Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a growing problem in the US, affecting more than 10% of the population. Though even in the 10% of this population, women are affected more than men, which is also why it’s been a growing problem, as it creates problems especially during and after pregnancy.
If you were unaware of IBS before today, you might be surprised to know that there's no known medical cure for IBS symptoms, and the way IBS patients are treated is solely based on symptom management.
Most physicians recommend making certain lifestyle and dietary changes, which can prove to provide relief to IBS flare-ups.
However, supplements are all the rage in the market these days, and one of these supplements is probiotic supplements - packed with beneficial bacteria that replenish your gut health, and put you on the path to an IBS-free life.
Keeping that in mind, we've researched a total of 10 different probiotic supplements that are available on the internet, giving you a boatload of different options to choose from, depending on how bad your IBS is.
Here’s an overview of the products that we’ll be talking about today:
IBSupport by Gistive
Restore Probiotic By Gistive
Dynamic Probiotics By Stonehenge Health
Daily Probiotics By Culturelle Digestive
Symprove Daily Essential
Alflorex By PrecisionBiotics
FlorAssist By Life Extension
Probiotic-10 25 Billion By NOW
Raw Probiotics Colon Care By Garden Of Life
If you’re serious about getting rid of IBS symptoms and flare-ups, we suggest reading this guide till the end, as we'll answer a bunch of different queries and questions related to IBS, giving you a deep insight into this annoying gut problem, and key ways to solve them as well!
What IBS Actually Is
If you're someone who has experienced IBS, then you'll know that it can be a difficult and often very uncomfortable condition to deal with.
For those not in the know, Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disorder that affects the large intestine and can cause all sorts of symptoms, such as cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
The most challenging part about IBS is that it can be so unpredictable - you may have a few days where you feel fine, and then suddenly find yourself suffering from painful abdominal pain, stomach cramps, and other gastrointestinal tract symptoms.
While there isn't a cure for IBS, there are thankfully plenty of ways to manage the symptoms, including making dietary changes, reducing stress levels, and taking medications like probiotic bacteria if necessary.
Types of IBS
Before you start searching for cures or supplements mindlessly on the internet, it's important to know that there are different types of IBS, each of which affects the gut differently and brings in certain GI tract symptoms.
This means that each different type of IBS needs to be treated differently, using different supplements or medication, which is why we always recommend going to the doctor’s office to get a full report on which type of IBS you have.
As a general rule of thumb, there are a total of 5 different types of IBS, each of which might bring different digestive ailments to your body
IBS - C: This IBS type is constipation-predominant, which means you'll be frequently constipated from time to time whenever it flares up.
IBS - D: This type of IBS is diarrhea predominant, which means that you'll be experiencing mild to intense episodes of diarrhea.
IBS - A: This is a mix of IBS C and IBS D, and comes with alternative episodes of both constipation and diarrhea.
IBS - U: The ‘U’ here stands for unspecified, meaning that the symptoms will be ever-varying and change from time to time.
Post-infectious IBS (PI - IBS): This is the last type of IBS, which occurs after food poisoning, and brings in problems like autoimmunity.
IBS Symptoms To Look Out For
While the exact cause of IBS is unknown, certain triggers can exacerbate symptoms, such as stress, diet, and hormonal changes.
If you've been experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to talk to your doctor, so they can help you find a treatment plan that works best for you.
Some common tell-tale signs of IBS might include, but aren’t limited to:
Change in bowel movements
Constant bloating or stomach-swelling
Constantly going to the bathroom
Severe abdominal cramping
Lethargy (constant fatigue)
How Do Probiotics Help IBS?
Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience, but probiotics might just be the solution you've been looking for.
Essentially, probiotics are the live gut bacteria, the healthy ones, found naturally in yogurt and kefir, which have been shown to improve symptoms like bloating, gas, and abdominal pain by restoring the balance of good bacteria in your gut.
While research on the effectiveness of probiotics varies, they're certainly worth a try - and with so many options, whether you want to go for pill-based supplements, or naturally-made products like Kombucha, yogurt, kefir, or more.
Are There Any Side Effects To Probiotics?
If you've been taking probiotics, whether supplement-based or natural products like Kombucha, you'll instantly start to see more bowel regularity and a decrease in problems like bloating and diarrhea - Without any side effects.
However, if it's your first time taking a probiotic supplement, there might be initial complications, especially with people who have an extreme imbalance of gut bacteria. These complications might include having to poop a lot more, some sort of abdominal cramping, stomach pain, and more.
