IBS Tales Home > Treatment Reviews > IBS Supplements > Acidophilus


Rated 4.1/5 based on 14 reviews

Acidophilus is a probiotic strain that is found in a number of different probiotic products. It can treat general IBS symptoms. There are a range of acidophilus products available but most come in capsule form.

Acidophilus side effects

The most common side effects of acidophilus are gas and bloating.


Review by Jane

I have been suffering with IBS symtoms (diarrhea-based) for a long time and used to use Imodium when my symptoms were bad. Recently though my symptoms began to be much worse and I had very watery diarrhea. I began to be very worried about this as I couldn't understand how I was not becoming very ill.

I went to the doctors several times and am in the process of seeing a specialist, but three weeks ago I saw some old acidophilus tablets in the cupboard that I must have bought ages ago as I had forgotten all about them. I started to take them one a day in desperation and wow they worked! I now have normal bowel movements and very occasional diarrhea, but only if I eat cream or yogurt. I am just so pleased! I would recommend trying acidophilus to anyone with the same symptoms as it worked for me.

Review by Bruce

I struggle with IBS and have been trying to find at least a partial solution that does not require prescription drugs or some unsustainable diet. I tried another (more expensive) refrigerated probiotic which was recommended by a naturopath but it did not seem to do anything. Then my health food store recommended Naka Nutri Probiotic and so I combined it with the other partial fix I saw online which is to take a calcium citrate tablet each day.

This combo has definitely decreased issues of frequency and urgency and so I am very pleased with the blend of Naka product and calcium citrate. I also think that, as was noted by our health food store, the fact the Naka probiotic is in an enteric veggie capsule to protect it from stomach acid as it travels to the intestine makes it more effective (for me anyway) than the refrigerated other probiotics.

Review by Patty

I started suffering symptoms at age 50 of constipation and not being able to finish. I always seemed to be full of stuff which can really make a person miserable. I went to the doctor who said it was fibroids and I needed a hysterectomy. I had a hysterectomy but the symptoms didn't go away. They always seemed worse after a rich meal or a 'fun' weekend so I thought it was diet.

I felt constantly inflamed - that's the only way I could describe it, an inflamed gut. It was worse on Monday after a weekend and it took until Wednesday to feel better again. I could sometimes go to the toilet seven times a day.

I went back to the doctor various times over the years. Once I said "When it's bad I feel like I'm going to die." She replied with a laugh "Well, you're clearly not as you're not losing weight." None of them had any answers. None had heard of any new treatments. I even bought those hypnotherapy CDs. I think I gave up after 200 nights of listening. Nothing changed. I was always bloated and heavy and couldn't go.

Then! Last year in the States I bought a bottle of Nature's Bounty Probiotic 10 at Costco. I had always wanted to try them but they are so expensive for a month and you just don't know which to try. At Costco in dollars they were cheaper.

I started taking two Probiotic 10 capsules with 20 billion live bacteria in 10 different probiotic strains, including lactobacillus plantarum and lactobacillus acidophilus. It is the only thing I have taken religiously every single day since last June. Never missed a day. At about the fourth month of taking these I was better. Seriously better! It can only be the pills.

I never complain now. Never have to just go sit in a chair. I have energy. I can go and only once a day! And I never suffer after a boozy or calorie-laden weekend of what most would consider normal food. Chocolate I do think is a no-no sadly but even now I can eat chocolate and not suffer the next day.

Why don't doctors prescribe probiotics? They are not mumbo-jumbo.I will never stop taking these for the rest of my life. I feel cured. Please pass this on to your readers. I know it won't help all of them but it has certainly helped me. I haven't got up the courage yet to go down to the doctor to ask them why they don't tell their clients to try these. Ridiculous! A small price to pay for a virtual cure. Thanks for listening.

Review by Sue

I have suffered for more years than I can tell you. No-one, not one doctor told me about probiotics. I found out for myself by talking to people and reading articles about this problem. You could say I taught myself. I know I live in a small town but that is very sad in my opinion. So I just started to take acidophilus by going to the health food store and asking which one is the best. I found out that the ones that have to be refrigerated are the best because they have so many live organisms in them to chew off the bad bacteria.

I take one daily and I have seen a noticeable difference. I'm not perfect yet, but much better. It's only been three days and I feel the difference already. I hope I continue this trend. Even though it is quite expensive it works. I am 65 and I have suffered for 45 of those years.

Review by Rebecca

Having read the IBS treatment page and reviews I spoke with a friend who works in Holland and Barrett. I was diagnosed with IBS 18 month ago and mainly suffer from IBS-C with periods of IBS-D. Having discussed my symptoms and the supplements recommended by other IBS sufferers she recommended Acidophilus Plus which contains lactobacillus acidophilus, casei and rhamnosus. I am taking one every other day with my evening meal and I have found a marked improvement in my IBS-C symptoms. I have only been taking them a couple of weeks but so far so good.

