Answer:

Several different types of probiotics have been found to reduce symptoms of IBS, but the appropriate probiotic may depend on whether the IBS is causing predominantly diarrhea or constipation. (See the "What It Does" section of the Probiotic Supplements Review for details.)

Prebiotics have also been promoted for IBS, although the evidence is mixed.

Supplementation with the amino acid glutamine has been shown to reduce symptoms such as pain and bowel frequency in people with diarrhea-predominant IBS.

Interestingly, several small studies suggest melatonin may improve symptoms of IBS, possibly by affecting the nervous system in the digestive track. (See the "What It Does" section of the Melatonin Review for details).

Preliminary evidence suggests psyllium, a type of fiber, may be helpful for people with IBS with constipation.

There is mixed evidence as to whether peppermint oil can reduce symptoms of IBS.

See the Encyclopedia article about IBS for information about other potentially helpful supplements.

Be aware that a number of supplements, including fish oil, magnesium, high doses of vitamin C, berberine and turmeric/curcumin can cause diarrhea, so you may want to avoid these or reduce your dosage if you find they are exacerbating IBS symptoms. See the "Concerns and Cautions" section in each review for details.

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15 Comments

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Dan8615
April 6, 2016

I suffered from IBS for a couple of years. Now I take one pill of Garden of Life's Primal Defense Ultra Probiotic at bedtime. This has worked very well! If on occasion I have a loose bowel movement in the am, I'll take another pill but this rarely happens. Good luck!

Anna19341
April 8, 2020

Full-spectrum cbd oil has been a huge, unexpected, help with my IBS-C.

Rebecca17710
April 3, 2019

Chamomile tea is a lifesaver for me. If you don't like the flavor, mix it with peppermint tea, also good for IBS. IBS for me (many year sufferer) has been caused by acidic foods and things like caffeine, popcorn, alcohol. Stress contributes also.

MaRLA17709
April 3, 2019

Regarding IBS with diarrhea, my husband found complete relief when he drinks kratom tea. It’s a miracle for him.

ConsumerLab.com
April 3, 2019

Hi Marla - Thank you for sharing this. However, please be aware there are concerns with consuming kratom https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/is-kratom-too-dangerous-to-use/kratom/.

Brent17708
April 3, 2019

Standard Process Okra Pepsin E3 entirely relieved IBS-C in a couple of my family members and they only had to take 2 to 3 capsules a day for about 2 weeks. It either reset them or dissolved mucous surrounding the intestines so that their gut could start working properly again. I mention this because they had tried "everything" over the past decade with little lasting relief.

The "Okra Pepsin E3" worked. Passing the info along to anyone else that might benefit from it.

Betty17705
April 3, 2019

I had tried many things to eliminate IBS. A few years ago I stumbled upon Dr.David Williams ' Probiotics and to say they are successful, is the understatement of the year! I have very rarely had the usual IBS problems since taking this probiotic.

I do wish Consumerlab.com. would check this out. So many people could be helped.

renee 17722
April 5, 2019

Did it help with IBS - D or IBS - C? Those who tend towards D aren't going to want to take something that helps with constipation.

Jocelyn17490
January 23, 2019

I have had IBS-D for several years. A while ago I found the research on FODMAPS and food intolerance and tested myself and find that avoiding FODMAPS frees me of the problem. But I also found a suggestion that the main ingredient in BEANO can be helpful - alpha-galactosidase enzyme - although another one of BEANOs ingredients, mannitol, is a FODMAP. I eventually found the pure alpha-galactosidase enzyme being sold as Bean-zyme and if I take that whenever I eat a FODMAP food, it keeps the IBS-D at bay. I haven't tried it yet on sorbital containing fruits (peaches, plums, apricots, cherries...) because it isn't the season for them yet but it seems to work on many other FODMAPS like onions, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, lentils. It doesn't work on lactose so I take lactase pills for that as well.
Another extremely helpful thing has been a FODMAP app that I bought for my phone which I use for checking the food I am about to eat for FODMAPS. The app is not free but I think it supports the research being done on FODMAPS at Monash University.

