You may have noticed the commercials for probiotic rich yogurt that help support healthy digestion or may have even noticed an ever-growing selection of probiotic supplements lining the shelves of your grocery store.
Many people find that a combination of poor diet, environmental and personal stress are disrupting their digestion, which may have a negative impact on quality of life. Those suffering from ulcerative colitis know what a dramatic effect poor digestion can have on one’s life.
A painful and chronic disease, ulcerative colitis comes with a whole host of uncomfortable symptoms such as cramping, persistent, diarrhea, bloody stools, fatigue, and low energy.
While probiotics may not be the miracle cure for ulcerative colitis, some preliminary studies have found that certain probiotics may help to alleviate some of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with this condition.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are stains of good bacteria that help protect your gut and immune system. Your body relies on this colony of bacteria to help digest food and protect you from infection.
However, when you’re exposed to bad bacteria, it may take over the good bacteria and cause illness or unpleasant side effects such as diarrhea.
By taking a probiotic or eating foods rich in these good strains of bacteria, you can help restore the population of good microorganisms in your gut.
What are the Reported Benefits of Probiotics?
Probiotics promise many things. You may hear claims that probiotics will help treat everything from diarrhea to liver disease. Some experts claim that probiotics will help treat the following health problems:
- Treat food-borne illnesses
- Boost immune system
- Improve digestion
- Manage Eczema
- Prevent and treat urinary tract infections
- Help manage and treat irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and inflammatory bowel disease
How Do Probiotics Help Treat Ulcerative Colitis?
While probiotics may help manage the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, it cannot cure the condition.
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for ulcerative colitis, however, there are ways to help manage the symptoms and to prevent the condition from getting in the way of your daily routine.
A disease of the large intestine, ulcerative colitis comes with a whole host of unpleasant side effects such as uncomfortable cramping, bloody diarrhea, and bloating that makes you feel like a balloon ready to pop. This condition is characterized by flare-ups that can occur at any time, making it unpredictable and can greatly interfere with your life.
Doctors address ulcerative colitis by prescribing drugs that will help prevent flare-ups and treat the flare-ups that do occur. While it is important to follow the treatment routine prescribed by medical professionals, some people may consider taking a probiotic as a supplemental treatment to help boost the efficacy of prescribed medication.
If you are suffering from ulcerative colitis and are curious about probiotics, be sure to discuss with your doctor how probiotics can fit into your treatment routine and also help you determine which probiotics are right for you.
Probiotics may help prevent and shorten the duration of diarrhea. Some probiotics may also help prevent and treat cramping associated with ulcerative colitis.
Some preliminary studies have found that some probiotics are helpful in ulcerative colitis maintenance. This means that probiotics may help prevent flare-ups and help to reduce the severity of flare-ups that do occur.
It’s important to note that probiotics are not regulated by the FDA and therefore cannot make claims to treatment or should ever replace traditional drug therapy.
Currently, studies are in the preliminary phase and so far, results are mixed. It may be worth discussing with your doctor how probiotics may help to manage and prevent symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis flare-ups.
Which Probiotics are Beneficial for Ulcerative Colitis?
There are lots of different types of probiotics on the market, so it may be tricky to determine which probiotics may be best for you and your ulcerative colitis. The following types of probiotics are believed to be helpful when it comes to preventing and treating symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis.
Current research has found that probiotics that contain the Bifidobacterium strain of bacteria is effective in preventing ulcerative colitis flare-ups and also beneficial when it comes to treating symptoms associated with flare-ups.
By consuming food rich in this particular strain of probiotic or taking a supplement, you may be able to prevent relapse of this condition and increase the time between flare-ups. Regularly taking Bifidobacterium may also help decrease the severity of symptoms.
This type of probiotic is actually a strain of yeast as opposed to being a type of bacterium.
Some studies have found that this probiotic may help lessen the severity of ulcerative colitis symptoms, however, more rigorous scientific research needs to be performed to determine the efficacy of this probiotic.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
It is too early to determine just how effective this probiotic is when it comes to treating and preventing flare-ups, however, some early studies have found that taking this probiotic in conjunction with traditional ulcerative colitis medication helped to prevent the development of relapse of this condition.
Foods Rich in Probiotics
If you’re suffering from ulcerative colitis, you might want to consider adding probiotic-rich foods into a health and balanced diet.
By incorporating these probiotic-rich foods, you may help repopulate the healthy colony of good bacteria into your gut while helping to fight and reduce symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis.
- Milk infused with probiotics
- Soft cheeses such as gouda
- Miso soup
- Sourdough bread