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.