Does anyone know if prebiotics are OK for IBS symptoms?

For 12 months I have been struggling with a really bad flare up of IBS which started in earnest after a cancer diagnosis and then the death of my father. My GP has concluded that all my debilitating symptoms are mainly due to stress and anxiety and has prescribed cofolac and an antidepressant which are not making any difference to the daily lower abdominal pain. At one time it was so bad that I landed in hospital for 5 days and the gastro doctor asked if I had tried a good probiotic. I have done some research and ordered a strong probiotic (at quite a cost). However, these probiotics also contain prebiotics which they also call FOS which according to the FODMAPs diet contain all the things you shouldn't eat. Anyone had any problems with prebiotics and have I wasted my money? Sorry to be so long winded but I am at my wits end.

14 Replies

  • I've read more than once that prebiotics shouldn't be taken if you have IBS and especially not if you're doing FODMAPs. I think we've all wasted money on buying the wrong 'remedies' and 'solutions', so you're definitely not alone!

    I've just started taking the probiotic VSL#3 - also expensive, but you just have to keep trying, don't you? I'm also taking aloe vera to see if that improves things, I know it does for some people.


  • Thank you for your reply. It is all very confusing as some websites say prebiotics are good fot IBS and some bad. I have looked at the probiotic VSL 3 and shall give this a go as it does seem to have some good reviews, so thank you for that info.

  • Where do you get VSL3 from?

  • There are several outlets online - all at different prices. I got mine from

  • The also sell it on Amazon which is a little cheaper, but I am not sure if it should be delivered in a cool container which I know that they don't do. I have also read that because of the high potency, many people split the doses.

  • Yes, the VSL I got from Nutricentre was packed in ice gel bags, but apparently it keeps at ambient for up to 7 days anyway. I'd also read that many people split the dose, so I started myself off at 1 sachet every other day and thought I'd see how that goes.

  • Hi there

    I too have started taking VSL#3 over the past month and have noticed my symptoms have calmed down. It is an expense but it seems to be working for me. Hope you find it works for you too.

  • Try Forever Living Aloe Vera Gel 50 ml twice a day ! Will take up to a month to benefit . For my daughter it has been amazing

    Good luck x

  • Hi, My consultant and GP have suggested VSL saying there have been a very good response. I havent tried it yet but after reading this post I think I might give it a go.

  • Hi I tried the probiotic from health span and it has worked for me the highest amount ones can't think of the name just now

  • I agree. I'm on FOdmAps or trying, with good results so far. Most prebiotics fall in this group, and even some probiotics are irritating. Let us know what works. I hate spending a bunch of money only to have the product sit in my burgeoning cupboard of failed remedies.

  • I have been on Symprove for a year now. They do day you can do a shirt sharp course but I'm better on long term. It is expensive but best I've been for years an cut meds dramatically.

  • In 2014, University College London, carried out an independent study on 8 leading products containing bacteria. The study subjected the products to three challenge tests to assess if the bacteria arrived in a live state, survived stomach acid transit and thrived in the target area of the gut. Symprove was one to survive the stomach. I wonder how many people have tried it on here - it seems to work for some people.

  • I think I tried the Symprove for a month but went back to Acidophilus from Holland and barrett. It is cheaper and I find it helps if taken regularly. I take it in morning with water before breakfast. I take 2 usually. I was advised to take probiotics by therapist who did my colonics yrs ago so I trusted her knowledge. Hope whatever you choose helps.

You may also like...