Can probiotics help with inflammatory bowel disease?   

by | Oct 14, 2016 | Health Conditions, Probiotic Blog

IBD - Inflammatory Bowel Disease

If you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), you know how brutal it can be. The two main types of this chronic inflammation of the digestive tract are Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). It presents with symptoms such as severe pain, diarrhea, weight loss and fatigue. IBD can sometimes be debilitating and may lead to more serious health complications.

So, can taking probiotics on a regular basis help?

The short answer:

Quite possibly! Probiotics may be beneficial if you suffer with IBD. Regular doses of probiotics help your body produce substances that inhibit IBD – blocking adhesion sites and competing for essential nutrients. Probiotics also stimulate immunity and promoting gut integrity which may reduce the effects that IBD can have on you.

The longer answer:

IBD is an idiopathic disease that is mainly caused by your body having a deregulated immune response to certain microflora in your intestinal tract. Regular daily doses of probiotics are an excellent way to maintain a healthy and balanced intestinal microflora system which may reduce your chances of developing IBD. However, some studies have shown that there can be a genetic predisposition to IBD, which affects the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus, and those patients are sometimes more prone to malignancy development.

According to an article in the Clinical Nutrition Journal, gut microbiota is largely responsible for the persistence and development of inflammatory bowel disease. When functioning properly, the metabolism of gut-bacteria helps in the synthesis and absorption of vitamins such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. IBD exists when this microbiota interferes with the normal healthy functioning of your gut-bacteria.

So the most common and effective therapeutic treatment for IBD (UC and CD) is mucosal healing and symptomatic care. The microbiota is manipulated and regulated through a step-by-step approach in which medication (specific antibiotics) is escalated until relief is achieved.

This is another place where the probiotics come in. In response to the regimen of antibiotics, patients may then see benefits by taking probiotics to counteract the effects that antibiotics have on the intestinal flora. To achieve a healthy balance.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is truly an uncomfortable ailment that produces symptoms such as irregular bowel patterns, cramping and the growth of abscesses and fistulas. And while there are some laboratory studies that are showing promise in the detection and treatment of the disease, there is still no specific lab test that can definitely establish a diagnosis for IBD.

So the longer answer is – if you are one of the millions who suffer from IBD, taking probiotics is an easy way to promote healthy gut activity and help your body regain essential nutrients.

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About the Author

Dr. Shawn Benzinger, D.C., DABCO, FIAMA

Co-Founder, CEO | Dr. Benzinger is a certified Chiropractic Orthopedist, Acupuncturist, and Nutritionist with a passion to help people live healthier, self-sufficient lives. He has served as a national spokesperson and talk show host on areas relating to nutrition, chronic pain, and alternative health care for over 20 years. Dr. Benzinger regularly consults on musculo-skeletal and nutritional management for elite athletes across the country, and he has been working to help educate the Indianapolis community on nutrition and chronic pain for the last 36 years.