregular muscle contractions in the intestine, excessive sensitivity to pain signals, alterations in the intestinal microbiota and alterations in the gut-brain axis where anxiety and stress also generate this pathology.

In addition to the therapeutic arsenal that exists today with the use of drugs, fortunately, there is growing evidence to suggest that probiotics may offer relief for people with IBS. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial to our digestive system. These microorganisms can help restore the balance of intestinal bacteria, improve digestion and relieve symptoms associated with irritable bowel.

Types of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

There are different types of the disease. The most common types of IBS are:

  • IBS-D (diarrhea predominant)
  • IBS-E (predominance of constipation)
  • IBS-M (mixed type).

Each type has its own unique symptoms and requires individualized approaches to treatment. For people with IBS-D, diarrhea is the main symptom, while those with IBS-E experience mainly constipation. IBS-M is a combination of diarrhea and constipation. Identifying the particular type of IBS is essential to determine the most effective treatment options, including the use of probiotics.

Treatment of IBS with Probiotics

probiotics for irritable bowel syndrome IBS

Types of Probiotics for the treatment of IBS

Probiotic species and strains

Different strains of these beneficial microorganisms have been studied for their effectiveness in alleviating discomfort and promoting intestinal health. One prominent example is Lactobacillus, known for its ability to restore the balance of the intestinal microbiota. On the other hand, microorganisms of the genus Bifidobacterium reduce bloating and promote regularity. In addition, different combinations, such as Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus acidophilus, have shown promising results in decreasing abdominal pain and improving digestion.

When selecting the most appropriate type of probiotics, it is important to consider your symptoms. For example, if you suffer primarily from IBS-D, probiotics of the Bifidobacterium infantis species may be beneficial in regulating bowel movements. On the other hand, if constipation is the main problem, strains of Lactobacillus casei or Lactobacillus plantarum may be better suited to induce regularity and alleviate bowel syndrome symptoms. Remember that not all probiotics are the same, so it is best to consult a healthcare professional or nutritionist to make an informed decision.

Forms of administration

The form of administration of probiotics is also an important consideration. These beneficial organisms are available, as supplements, in capsule, powder or liquid form, but we also have them naturally in certain fermented foods. Each form can have different levels of viability and potency. For example, encapsulated probiotics tend to have a longer shelf life and longer survival in the acidic environment of the stomach. In addition, liquid or powdered probiotics may be more readily absorbed by the body. Also, probiotic dosage may vary by strain and formulation, so be sure to follow the manufacturer's or your health care provider's recommended instructions.

Here you can see a list of probiotic products suitable for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Benefits of probiotics for IBS

Probiotics offer a multitude of benefits for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). First, these beneficial bacteria can help restore balance in the gut, thereby reducing bloatingabdominal pain and bowel irregularities. In addition, they can aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, ensuring that the body metabolizes food efficiently. Moreover, probiotics possess anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the gut associated with IBS while they can strengthen the intestinal barrier, thus preventing dangerous substances from entering the bloodstream and intensifying IBS symptoms.

Probiotics may also have a beneficial effect on mental health. There is evidence to suggest a strong connection between the gut and the brain, known as the gut-brain axis. By promoting a healthy gut microbiome, probiotics may help modulate neurotransmitters and hormones related to stress and mood, which may reduce the anxiety and depression commonly experienced by people with IBS. In conclusion, incorporating probiotics into your daily routine can be beneficial in managing and relieving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome as a substitute for anxiolytics, which are often prescribed to treat this condition.

Side effects of probiotics for IBS

Although the use of probiotics to alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has received much attention in recent years, it should be approached with caution. It is very important to be aware of the possible side effects that may arise from their use, although they are actually very rare.

Paradoxically, a commonly experienced reaction at the start of treatment is gastrointestinal discomfort, such as bloatingflatulence or increased bowel movements, although these symptoms usually subside as the body adjusts to the probiotics. If these symptoms persist or worsen, consultation with a digestive professional is recommended.