Probiotic supplements will not worsen IBS symptoms, so long as there aren’t any underlying medical conditions that might make them not suitable for your body, which can include allergens or bodily reactions to certain foods that are in the probiotics.
Though, it's important to know that these symptoms won't last for more than 48 hours, after which your body will adjust to these additional probiotic bacteria that are replenishing your gut, putting you on the path to IBS recovery.
10 Best Probiotics For IBS
Now that we're done with the foundation of IBS, the various types, causes, and other relevant information to this gut problem, it's time to dive into the real reason why you're here.
As we promised initially, we researched the internet to find the best probiotic supplements to help you win against IBS, and we've come up with a list of 10 different supplements that will help you do just that.
We’ve also mentioned the picking criteria later ahead in this guide, so make sure to read that too, in case you’re out looking for probiotic supplements yourselves.
IBSupport had to be the first on our list of probiotics for IBS, since it has the necessary probiotic strain that helps relieve IBS symptoms, called Lactobacillus Acidophilus, and 7 different superfoods that aid in bowel regularity, stool softening, and bulking, and more.
What’s great is that IBSupport isn’t just a probiotic supplement - It’s a blend of both prebiotics and probiotics that can help relieve not just IBS, but various other problems like bloating, gas, IBD, constipation, and more.
But we've saved the best for last, which is the addition of Psyllium Husk, a gel-forming fiber that has been extensively studied to work against IBS symptoms, decrease gut inflammation, and bring in effective bowel regularity.
Restore Probiotic is the second on this list of ours, and with more than 5.75 colony-forming units in every single pill, this supplement is a great way to counter IBS-U and IBS-A symptoms, as it works to restore your overall gut health.
The most important probiotic strains in this supplement are Bifidobacterium longum and Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, the latter of which works great against diminishing IBS symptoms like stomach cramping, especially where diarrhea and constipation come in alternative waves and episodes.
Florastor Daily has more than a 10 billion CFU count, one of the highest we’ve seen in the business, which is what makes every single pill of this probiotic supplement highly effective and nourishing to the gut.
We recommend using this probiotic supplement for diarrhea-predominant IBS, as it's specifically been formulated with Saccharomyces Boulardii, a probiotic strain extensively studied for its diarrhea-prevention properties.
The supplement is also pretty shelf-stable, has non-GMO ingredients, and is a vegan option, fitting the description for almost every individual out there.
With more than 50 billion colony-forming units in every single pill, this supplement, created by Stonehenge Health in-house and is a fully vegan option without any genetically modified organisms.
There are more than 16 different probiotic strains laden in every single pill, and in addition to this supplement being great for almost all types of IBS, it comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee, so if you're still not satisfied with how it's fixing your gut, you can get a full refund.
Stonehenge Health also mentions that this supplement has a secret blend of prebiotics as well, just like IBSupport, which is what makes their action in the gut much more effective, as the prebiotics acts as a food source for the bacteria to be more effective.
We've talked about a low-FODmap diet as one of the key ways to counter IBS, and that's been studied quite extensively. What's great about this probiotic supplement is that it has a probiotic strain called Lactobacillius rhamnosus, a strain that has been studied to be as effective as switching to a low-FODmap diet.
This Daily Probiotic by Culturelle Digestive also contains strong traces of insulin, which further helps the digestive system by enriching the composition of the gut microbiota, and supports both the immune system and as well as digestion of the food you intake all day.
A healthy gut contains probiotic bacteria like Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus plantarum, and other variants of the lactobacillus bacteria, but when it comes to an IBS-riddled gut, there’s a good chance that your gut is deficient in these bacterial strains.
That's where Symprove comes in. Unlike most other probiotic supplements, this Daily Essential by Symprove is a water-based probiotic, and contains four lactobacillus strain variants that help you fight against IBS, and a lot of other digestive ailments that come with it, including lack of appetite, constipation, diarrhea, and more.
Alflorex by PrecisionBiotics is the only supplement vendor in Ireland that possesses this specific bacterial culture. They've been deemed among the top 10 contenders in the US that gastroenterologists in the US recommend.
There’s only one strain in this probiotic supplement, called Bifidobacterium infantis. Though we’re all for strain diversity in probiotic supplements, this strain was one of the most studied strains in various Yale workshops and has ever since been included in this supplement, has done wonders for people with problems like IBS, constipation, bloating, and more.
What's even better is that this supplement is priced at a very affordable price as well, which is another reason why it's been PrecisionBiotics's top-selling product to date.
