IBS Awareness Month
April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness month, which aims to raise awareness of the chronic condition which affects between 10 – 20% of people living in the UK.
The use of probiotics in patients with IBS has been investigated. Although results can be varied, a meta-analysis published in 2016 found probiotics can be effective in IBS, and in particular, single-strain probiotics and a short-term treatment period improved overall symptoms and the quality of life more effectively than placebo.1 There is no single treatment for IBS, but research certainly shows some promising indications for use of probiotics in some patients with IBS symptoms.
Both NICE & BDA guidelines for IBS currently state that should a patient choose to try a probiotic product they should take the probiotic for at least four weeks and monitor symptoms. 2-3
For patient friendly advice and resources for general gut health issues visit LoveYourGut.com. Love Your Gut is a nationwide initiative, dedicated to highlighting the vital role of the digestive system and the importance of maintaining good gut health.
1 Zhang et al. (2016) Effects of probiotic type, dose and treatment duration on irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed by Rome III criteria: a meta-analysis. BMC Gastroenterology 16(1):62-72.
2 McKenzie et al. (2016) British Dietetic Association systematic review and evidence‐based practice guidelines for the dietary management of irritable bowel syndrome in adults (2016 update) Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 29:549–575
3 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2008) Irritable bowel syndrome in adults: diagnosis and management. NICE guideline [CG61]