Hope for IBS Sufferers
In an article earlier this year I discussed IBS and what could make your symptoms worse, such as wheat or dairy or the fact that you may have undiagnosed celiac disease (so it is always worthwhile asking your GP to check for celiac antibodies or to arrange a private blood test via a Nutritionist).
However, there is increasing evidence that IBS may be caused or compounded by a bacterial imbalance in your gut. We all have bacteria in our large and small intestines, but sometimes an infection, antibiotics, stress or an inadequate diet for your needs can cause the balance of the bacteria to be altered which may be contributing to your IBS symptoms.
However, there is hope. Research carried out at King’s College London by Dr Guy Sisson and Professor Ingvar Bjarnason to establish the efficacy of Symprove, a probiotic solution, in IBS showed improvements across the entire range of IBS symptoms.
In addition, a recent study led by Dr Simon Gaisford (http://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=SGAIS88) at UCL compared eight of the most popular probiotic brands available in the UK, to test which products are likely to survive and thrive in the gut environment and just three, Actimel, VSL3 and Symprove, were still viable after 90 minutes (which means that the health-promoting bacteria survived).
The study showed that liquid based probiotics taken on an empty stomach, were more likely to survive the acid conditions in the stomach, as they did not trigger digestion and this might explain the efficacy of the Symprove results in helping to alleviate IBS symptoms, as they are able to pass through to the small and large intestines intact.
However, the best way to control your IBS symptoms, in addition to taking a probiotic, would be to make sure your diet is the healthiest it can be for you, or your symptoms could return, especially, if your diet was contributing to your symptoms in the first place. If this is the case, it would be a good idea to contact a trained nutritionist to undertake a dietary evaluation and to work out from your diet history how you could improve your diet.
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