Harvard Women's Health Watch

Ask the doctor: Will probiotics help IBS?

Q. I have chronic diarrhea because of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Should I take probiotics?

A. Probiotics are live microbes that are taken in capsule or powder form. They're also available in some yogurt products. Probiotics are thought to help with intestinal problems by restoring bacterial balance in the gut and possibly by affecting the immune system. Many strains of bacteria and a strain of yeast are used as probiotics, but they don't all have the same effectiveness.

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