Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – Bio-Kult Advanced

Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – Bio-Kult Advanced

Do you suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)? 

We hear the term Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) quite frequently, but a lot of us get confused with what it means.

The term basically refers to when there is an imbalance in our gut, especially our gut bacteria, which in turn leads to us experiencing a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. These can range from either constipation or diarrhoea (not everyone gets affected in the same way), nausea, bloating following whatever we eat, abdominal pain/cramps, and a general uncomfortable feeling. All these symptoms lead to us feeling unwell and unhappy.

Experiencing these IBS symptoms on a daily basis can become very tiring. And let’s face it, we all want to feel healthy and happy, and when our gut is unhappy, so are we.

What can we do to help reduce the symptoms of IBS? We first need to understand what leads to IBS and how we can improve small things in our daily lives to help us reduce the symptoms.


We often hear the term gut microbiome. In every organ in our bodies (eyes, skin, bladder, bowels etc) we find a number of different healthy bacteria that help to maintain a balanced environment in that organ. The bacteria found in different organs will be different, as the needs of the eye will be different to the needs of the bladder or gut.

The gut microbiome in IBS patients has been found to have specific differences to that in healthy patients. There is less diversity of bacteria, and even the concentration of the bacteria is different (some are found in lower concentrations and some in higher concentrations).

A number of studies have focused on identifying which probiotic strains actually give benefit to IBS patients. There are numerous probiotic strains available, but not all will offer the same benefit in IBS symptom reduction. Out of all the probiotics available, only 7 were found to actually reduce IBS symptoms. Patients taking probiotics containing a mix of these 7 probiotic strains have reported a 50-70% reduction in bloating and abdominal pain.


Like with everything else, balance is the most important thing. Eating a balanced diet will provide our bowels with a variety of nutrients that can help keep it functioning well.

However, there are certain foods that can trigger IBS symptoms, and ideally these should be either avoided or taken in small quantities only. Not everyone is the same, and therefore, not everyone will get IBS symptoms with the same foods. As a first step, keep a food & symptom journal. Inside it, list what you have eaten and list also what symptoms bother you for every day. Sometimes this will help us to identify certain foods to avoid if they are giving us IBS symptoms every time we eat them.

Other times, avoiding foods that are known to cause symptoms in a lot of patients also helps. Studies carried out have shown that eating a low FODMAP diet, and also avoiding fried food, caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks helps in reducing IBS symptoms. Avoiding foods that are difficult to digest will also help. These include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, beans, onions and dried fruit.

Always seek the advice of your doctor or pharmacist before starting a particular diet, especially if you take daily medication or have a chronic medical condition.

Gut-brain axis

Our gut and our brain are connected to each other by what is called the gut-brain axis. This connection is like a two-way street, where what happens in the gut affects our brain, and vice versa. For example, if a person’s nerves in the gut are very sensitive, these can trigger certain changes even in our mood. For example, if a person’s gut is very sensitive to certain food ingredients, these changes can also present as migraines. It could be as a direct effect, or because as particular ingredients they change the gut bacteria, which in turn produces changes in how our gut communicates with our brain. In turn, our thought and feelings (e.g. anxiety and stress), can also trigger changes in our gut and can lead to diarrhoea, constipation or nausea.

How can we help this gut brain communication?

We should try to include relaxation exercises in our daily lives. Simple daily routines like taking 30-minute walks (especially in nature or near the sea), breathing exercises and meditation or yoga will all help our brain and body to relax.

Food supplements containing magnesium and Vitamin B6 also help our brain to deal with stress and fatigue. Combining these with a multistrain probiotic will help to target the brain as well as the gut. The more strains the probiotic contains, the better, as it will help to target different imbalances in the gut.