Those patients with compromised immune systems or existing medical conditions may be more prone to adverse effects from probiotics. Therefore, before starting a probiotic regimen, it is recommended to seek advice from a medical specialist or pharmacist.

In conclusion, probiotics can be effective in the management of IBS, but it is essential to be aware of the possible, but very rare, side effectsGastrointestinal distress and allergic reactions are some of the possible reactions that people may experience when using probiotics for IBS although each person's response to probiotics may be different.

A guide to the administration and use of probiotics for IBS

To maximize the potential of probiotics for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it is important to know the proper dosage and correct usage. It is recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase as your body adjusts to the probiotic strain. Consulting a medical specialist is critical to ensure the optimal strain and dosage for the individual needs of an IBS patient. Remember that the use and dosage of probiotics for IBS must be tailored to you so this consultation is imperative.

On the other hand, in addition to the dose, the route of administration should be taken into account. Taking probiotics on an empty stomach allows the beneficial bacteria to reach the intestine more effectively, although some people may tolerate them better when taken with meals.

Storage should also be taken into account. Probiotics tend to degrade quickly, much more than a conventional drug, so we must be cautious when storing them, preserving them from heat, humidity and light.

Precautions and Warnings for Probiotics for IBS

Although probiotics are generally harmless to most people, it is necessary to seek advice from a medical specialist or pharmacist before starting any new supplement or treatment. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health problems or are taking any medications. The specialist can offer personalized guidance based on the person's precise condition and decide if probiotics are appropriate.

In addition, on rare occasions, the patient may experience an allergic reaction or hypersensitivity to some probiotic strains. These individuals may experience adverse effects such as bloatinggas or diarrhea with the consumption of certain probiotic supplements. It is recommended to start with a minimal dose and increase it gradually, allowing the body to adapt. If worrisome symptoms or reactions occur, it is best to discontinue use and consult a health care professional.

It is also important to understand that not all probiotic products are the same. The quality and efficacy of probiotic supplements can vary, so it is essential to select a trusted brand and it is essential to know the strains that make up the product and their origin. Not all strains have the same origin or the same patents, so they must be independently tested products to verify their potency and purity. In addition, it is necessary to store probiotics correctly according to the manufacturer's instructions to preserve their efficacy. Proper storage conditions, such as refrigeration, can help ensure the viability of probiotic bacteria.

Finally, while probiotics may offer potential benefits for IBS, it is important to remember that they are not a miracle cure. They may not work for everyone and results may vary from person to person. It is crucial to manage expectations and understand that probiotics are just one part of a comprehensive plan to manage IBS symptoms. It is always recommended to work closely with a medical professional or nutritionist to design a personalized treatment plan that may include dietary changes, lifestyle modifications and other interventions in addition to probiotic supplementation.


In conclusion, probiotics have shown promising results in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. The use of some strains such as Bifidobacterium 35624, a specific type of probiotic, has been shown to be beneficial in reducing IBS-related symptoms such as bloatingabdominal pain and irregular bowel movements.

However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of probiotics may vary from person to person. It is recommended to consult a healthcare professional before incorporating probiotics to manage IBS. In addition, it is crucial to follow recommended administration and usage guidelines to maximize the potential benefits of probiotics for IBS. While probiotics are generally considered safe, some people may experience mild side effects such as gas or diarrhea. It is essential to be aware of possible allergies or sensitivities to specific probiotic strains. Overall, probiotics offer a promising avenue for people seeking natural strategies to alleviate the discomfort associated with IBS.

Si quieres conocer otros artículos parecidos a Probiotics for irritable bowel syndrome or IBS puedes visitar la categoría Digestive System.

Eduardo Santos de Paz

Pharmacist - Complutense University - Madrid - Spain
Diploma in Ophthalmic Optics and Optometry - Univ. of Barcelona - Spain.

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