Stephen16699
April 9, 2018

I had IBS-D for several years and taken many things to try to control it (different brands of probiotics, ground chia seeds, peppermint oil). One day I came across Plain Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) because I wanted to add protein to my morning shake and its 99% lactose free. After about a week, my bowel movements were more solid. Its been 7 months and no issues. I decided to do some research on Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) for IBS-D and couldn't find any solid information. Since WPI consist of many Branched Chain Amino Acids, I can only believe these have something to do with no flare ups. Before I started taking WPI, I was also taking 1 Multi-Vitamin, 2 Salmon Oil, 1 Florastor and 1 Align. Hope this may help someone else.

Daniel16697
April 8, 2018

I thought I suffered from LBS most of my life (66 years) finally I was diagnosed 6 months ago with celiac disease. No problems since going gluten free. Have yourself checked, it's a simple blood test.

Deadra R18427
September 22, 2019

Daniel, I'm so glad that you got tested and found your answer. People need to know that if you are IgA deficient, the standard test for celiac will give a false negative because the test relies on the IgA response. If you do test negative, make sure they follow up and test your IgA's. If you turn out to be IgA negative, there is another test they can give to check for celiac. Its possible that someone can have celiac and test negative so its important to follow up on that. And while on the topic, there is a misconception that eating gluten free is healthy. Eating gluten free is only healthy for people who don't tolerate it, and most gluten free products are not healthy. If you need to go gluten free, do it with naturally gluten free products. The specialty products that are out there are overpriced and most are really not that healthy. But Daniel, you got relief so keep doing what you are doing.

Jon16690
April 8, 2018

I've suffered from IBS for a long time, but have found relief in a supplement I am taking for another issue. It is chlorella. I buy it in bulk and take one teaspoon daily in a breakfast smoothie and another smaller amount in the evening when I think about it. It's really made a difference.

Al13896
April 5, 2017

N-A-G (N-Acetyl Glucosamine)
I use the Jarrow brand-120 veggie caps of 700 mg, each. Take 1 cap twice per day or as recommended by your health advisor. It's about $15 or less for a bottle. Although I never had an actual diagnosis of IBS, etc, I have suffered my whole life with mild to moderate intestinal issues. I had two older brothers who both had Crohn's disease and one of them died from it after 7 surgeries to remove most of his colon.
I was turned on to it in the March 2016 issue of Dr Mark Stengler's HEALTH REVELATIONS newsletter that I subscribe to. He has a web site where you may be able to get an archived copy of the article. Or simply do some online research where it explains how this supplement provides a protective lining in your system. I can't say enough for how it has improved my life, but your mileage may vary.

Susan13894
April 5, 2017

My IBS is always triggered by food and the only help I have found has been peppermint oil. It works like a charm! My primary goal is to avoid the foods I know will trigger IBS.

Jennifer13895
April 5, 2017

I second that completely! I don't think I could function without peppermint oil. I put it in my water bottle on days that I have GI problems and it works very well for me.

Fred13893
April 5, 2017

I have found the Dr.'s Best PepZin G. I. works great on IBS. People that I have suggested it to all agree. PepZin G I is a complex of the mineral zinc and l-carnosine, bound together to provide unique benefits.

Janine13892
April 5, 2017

I have a rather irritable gut, and probiotics have been helpful, plus when I'm having one of my gut attacks I take several d-mannose capsules, two peppermint gels, and a ginger cap. If it's really bad I'll also take a cranberry extract pill. This regimen usually takes care of the problem.

MARCIA14028
May 12, 2017

I take the D-mannose for bladder infection and incontinence and find it very good. I also have irritable bowel, but haven't noticed any effect?

ConsumerLab.com
May 15, 2017

Thank you for sharing your experience with D-mannose, Marcia. You may be interested in this CL Answer: https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/_/D-Mannose_UTI/

Melissa13891
April 5, 2017

That's funny that fish oil is said to cause diarrhea because that is the one thing that has helped my diarrhea-predominant IBS :)

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