Advertisement

Can Probiotics Treat IBS and Depression?

Can Probiotics Treat IBS and Depression?

Researchers say that probiotics may treat both irritable bowel syndrome and depression.

LeBron James recalled, “Warren Buffet told me to always follow your gut… when you have that gut feeling, you have to go with it.” But, if you’re bugged by some unpleasant gut feelings, physically and emotionally, we bet you want them to go away!

Ten to 15 percent of American adults experience persistent intestinal distress associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)—caused by an imbalance of bugs in their guts. And research demonstrates that when the microbes in the gut are out of balance, this imbalance can affect both digestion and emotional equilibrium.

Researchers at McMaster University found that twice as many adults with IBS reported improvements from co-existing depression when they took the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001, as did adults with IBS who took a placebo. The researchers also did imaging that showed post-probiotic improvement in depression was associated with changes in the areas of the brain that control mood!

This gut-microbiome-brain-axis connects your body’s central nervous system—the brain and spinal cord—with the enteric nervous system in your gastrointestinal tract. The microbiome acts as a middleman between brain and gut, helping shuttle hormones, nerve messages and immune system info along the axis.

If you have IBS, try stress-busting techniques like meditation. Also take probiotics and try keeping a diary of your diet to help you dodge foods triggering symptoms (possibly, specific carbohydrates). To help you keep track, download the free Sharecare app/tracker at Google Play and iTunes.

What are IBS and Chronic Constipation?
What are IBS and Chronic Constipation?
If you have persistent gastrointestinal symptoms including abdominal discomfort or pain, bloating, and constipation -- the ABC symptoms -- you are not...
Read More
How can chronic stress affect irritable bowel syndrome?
Lawrence S. Friedman, MDLawrence S. Friedman, MD
Stress is known to stimulate colon spasms in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The process...
More Answers
What's going on in the colon of someone who has IBS?
HealthyWomenHealthyWomen
The colon, or large intestine, is about five feet long. Muscle movements of the colon move its conte...
More Answers
Do Probiotics Have Any Side Effects?
Do Probiotics Have Any Side Effects?