Should I Take Probiotics if I have IBS?

Woman with stomach pain wondering whether she should take probiotics if she already has IBS

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Should I take probiotics if I have IBS? This is one of the questions that many IBS sufferers struggle with.

Many people do not realize that there are some great benefits to taking probiotics, and they end up assuming that their digestive problems are related to some sort of contamination in their bodies.

Contributory factors

What you may not realize is that there are a number of different reasons why your digestive system may be acting up. In fact, this condition is so common that nearly half of the population will experience it at some point in time.

The reason for this occurrence is actually quite simple – your digestive tract has an unnatural level of bacteria that is needed in order to effectively digest foods.

However, this type of imbalance may also be caused by a number of factors. One of the biggest contributing factors is an improper diet.

Many of us lead very busy lives and don’t always have time to dedicate to preparing nutritious and delicious meals. Instead, we grab a fast-food burger or microwave a frozen meal.

Unfortunately, this may result in improper digestion, which in turn can cause your digestive system to malfunction.

Ways to add probiotics into your diet

There are a few different ways in which you can incorporate probiotics into your diet if you have IBS.

If you cook at home rather than eating out, you can add some live cultures directly to your meals. Probiotic yogurt is also often found in some pre-packaged foods, especially those which contain bifidobacteria.

You may also want to consider taking some supplements of probiotics to help improve your digestive health. These products can be taken as either a capsule or liquid supplement. They can come in tablet, powder, or liquid form.

While they are often good for treating symptoms of IBS, they are not considered a cure and may sometimes cause additional problems in people who have IBS.

However, there are many probiotics on the market that do not contain any ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction.

Are probiotics a cure?

The jury is still out on this question. What we do know, however, is that probiotics are a supplement taken by many people to fight bacteria in the gut and promote digestive health.

The benefits of these supplements can include improved digestion which might alleviate symptoms such as gas or bloating – but not everyone taking them notices any changes at all.

The probiotics themselves will not cure your Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but they will support your digestive system and aid your digestion.

Because you need bacteria in your digestive system to properly digest and absorb the nutrition from your food, without bacteria your body will not be able to properly digest all of the foods that you consume.

Probiotics may also be used in conjunction with other treatments for IBS to further enhance your health and relieve your symptoms.

No one particular product will cause IBS to startle or make it worse, but you do need to take them in moderation.

If you already have an unhealthy digestive system, or if you are especially poor in the digestion of fatty foods, then you may not need to take probiotics at all.

For these individuals, the probiotics may actually serve to aggravate their problem.

Probiotic studies show how they can affect health positively by aiding those with irritable bowels or stomach-related issues such as inflammation, constipation, diarrhea, etc., but what about their long-term effects?

While not conclusive enough research has been done on this topic it seems that the gut microbiome is just too complex so we don’t know all there really is to know yet.

What other treatments for IBS can you use?

If you’re struggling with IBS, it’s not all bad. There are some treatments that can help ease your symptoms and get back to living life again!

Some of the more common ones include diet changes, probiotic supplements, as well as low FODMAP diets, or elimination diets which remove certain foods from a person’s diet based on how they affect their gut in order to figure out what triggers digestive issues for them specifically.

Many patients find that lifestyle changes and dietary modifications help them ease their symptoms. If you make some dietary changes and add a bit of exercise to your daily routine, you may find that your symptoms subside.

If you can’t make these changes on your own, then it is okay to take Probiotics just to improve your overall health.

The answer depends on your symptoms. You should only try this treatment if you feel like you’re having an extreme reaction to a food or beverage that you normally wouldn’t.

There may be nothing to worry about if you’re just allergic to one type of food or ingredient, but if you’re allergic to a wide variety of different foods then taking Probiotics may help your digestive system.

IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome surrounded by probiotic capsules and tablets - should i take probiotics if i have ibs
IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome surrounded by probiotic capsules and tablets

Can you cause yourself IBS by taking Probiotics?

You cannot “turn off” the bacteria that live in your digestive tract. They are there to keep the good bacteria (lactobacilli) in your intestines healthy. If you are constipated or you eat an unhealthy diet, then there may be too many lactobacilli in your system.

This may cause your digestive system to work overtime and produce extra gas, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal symptoms.

IBS is a common digestive disorder that can be caused by many different factors, but recent research suggests this could also happen due to taking Probiotics.

IBS is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects about 15% of all Americans, with an even higher percentage among college-aged adults.

There are many known causes for this condition, including diet: consuming too much sugar or spicy food can contribute to symptoms like stomach pain and diarrhea, but there may also be something more specific at play in some cases – namely changes in gut bacteria brought on by medications such as antibiotics or from eating yogurt containing probiotic cultures (which give live microorganisms).

Prolonged use of these types of products could potentially lead people who have other genetic susceptibilities toward digestive problems down the path towards developing full-blown IBDs over time due to persistent microbiome imbalance.

What supplements are available?

Is there a supplement that can help you control your symptoms? Yes, there are supplements available that can help you treat your symptoms of IBS.

There may also be some foods and drinks that cause your symptoms to flare up, which can be addressed by switching to a healthier diet.

Probiotics can certainly help you get relief from your IBS symptoms, but it’s important that you know the cause first before you start taking Probiotics.

Although they can certainly relieve you of your pain and bloating, you shouldn’t take them if you’re currently suffering from IBS.

The best time to take a probiotic supplement is at bedtime on an empty stomach for maximum effect.

If you are currently taking medication to treat your IBS then consult your doctor before changing up your routine because some medications interfere with the effectiveness of probiotics.

In conclusion

The human gut harbors trillions of bacteria, and the composition of this bacterial community is influenced by genetics as well as diet.

Ongoing studies have shown that probiotics can help alleviate symptoms in those with IBS such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, or abdominal pain.

In terms of the best quality evidence available, there is insufficient data to support their use in this patient population.

For now, it would seem prudent to advise patients against taking probiotics if they have IBS and instead recommend a trial of all dietary restrictions for 2-4 weeks before reintroducing them one at a time while monitoring symptoms.

A quick reminder .. aim to provide the most up-to-date information, help, and advice for YOU to make informed decisions. If you are unsure or uncertain and require more clarity, please reach out to us and we will gladly come back and advise you as best we can.

The best means to reach us is via email at or fill out the form on our Contact Us page – click here.

About Us

Our goal is to empower you with concise probiotic guidance for a healthier gut. With expert advice, we provide the knowledge to improve your well-being and navigate the world of probiotics efficiently, ensuring you achieve optimal gut health.


As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Check these out on Amazon