The Impact of IBS on Quality of Life
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is an unpleasant condition that involves how the gut functions, and its severity can affect our quality of life. IBS has been considered the second leading cause of absenteeism next to the common cold.
Is Probiotics Beneficial for IBS Patients’ Quality of Life?
Studies have shown the role of gut bacteria and microflora in gut function and that they differ in IBS patients compared to healthy subjects. Probiotic bacteria suitable for the gut have modestly helped with some IBS symptoms like belly pain, bloating, and frequent bowel movements, but the effect of probiotics on IBS-related quality of life (IBS-QoL) is unclear.
This pilot clinical trial was designed to determine the right dose of a novel probiotic combination that would enhance the quality of life for people with IBS. The probiotic blend consisted of three different types of bacteria: two Lactobacillus Plantarum and one Pediococcus Acidilactici. These bacteria were chosen because they can survive in the gut and stick to the intestinal mucus. When combined, these three strains produced acids similar to what is found in a healthy gut and reduced inflammation and diarrhea in animal models.
The Study Method on Probiotics in Improving the Quality of Life of IBS Patients
This multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention clinical trial with three parallel arms was participated in by 84 patients with IBS and diarrhea. They were randomly allocated into three groups:
- 28 in Group 1 received a high dose of I.31.
- 27 in Group 2 had a low dose of I.31.
- 29 in Group 3 had a placebo.
The study products were in capsule form and were taken at one capsule a day for six weeks. At baseline and after three and six weeks of treatment, patients filled out the IBS-QoL, Visceral Sensitivity Index (VSI), and symptom relief questionnaires.
During treatment, IBS-QoL increased in all groups. After three weeks of treatment, the change was significantly higher in patients treated with I.31 than those who received a placebo. It became more significant after six weeks. As measured with VSI, gut-specific anxiety also considerably improved after six weeks of treatment in patients treated with probiotics. No adverse reactions were reported following the consumption of probiotic capsules.
The study found that a probiotic combination I.31 was superior to a placebo at improving the quality of life for people with IBS. This finding suggests that this probiotic may help manage IBS overall.