IBS Treatments: Probiotics vs. Digestive Enzymes

Today we’re talking gut health, specifically, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). This digestive disease is characterized by repeated abdominal pain along with changes in bowel movements (constipation, diarrhea, or a combination of the two). What makes IBS unique is that there aren’t any visible signs of disease or damage to your digestive tract (1).

How do I know I have IBS?

Diagnosing IBS isn’t a simple process. It often involves ordering several tests to eliminate the possibility of food allergies or any other health problems. Doctors look at family history and the pattern of symptoms in order to diagnose this disease. 

Treating IBS

Unfortunately, there is no "cure" or specific treatment for IBS. Everyone's experience is unique, so there isn't a magic pill that fixes all messy guts (believe me, we wish there was). Some health care providers will prescribe medication to help with symptoms, but there are some other remedies to consider as well.

Dietary Adjustments

Changes in diet are necessary to avoid exacerbating some symptoms and to relieve others. Recommendations can include: eliminating gluten, increasing fiber, or temporarily following a low FODMAP diet (2).

Probiotics vs. Digestive Enzymes

BINTO probiotics might help your digestive needs! They contain prebiotics which are necessary for the growth of good bacteria. These probiotics may help with gut motility, bacterial overgrowth in the small bowel, and microscopic inflammation in some cases (6). (More research is necessary in the field).

BINTO probiotics contain: lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus plantarum, lactobacillus casei, lactobacillus paracasei, lactobacillus reuteri, lactobacillus salivarius, lactobacillus gasseri, lactobacillus rhamnosus, bifidobacterium lactis, bifidobacterium infantis, bifidobacterium bifidum, bifidobacterium breve, bifidobacterium longum, vegetable cellulose, and a prebiotic fiber blend

Pros of Digestive Enzyme Supplements:

According to some studies, digestive enzymes containing alpha-galactosidase may help alleviate gas and other IBS symptoms in some people, and are more likely to be effective in those with GOS sensitivity. Lactase supplements may help those with lactose intolerance consume small amounts of dairy without adverse effects. Still, there is a lack of consistent scientific evidence (3).

A separate study demonstrated a mix of beta-glucan, inositol, and digestive enzymes in Bionitol may improve some IBS related symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, and gas (5).

Cons of Digestive Enzyme Supplements:

It is not recommended to take digestive enzymes on an ongoing basis (4).  Some health providers believe digestive enzyme supplements may exacerbate certain IBS symptoms depending on the person.

 

*Consult your health care provider for the best treatment for your digestive issues

Resources:

(1)https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome

(2)http://www.katescarlata.com/lowfodmapdietchecklists/

(3) https://www.dietvsdisease.org/digestive-enzyme-supplements/

(4) https://www.optibacprobiotics.co.uk/faq/probiotics-digestive-enzymes-differences

(5) http://bioactival.it/doc/biointol/Studio-Biointol-in-inglese.pdf

(6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2886445/

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