Can Probiotics Help With My Food Intolerance?

Sarah Asks...

"I have IBS and a ton of food intolerances, which I'm very careful with, but I feel like for the past few months I can’t eat anything without feeling sick. I heard probiotics are good. Can you give any advice on them?"

Hi Sarah,

I’m so sorry to hear you’re having problems with food intolerances.

Have you been tested for your food intolerances? Intolerances aren’t life-long so it’s possible you’ve developed new ones (and maybe the old ones have resolved).

A few thoughts: First, make sure you’re checking food labels for anything that comes in a package, can or jar. Even if it’s a food you’ve eaten for years, there may be a new ingredient in there that you’re reacting to. It’s very common for food manufacturers to change up their ingredients and not mention it to consumers.

Another suggestion is to keep a food and symptom journal to see if you’re reacting to the same foods. That will help you know what to eliminate. You might also note any other factors, like your stress level or amount of sleep you’re getting. All of those things come into play when it comes to gut health.

I do like probiotics, and there is some good research which supports their use for IBS. There are some that are better for IBS with diarrhea and others are better for IBS with constipation, so it’s important to do some research and ask your healthcare provider or a pharmacist for guidance.

If you can eat dairy foods, I also really like Greek yogurt and especially plain, unsweetened kefir. Both are good sources of healthy bacteria. Coconut kefir is a good non-dairy substitute. It’s made from coconut water and usually sold with the refrigerated probiotics in a health food store.

I hope that helps!