You may have heard of the term “probiotics” but are unsure of what it is and how it can benefit you. If you have digestive issues, probiotics can promote better digestive health and possibly improve your symptoms.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are naturally found in the body, on the skin, and in the mouth, gut, lungs, urinary tract, and vagina. They are what’s called “good bacteria.” In your gut, probiotics have a large presence in your large intestines.
Probiotics and Digestive Health
Probiotics play an important role in your body. They are necessary for good health and for the body to function well, helping with digestion and keeping immunity and inflammation in check. Probiotics fight off bad bacteria and maintain a healthy balance in your body, keeping it neutral, and making you feel better.
What do probiotics do for digestive health? Probiotics line the gut and prevent bad bacteria from entering the blood through the food and drink that enters the mouth. They also aid in the breakdown and absorption of the medication. Researchers found probiotics to help improve the breakdown of lactose and carbohydrates, reduce uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation, and production of some vitamins.
Although more research needs to be done to understand how probiotics promote digestive health, someone with digestive symptoms may benefit from increasing the number of good microbiomes in the body. Potential benefits of probiotics were seen in patients with gastrointestinal conditions such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), H. pylori, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, vaginal infections, and urinary tract infections, to name a few.
How to Increase Good Microbes in the Body
Increasing the number of good bacteria is possible through food, drinks, and supplements. You may want to introduce the following into your diet:
- Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Fermented pickles
- Fermented sauerkraut
- Fermented tea like kombucha
- Fermented dairy such as kefir
- Miso soup
Supplementation may help increase the level of good microbiomes in the body, just make sure to consult a doctor before taking probiotic supplements. There are many probiotic supplements available on the market, and because they are supplements and not drugs, they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As such, you may end up with a lower-quality product without good research. In addition, it is not recommended that people with a compromised immune system take probiotics, as it can lead to them getting sick.
If you would like to have better digestive health, the best thing you can do is to consult a gastroenterologist or GI doctor. GI doctors specialize in treating diseases of the gastrointestinal system and have in-depth knowledge of the workings of the digestive system and how to keep it healthy.
Improve Your Digestive Health Now
Our board-certified gastroenterologists at Austin Gastroenterology (AG) go the extra mile in helping our patients reach peak digestive health. From diagnostics to treatment and prevention, we can serve all your GI needs. You will receive the best GI care in Central Texas in any one of our clinics. To make an appointment with one of our doctors, call our clinic nearest you or use our convenient online appointment request form.