Probiotics for IBD
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a term for two types of conditions that cause chronic inflammation of the GI tract. The two most common forms of IBD include:
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes the digestive tract to swell and become irritated. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, the two major diseases that makeup IBD causes swelling and sores in the lining of the GI tract. Symptoms of IBD include diarrhea and abdominal pain.
IBD isn’t fatal, but it’s a serious disease that sometimes may cause life-threatening complications. IBD may affect your entire life, not just your GI tract, but you can lessen the symptoms of IBD by taking antibiotics and probiotic supplements.
Probiotics are living organisms that confer health and benefits to the host. They restore the balance of good bacteria in the gut. People with inflammatory bowel disease have less microbial diversity and a loss of beneficial and anti-inflammatory bacteria.
What causes inflammatory diseases?
The exact cause of inflammatory bowel disease is unknown, but IBD is thought to result from a defective immune system. In cases of IBD, the immune system mistakenly perceives foods and other substances in the digestive tract as foreign. As a result, the immune system floods the tract with white blood cells. This overflowing white blood cell causes the symptoms of IBD.
According to theories, the cause of IBD results from defective immune response because of an unbalanced microbiome in the gut. The delicate balance between the gut microbiota and the host appears to be lost in IBD. This theory implies the use of probiotics to help restore the balance of the gut flora.
The role of probiotics on people with IBD
The use of probiotic supplements is a logical therapeutic approach for IBD. Currently, there’s no cure for inflammatory bowel disease. However, there are medications such as antibiotics and probiotic supplements to help control the inflammation and allow the intestine to heal. Once inflammation and diarrhea are under control, other medications can reduce the number of flare-ups and keep the disease from coming back.
Probiotics for Ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a lasting disease that causes sores and inflammation in the colon known as ulcers. UC is relapsing and remitting. There are times when it is quiet and other times it flares ups causing symptoms. Experts believe that the cause is due to a genetic mutation that causes the colon to be irritated by bad bacteria.
In clinical studies, people with ulcerative colitis who takes probiotic supplements experience fewer symptoms during UC flare-ups. The symptoms experienced were less severe. Probiotics may not help end the flare-ups faster, but they seem to make it less severe and less frequent.
Probiotics for Crohn’s disease
Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disease with no known cure. The immune system of people with this type of disease does not function normally. Using probiotic supplements may help restore the balance of intestinal flora. This may help tame an overly aggressive immune system and keep the flare-up under control. Probiotic supplements may be more effective when used along with antibiotics.