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The 3 Best Probiotics For Diarrhea

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Diarrhea — defined as three loose stools a day— is an unpleasant but all-too-common ailment that can result from a wide range of conditions, including viral and bacterial infections, food intolerances, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and even as a side effect of certain medications. When it happens, taking the best probiotics for diarrhea can help treat your stomach afflictions by reestablishing a normal balance of bacteria in your intestines.

According to Dr. Sari Eitches, an LA-based, board-certified doctor of internal medicine, the answer to the question, “can probiotics help diarrhea?” is a resounding yes.

"Probiotics can help restore the balance of the diverse microbiome that can get wiped out during a diarrheal illness," she told Bustle in an email.

Dr. Eitches has some recommendations for choosing probiotics as well. "For prolonged diarrheal illness, I also recommend adding a multi-strain probiotic which will help repopulate the gut,” she advises. She suggest looking for a probiotic with a minimum of two to 10 strains and at least 10 to 50 billion CFUs (colony forming units) per serving. She recommends looking for two strains in particular:

  • Saccharomyces boulardii, a probiotic yeast that Dr. Eitches recommends because it has been clinically proven to treat diarrhea — in particular, it can reduce the frequency and duration of the ailment.
  • Lactobacillus, which “can help protect the microbiome and its diversity."

One thing to note: You should always check with your health care provider before adding a supplement to your diet, but it's especially important to talk to your doctor before you start taking a probiotic if you're pregnant or have a serious health condition. Also, if you have food allergies, pay attention to the bottle's labeling to make sure it doesn't contain any allergens that may affect you.

Keep scrolling for more details on the best probiotics for diarrhea you can buy.

1

The Overall Best Probiotic For Diarrhea

Containing a diverse blend of 13 strains of probiotics, this Vitamin Bounty Pro-25 probiotic packs a lot into a single delayed-release capsule. It includes the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii, as well as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium — the latter of which is believed to also help relieve bloating.

It also contains fermented greens including alfalfa, oat grass, barley, grass, and wheatgrass. Studies show that fermented foods may benefit overall gut health and lessen the severity of diarrhea. This formula also has a 25 billion CFU concentration and is shelf-stable, so it does not need to be refrigerated. Note: These pills may contain wheat, milk, or soy as they manufactured in a plant that processes other related products.

Helpful review: “Suffering from chronic diarrhea, I tried medications and diet changes that had no effect at all. The doctor could find no cause for the problem, and told me my upper intestine was out of balance, and the best course of action was to just ride it out. Online research brought me to probiotics. These caplets had me back to normal within two days. Now they are part of my daily [regimen]."

2

A Fan Favorite Probiotic For Diarrhea

While this Physician's Choice probiotic may not contain Saccharomyces boulardii, it has an especially potent concentration of 60 billion CFUs and boasts 10 probiotic strains — including six different strains of Lactobacillus — and a mix of prebiotic fibers. This has made it one of the most popular probiotics on Amazon with over 50,200 reviews and an average star rating of 4.5 stars. Plus, it doesn’t need to be refrigerated and is free from common allergens like soy, gluten, dairy, and preservatives.

Helpful review: “I have not had a single GI issue since beginning use of this product-no bloating, upset stomach, constipation, diarrhea, or cramping. It has really made a difference in my life. It's great not to deal with the above issues on a daily basis."

3

The Best Liquid Probiotic For Diarrhea

For people who would rather not swallow pills, this MaryRuth Organics liquid probiotic comes in an unflavored liquid form that can be taken by itself or added to a beverage. It contains 12 probiotic strains, including five Lactobacillus ones. In addition, it's vegan, non-GMO, USDA-certified organic, and free of sugar, dairy, gluten, and soy. It also does not need to be refrigerated.

Note: This 100% raw, plant-based liquid is sourced from a blend of three types of grasses, so if you have any allergies, you should be cautious and consult a healthcare provider before taking this.

Helpful review: “Literally no flavor! This makes it easy to take. I was surprised at how quickly I experienced a difference in my IBS”

Expert:

Dr. Sari Eitches, board-certified doctor of internal medicine at SariMD

Studies referenced:

Billoo, A. G., Memon, M. A., Khaskheli, S. A., Murtaza, G., Iqbal, K., Saeed Shekhani, M., & Siddiqi, A. Q. (2006). Role of a probiotic (Saccharomyces boulardii) in management and prevention of diarrhoea. World journal of gastroenterology, 12(28), 4557–4560. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v12.i28.4557

Melini, F., Melini, V., Luziatelli, F., Ficca, A. G., & Ruzzi, M. (2019). Health-Promoting Components in Fermented Foods: An Up-to-Date Systematic Review. Nutrients, 11(5), 1189. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051189