April is IBS Awareness Month, first held in 1997 and launched by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD). For further information about IBS Awareness Month, and for support and advice visit https://www.aboutibs.org/site/living-with-ibs/ibs-awareness-month/ An estimated 9-23% of people worldwide suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), for which there is no known cure. Fortunately, there are ways to relieve symptoms of IBS, which include abdominal pain accompanied by diarrhea, constipation or episodes of both. One promising strategy for managing IBS involves the use of probiotics. These friendly bacteria live and work in the gut, where they are responsible for such things as:
- Keeping pathogens (disease causing organisms) in check
- Supporting normal immune function (and immune system development in children)
- Synthesising nutrients such as vitamin B12
- Modulating neurotransmitter levels.