FlorAssist is another affordable option on this innovative list of the best probiotics for IBS and has a 15 billion CFU count that goes towards digestive system support.
It's not a probiotic exclusively made for IBS, rather it's a daily probiotic that supports your overall immunity, digestion, fighting gut inflammation, and more.
What’s different about this probiotic supplement, as opposed to most supplements that we’ve seen being marketed on the internet, is that it has the strain termed Lacticaseibacillus paracasei. This strain has been studied for its versatile effects on increasing bowel movement by a much larger percentage as opposed to most laxatives or probiotics, which makes it great for IBS-D, intense diarrhea, and more.
The 10 in this probiotics name stands for the 10 probiotic strains and 10 billion colony-forming units that every single serving. The main probiotic strain to focus on with this pill is Bifidobacterium lactis, which has been extensively studied for its anti-bloating effects on the gut.
That’s what makes it great when it comes to managing IBS symptoms and side digestive ailments like bloating and stomach cramping that come with IBS.
Using the NOW lingo, these probiotics are called Veg Capsules, mainly because they're completely vegan options. On top of that, they're also non-GMO, just like products from Gistive.
Raw Probiotics from Garden Of Life is all about mixing the right quantities of superfoods and high probiotic strain diversity.
According to them, this supplement has more than 30 different probiotic strains, which includes most of the strains that we’ve talked about in this guide, with Lactobacillus acidus, Lactobacillus lactis, and other important names that are great for countering IBS, as well as supporting digestion and bringing in bowel regularity.
How To Choose The Best Probiotic For IBS
We’ve given you a lot of different options when it comes to probiotics for IBS - Now it’s time for you to go out, and test them yourself.
However, we always recommend following criteria for choosing probiotics, and we've done the same while choosing the top 10 probiotics in the market right now.
As a general rule of thumb, there are four things that you need to focus on when you’re filtering supplements like these, including:
Probiotic Strains - Looking For Diversity
When it comes to finding the best probiotics for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), probiotic strain diversity is something you don't want to overlook.
But what exactly does this mean?
Well, put simply, probiotic strain diversity refers to the number of different types of probiotics in a supplement. So, why is this important for IBS sufferers?
Well, because different strains of probiotics can have different effects on the gut microbiome, having a diverse range of strains can help ensure that the supplement can target multiple aspects of your gut health.
This is especially good for IBS symptoms, as it brings in a range of different digestive ailments that include constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. And when you have a probiotic supplement with high strain diversity, it can cater to all of those problems individually and resolve them.
When it comes to finding the best probiotics for IBS, Colony Forming Units are a key factor to consider.
Why? Well, Colony Forming Units, or CFUs, refer to the amount of live bacteria in probiotics. The more CFUs, the better the action of the probiotic, and the more potent it is. This means that with a higher CFU count, there's a higher chance that the supplement you're taking will reach your gut, and fix the ailments you want it to fix.
And when it comes to managing IBS, potency is everything! A high CFU count means the probiotic can effectively combat the harmful bacteria in your gut and promote the growth of good bacteria. So, when searching for the perfect probiotic for IBS, keep CFUs in mind. It could make all the difference.
Shelf life might not seem important, but when you view probiotics as actual living organisms that need to be alive and active to provide any health benefits, it starts to make more sense
The longer the supplement sits on the shelf, the more likely it is that its potency will decline.
So if you want to ensure that you're getting the most out of your probiotic supplement, you'll want to look for one with a decent shelf life. Not only will this help you get the most bang for your buck, but it will also ensure that you're getting the beneficial bacteria that your gut needs to stay healthy.
There are a lot of different probiotic supplements out there. Products that have a high CFU count, a wide range of probiotic strains, good shelf life, and other benefits - So how do you find the right one?
That's where third-party testing comes in.
Third-party testing ensures that the probiotics you're considering are safe, effective, and high-quality. Without this testing, you could be wasting your time and money on a product that doesn't work or even worse, could be harmful.
So, whether you're just starting your search for an IBS probiotic or have tried a few already, make sure to prioritize third-party testing to ensure you're getting the best possible product.
IBS is a growing problem to which there's no strong medical solution, but for the past few years, probiotic supplements have been extensively studied as a great way to reduce its symptoms and make it more manageable and bearable for anyone that is dealing with it.
We've made sure to review products that are 100% certified and ready for you to use and start embarking on the path to IBS recovery as soon as possible.
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