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Do probiotics and antibiotics help reduce gassiness in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

ANSWER

One theory about IBS holds that it disrupts the normal blend of helpful bacteria that live in the intestines. Some of these bacteria make more gas than others as they help break down your food. People with IBS may have too much of those types of bacteria.

Probiotics are supplements that add bacteria to the digestive system to restore the right balance. Studies on taking probiotics for IBS show some promise; some people with IBS have reported less gassiness after taking antibiotics. That could be because the drug kills gas-producing bacteria in your gut.

From: IBS and Gas WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Hernando-Harder, A. April 2010. American Journal of Gastroenterology,

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: "Bloating," "Report from Fernando Azpiroz, MD, PhD: Understanding Intestinal Gas," "Controlling Intestinal Gas," "What are treatment options for IBS?" "Probiotics and Antibiotics," "Gut Bacteria and IBS," "Symptoms of IBS," "The Low FODMAP Diet Approach: Dietary Triggers for IBS Symptoms," "IBS Diet: Dietary Fiber."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Irritable Bowel Syndrome."

UpToDate: "Patient Information: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Beyond the Basics.)"

Eswaran, S. April 2013. American Journal of Gastroenterology,

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Irritable Bowel Syndrome."

Staudacher, H. October 2011. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics,

Monash University: "Low FODMAP diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome."

Aragon, G. January 2010. Gastroenterology & Hepatology,

UpToDate: "Patient Information: Gas and bloating (Beyond the Basics.)"

Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology, July 2009.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on December 6, 2017

SOURCES:

Hernando-Harder, A. April 2010. American Journal of Gastroenterology,

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: "Bloating," "Report from Fernando Azpiroz, MD, PhD: Understanding Intestinal Gas," "Controlling Intestinal Gas," "What are treatment options for IBS?" "Probiotics and Antibiotics," "Gut Bacteria and IBS," "Symptoms of IBS," "The Low FODMAP Diet Approach: Dietary Triggers for IBS Symptoms," "IBS Diet: Dietary Fiber."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Irritable Bowel Syndrome."

UpToDate: "Patient Information: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Beyond the Basics.)"

Eswaran, S. April 2013. American Journal of Gastroenterology,

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Irritable Bowel Syndrome."

Staudacher, H. October 2011. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics,

Monash University: "Low FODMAP diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome."

Aragon, G. January 2010. Gastroenterology & Hepatology,

UpToDate: "Patient Information: Gas and bloating (Beyond the Basics.)"

Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology, July 2009.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on December 6, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What medications are used to lower gassiness in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

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