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Probiotics for Diarrhea

When you are sick, it's normal to experience diarrhea. Diarrhea is a common condition in which the stools are extremely loose. Although not pleasant, it typically isn't a severe health issue.


Diarrhea may be caused by a viral infection or bacterial infection or maybe a sign of more severe disease. Usually, diarrhea resolves on its own after a few days, without any treatment. There are cases, however, in which treatment may slow down diarrhea.


How probiotics may prevent and treat diarrhea


Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that naturally reside in the gut. They are also found in certain foods and supplements. These beneficial microbes play several vital roles such as:

  • Boosting the immune system
  • Protecting your body against infection
  • Preventing digestive disorders like constipation and diarrhea
  • Keeping the balance of gut bacteria in check

A disruption in the composition and number of bacteria in the gut can lead to disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and digestive issues. A common symptom of IBS and IBD is diarrhea. The use of probiotics may prevent and treat some type of diarrhea by repopulating and maintaining the balance of gut bacteria.


Probiotics are adequate for the following types of diarrheas:


  • Diarrhea caused by infection

The term infectious diarrhea refers to diarrhea caused by an infectious agent, such as bacteria or parasites. More than 20 different types of bacteria, viruses, and parasites can cause infectious diarrhea, including E. coli, rotavirus, and Salmonella.

It's common in developing countries and can be fatal if left untreated. Reducing the duration of diarrhea, preventing dehydration, and reducing the infection time are among the treatments.


  • Traveler's diarrhea

Traveling exposes you to bacteria you don't normally encounter, which may cause diarrhea. A traveler with traveler's diarrhea will pass three or more unformed stools per day with at least one related symptom, such as cramps or abdominal pain, after reaching their destination. Study after study found that probiotic supplements significantly reduced the likelihood of travelers' diarrhea.


  • Diarrhea caused by antibiotics

Antibiotics are medications used to treat an array of illnesses caused by bacteria. A common side effect of antibiotic therapy is diarrhea, caused by the disruption of normal gut bacteria. The use of probiotics can improve the symptoms of diarrhea caused by antibiotic use by replenishing good bacteria in the gut.


Probiotic types for diarrhea


The following are the most effective probiotic strains for treating diarrhea:


  • rhamnosus: This strain is the most widely used in treating diarrhea. Both children and adults react well to this strain.
  • casei: L. Casei has also been studied for its anti-diarrheal properties. Children and adults may benefit from it to treat antibiotic-associated and infectious diarrhea.
  • Boulardii: S. Boulardii is a strain of yeast used as a probiotic supplement. This strain inhibits antibiotic-induced diarrhea.
  • lactis: This probiotic strain has gut-protective and immune-boosting properties that reduce the frequency and severity of diarrhea among children.


Certain types of probiotics may be effective in treating and preventing different types of diarrheas. While many strains of probiotics are available in supplement form, only a few have been tested for diarrhea treatment. If you are interested in using probiotics for treating or preventing diarrhea, it's best to talk to your healthcare provider first.


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