Antibiotics For Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

CNN has reported that an antibiotic may soon be prescribed for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The full article can be found here.

Antibiotics will kill bad bacteria, but also kill good gut bacteria. Oftentimes the lack of good gut bacteria is the cause of IBS. People do not have enough good bacteria in their gut to aid in digestion. Killing off even more does not sound like a smart approach. More good bacteria need to be put in rather than kill off all bacteria. This can be accomplished by a number of different things such as pro-biotic supplementation, eating cultured vegetables, drinking cultured beverages, and more.

The study, which was funded by the drug-maker, indicates that many people’s conditions were improved by it. However, after the patients were off it for a while the symptoms often returned. Which would indicate the doctor would keep the patient on the antibiotic for an extended period of time.

The article states that 40% of the people in the study taking the antibiotic reported improvements compared to around 33% of people on a placebo. This doesn’t seem like a great success rate. We can only hope most doctors do not decide to prescribe this to their IBS patients.

IBS is caused by digestive malfunctions – if you need an antibiotic to help it, it likely is an infection and not true IBS. However, if symptoms just return after stopping the antibiotic then it may have just been a placebo effect to start with.

If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive issues, contact us today for a FREE health consultation. We can help get to the root cause of the problem and get you feeling better!

  • Good thing that a lot of newer sugar-free products (most notably gum) are now using xylitol. Which is sweet, but chemically-speaking “a sugar alcohol”.

    Thanks for the post… I completely agree that non-sugar sweeteners are bad for your health.

    Kevin :: Glyco Trainer
    On Twitter: @glycotrainer
    Web Site:

    • Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, xylitol can be a better option. We use a gum called Spry when we chew gum occasionally and it is sweetened with xylitol. However, some people do not tolerate xylitol well. There is also some speculation that a sweet taste in the mouth still triggers an insulin response, whether or not sugar is actually present. So, it’s probably best kept to a minimum. When I have clients on a blood sugar handling protocol, no sweeteners, even sugar alcohols, are permitted for a time to reset the sugar handling mechanism. Also, chewing gum can disrupt digestion as the chewing motion causes a series of events to begin in the body. Side note: xylitol is very poisonous to dogs (and perhaps other related animals). Make sure to keep it out of reach and do not use a xylitol sweetened toothpaste for your pets.

  • I did read a study on PubMed that indicated/confirmed the toxicity you are talking about in canines.

    But xylitol hast a very low glycemic index and an EXCEPTIONALLY low glycemic load (according to the website – managed by The University of Sydney, arguably an authority on glycemic index).

    Again, thank you for this post. I do not get tired of reading this information as I believe that not enough people are aware of the hidden problems in artificial sweeteners.

  • Absolutely, it does have a low glycemic index (and load). The problem is not with the actual consumption, it’s the sweet taste in the mouth that triggers the insulin response. This is a fairly new finding, but it looks like it has a strong basis in fact- when you look at how the body works- and it’s the sweet taste of sugar (or anything sweet- even sugar alcohols) that starts the insulin response. Now, is it the same as if you ate a dozen Krispy Kremes? No. Surely not. At that point you’re actually digesting the sugar (and who knows what else) and the response (and affect on the body) is much more severe. Nonetheless, it does appear that having a sweet taste in the mouth, regardless of source, triggers some response on some level.

  • I’ve suffered from IBS for a long time. The best solutions for me have been: sitting down and relaxing with I eat, drinking loads of water and a soluble fibre, like slippery elm, and I’ve also find a German blend of herbs called “Iberogast” very helpful, if taken regularly. Oh, and a hot water bottle and a lie down on my stomach when an attach happens. If you’ve got any other tips, I’d love to hear about them! Your blog is really great. Cheers, Angela

  • Hi Angela! Thanks so much for your comment and helpful suggestions! I got rid of my IBS by repairing my digestion, ridding my body of Candida overgrowth, drinking lots of bone broth and using a healing diet, like the GAPS diet (which includes a lot of bone broth!) Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂

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