The Good

The first supplement an IBS sufferer would look at would be ‘acidophilus’.  In simple terms ‘acidophilus’ products replace or assist the production of the natural friendly bacteria which line the stomach and assists digestion.

Medicines such as antibiotics harm these cells and it is imperative to replace them. Acidophilus products which contain at least 10 Billion cells are the only ones that should be considered.  Like many of the important supplements it a case of finding out what works for you. There are sound practical reasons for you to choose your acidophilus based on the number of viable cells. More of which later.

Some of the ‘anti-spasming’ products are useful, many contain Ibuprofen.  They do not improve the condition, however they can moderate the effects.  Any such products will only mask your symptoms and that must be born in mind.  They will stop the stomach having a reaction when digesting certain products, however the stomach is spasming for a reason and this should be ascertained if you wish to improve long term.

In the last few years products featuring ‘nucleotides’ have become available. They help with the reproduction of cells in the stomach, which are vital to the it’s health.  These can work incredibly well and if taken with frequently can yield wonderful results.  Unlike many of the supplements they help with the repair to the stomach.  Results are not overnight, but are worth the wait.  If you have sensitive skin or IBS problems, nucleotide products would be advisable as they assist the repair of any damage

If you have poor digestion then a basic vitamin supplement would be advisable.  Some conditions mean that fruit and vegetables are difficult to cope with, thus the goodness may be required through a supplement. Omega 3 oils, zinc and a good multi vitamin will help while you are on the restricted diet, they are not the long term answer though.

The Bad

Some of the products available out there work well for mild cases, however they do not work at all for severe cases.  Despite the claims, be cautious of products using peppermint oil.  They may well work for you, however the success rate does not seem to match the promises.  

Many of the acidophilus products out there are simply not good enough.  The journey to the intestine takes some time, during which many if not most of the bacteria being sent to aid your condition will die.  Only the products with very large quantities of viable bacteria cells will survive. Aim between 10 and 30 billion cells.  More can produce discomfort, the answer is not always more, but here it is more than 10 billion cells

Fibre is a contentious issue.  Almost all guides recommend it.  If you bowel issues are constipation related then you should of course take in some fibre.  Psysalium Husks make an excellent source of fibre.  If you have loose bowel issues then fruit and fibre should be avoided at all costs.  In a healthy digestive system fibre is vital, however in a malfunctional system they can add to the woes.  Many people persist with fibre, due to the guides and fear of diverticular disease.  If you have loose or frequent movements then that is not an imminent concern, slowing things down, so that you have more control is a more pressing concern.

The Ugly

There are many products out there that are both very expensive and utterly useless.  In the desperation to resolve the condition I have  wasted thousands.  

Many of the claims are simply not true, and we simply urge you to apply as much common sense to your choice of supplements. While it may be true that some supplement and treatments work for some, that is more of a reflection of the individual nature of many IBS cases.

Far too often products which have worked for a few are put out as being the next big thing in IBS prevention and cure. We are collecting independent data from actual sufferers regarding the very best products out there for IBS sufferers.  We will be testing them ourselves to see if they match the hype.

Each month we will be highlighting these products from around the world and highly recommend you give them a try.  This site is on a subscription basis to allow us to maintain complete independence from all the manufacturers out there.

When you have IBS there are times you will spend anything to find a cure, if we can help you to spend only on the products which make a difference, you will save a fortune and improve faster.

If you wish to recommend a product please send an email to:

New Developments

Over the past few years there have been a number of developments which look set to change the way we look at and treat IBS. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides and Polyols, there is complicated science behind this, however for our purposes it relates to a group of foods which are difficult to digest.

These foods which are mal absorbed in the system are seen to draw liquid into the gut, as well as fermenting to cause gas and bloating.  A more detailed article can be seen by following this link.  We shall also be producing our own FODMAP page shortly as we feel that  this line of research has got real potential.

Another area of potential is the transference of healthy bacteria from another persons gut into that of an IBS sufferer.  As with above there have been no firm conclusions yet, but certainly the outlook looks positive for this form of treatment.

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“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Buddha

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