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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disease that causes changes in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhoea), discomfort, bloating, and abdominal pain. The specific causes of IBS are not yet known, but there has been an association with particular triggers.

The symptoms are classified as IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) when abdominal pain occurs at least one day a week for three months, and when this is accompanied by at least two of these factors: pain that accompanies a bowel movement, a change in the stool appearance, or a change in stool frequency.

There is no known cure for IBS, and treatment focuses on relieving symptoms. Dietary and lifestyle changes help to control IBS symptoms and flare-ups.

Once you learn what triggers your IBS flare-ups, you can try to avoid these triggers as much as possible to keep symptoms to a minimum. These are different for everyone, but some usual suspects are more commonly problematic.

The usual suspects of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

When it comes to food, common culprits are bread and cereals made from unrefined grains, processed foods, coffee and carbonated drinks, dairy products, and high-protein diets. Foods that are known to produce gas, such as beans, cabbage, and cauliflower, may also be Irritable bowel syndrome triggers. Some people need to avoid gluten even if they do not have coeliac disease. Others need to avoid foods known as FODMAPs – fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. FODMAPs are found in certain dairy products, vegetables, fruits, and grains.

Triggers not related to food include stress, medications, and eating too fast. In some women, the menstrual cycle brings about worse Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

Finding the imbalance

Multiple studies indicate that imbalance in the gut microbiome may be critical in the cause of IBS. The gut microbiome consists of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and their genetic material; these naturally co-exist inside our digestive system. This microbiome is essential for breaking down and digesting food and absorbing nutrients and vitamins from it.

The gut microbiome is affected by diet, medication, environment, age, concurrent disease, and stress.  IBS sufferers may have a change or abnormality in the type and amount of microorganisms in their gut.

Probiotics

Probiotics are a class of microscopic organisms, generally bacteria and yeasts, which are known to be beneficial to our health. These exist naturally in fermented foods such as yoghurt, kimchi, and kombucha. They are available in capsules and powder form and can be found at all pharmacies; these formulations contain live microorganisms which support the healthy flora in your gut. The most commonly used probiotics are Lactobacillus (bacteria), Bifidobacterium (bacteria) and Saccharomyces boulardii (yeast).

Probiotics are used when the balance in the naturally occurring gut flora (the microbiome) has been disrupted by drug or disease. They act on the body by improving or restoring the gut microbiome.

Choosing the right probiotic

Research shows that 100 million to 1 billion probiotic microorganisms need to reach your intestines to exert health benefits. This count is often measured as colony-forming units or CFUs. Make sure to purchase a reputable product and store it according to the manufacturer’s instructions to maintain the integrity of the live culture of bacteria and yeasts.

ClinFlor Probiotics help treat and manage Irritable Bowel Syndrome

ClinFlor is a probiotic found in sachets and capsule forms that manage Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms thanks to its different types of bacteria (Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium) and yeast (Saccharomyces). It also contains micronized almonds which act as prebiotics (that help the growth of bacteria), and vitamin B3 that prevents deficiency-related diarrhoea. A mixture of bacteria is preferential in treating IBS symptoms. Clinflor can help maintain gut health and prevent flare-ups and discomfort in IBS sufferers.

Dietary and lifestyle adjustments are needed to keep IBS symptoms at bay. The addition of a probiotic can help those with IBS to have a better quality of life naturally by alleviating gut issues at their source.

Sources:
Mandl, E. How Probiotics Can Help Fight IBS. Healthline. January 2018. Accessed at: How Probiotics Can Help Fight IBS (healthline.com)

Cresci, G. Izzo, K. Chapter 4 – Gut Microbiome, Adult Short Bowel Syndrome, Academic Press, 2019, Pages 45-54. Accessed at: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-814330-8.00004-4 Dale HF, Rasmussen SH, Asiller ÖÖ, Lied GA. Probiotics in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: An Up-to-Date Systematic Review. Nutrients. September 2019. Accessed at: Probiotics in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: An Up-to-Date Systematic Review – PubMed (nih.gov)