To understand the relationship between constipation and probiotics, it is necessary to understand a few things about both. Knowing what can cause constipation is, in many cases, the best way to resolve the problem. Understanding what the role of probiotics in the body is can help a person to effectively use those probiotics in order to help with constipation or with other health concerns.
Constipation is, most often, caused by a lack of dietary fiber. The best way to deal with constipation, then, is usually to increase your fiber intake. In other cases, constipation may be caused by a lack of fluids, or by dehydration. Here again, the remedy is in the cause; getting enough fluids will help to reduce or eliminate your constipation. For some people, using laxatives regularly to combat constipation actually wind up making their constipation more intense and more frequent in the long run. Constipation can also be caused by taking certain types of medications, especially many prescription pain killers. Still, sometimes we become constipated for other reasons. For some people, even getting enough fiber and fluids isn’t sufficient to control their constipation. That is where probiotics may be useful for constipation.
Probiotics are actually live bacteria. These are the same bacteria that live, naturally, in a person’s gastrointestinal tract. These bacteria do a number of things for people. They help the process of digestion along, which can, of course, help with constipation. Probiotics help to keep the flora inside of the gastrointestinal tract, or the “gut flora” balanced. This, in turn, helps the gastrointestinal tract to more efficiently and more effectively perform its task of digestion. If food is digested more efficiently and more effectively, constipation will generally be reduced as a result.
It is no surprise that there may be a link between constipation and probiotics. Probiotics have been demonstrated to reduce diarrhea, for example. Probiotics are also sometimes helpful for individuals who have IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. While research is still ongoing, the potential for probiotics to be able to help with things like constipation seems to be very high.