Can probiotics treat IBS?
DAVID YUE, MD, of Edmonton, AB, asks, "Can you comment on the use of probiotics, such as lactobacillus GG, in the symptomatic treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Can you explain the rationale behind this?"
Although there has been great interest in probiotics in gastrointestinal disorders, there's no evidence that they're beneficial to the irritable gut, and I'm not aware of any convincing and reliable studies. Probiotics have been shown to be quite useful in the acute and maintenance treatment of pouchitis (after colectomy and ileal pouch procedures in ulcerative colitis). But their role in IBS, if any, has yet to be determined. AS