Review by Ayla

I may have started suffering from IBS around age 12, but it wasn't diagnosed until I was around 17. After years of not knowing what was wrong with me I had been reduced to a diet literally limited to Kix cereal, saltine crackers and water. The probiotics acidophilus and bifidus gave me my life back. I can't even describe how awesome the stuff is.

It's like gas in the tank. I only seem to need one capsule every two weeks, and it's reduced my attacks from one every two or three days to one every two to three months! And at 180 pills and $20 a bottle it's extremely affordable. I had the diarrhea version of IBS, so I don't know how this would do for someone with constipation IBS. Actually, the only side effect I've ever noticed is if I take too much of this it constipates me...just a little. Overall though, I don't think I could live without this stuff.

Review by Christina

I have suffered from IBS-A (alternating diarrhea/constipation) for seven years. My symptoms typically include severe gas, severe abdominal pain, and alternating diarrhea and constipation. I have been taking acidophilus in pill form, once a day, for almost two months. While my symptoms are not completely gone, they have improved tremendously. For the past seven years I had not had one 'normal' bowel movement. Everything that came out was either short, incomplete hard stools, or diarrhea.

Since being on acidophilus I have one or two complete stools per week and my gas problem has been completely eliminated. I still have regular attacks, but they are no longer as painful or frequent. I'm planning to increase my acidophilus intake to two pills a day to see if I can relieve all symptoms. I would highly recommend acidophilus to anyone with IBS.

Review by Kirsten

As an IBS with constipation type, I finally began to have regular bowel movements after taking more fiber and a low level daily dose of Zoloft. However, I have suffered tremendously from ongoing gas and it has made me miserable. I tried probiotics before with little or mixed luck. This time I tried acidophilus and I'm experiencing actual change.

I take one capsule a day as well as have one serving of plain yogurt a day. My experience suggests that people may need to try another probiotic if one doesn't seem to work or even multiple probiotics. Some may be of better quality, of course, but it could also be that your body may respond more positively to certain probiotics.

I must add qualifiers to the success of the probiotics. The first few days I took the acidophilus, I had lots of symptoms, and terrible gas in fact. Given that I could trace it to nothing other than taking the probiotic, I've attributed it to my body getting rid of bad bacteria to make room for the good (this is how I've read it described on multiple trustworthy websites). Be prepared to either stay in or ward off your significant others for their own protection!

I've also cut back on the number of starchy carbs generally. Heather Van Vorous suggests that you bulk up on the soluble fiber (which includes a number of starchy carbs), but if your problem involves an imbalance in your intestinal flora, you may only be feeding the bad flora and sustaining the imbalance. For me, that appears to have contributed to gas production and misery!

I have not cut out all grains. I simply make sure I have a protein with my oatmeal and I have only one slice of bread per sandwich rather than two, etc. I'm also cutting down on cookies, etc. Doing both so far has made for a much quieter, happier and socially acceptable existence! I am happy to say that I haven't had to remove the starchy carbs entirely.

Review by Hally

I am a 22 year-old female, and I have been suffering with severe IBS for about a year. The main problem I have is diarrhea, and it has been so severe that I have to constantly be near a bathroom. My entire life has been put on hold due to my IBS - I am sure that everyone who has this disorder knows exactly how I feel!

It's like being a prisoner in your own home (or even a prisoner in the bathroom.) I have had at least 10 to 20 bowel movements a day, every day for a year, and none of the medicines my gastroenterologist gave me have helped my symptoms. I tried Imodium, several courses of antibiotics, Lomotil, Bentyl, Donnatal, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Pepto-Bismol, Levbid, and some other drugs normally given to IBS sufferers.

I began to think that nothing was ever going to improve and I would never be able to live a normal life. Since none of the medications worked for me, I decided to go in a completely different direction with my treatment and take probiotics. I now take capsules of acidophilus, enzymes (to help with digestion), lactobacillus and bifidus bacterium about a half hour before I eat anything.

Usually I take each capsule a total of four to six times a day, which has really helped me. The supplements have helped me get my life back, and control diarrhea and cramps. Probiotics have been a lifesaver for me. Plus, they're safer than some of the medications out there. I hope this information helps!

Review by Julia

I have had IBS for 10 years or perhaps longer, and mine is more constipation prone. I had bloating and pain which also involved having a low back ache. I have been taking Acidophilus caplets (bought at a high street health shop) at six pounds for 100. I take one a day, usually midday as you must not have them with hot food or drinks. I have found these most helpful.

Review by Melody

I was diagnosed with IBS when I was still in school. I have been out for 26 years. I started taking acidophilus (found with vitamins in the pharmacy section) about a year ago. As long as I religiously take the two pills a day I do not have pain, diarrhea or constipation. I still get gas and bloating sometimes, but only because I have problems with dairy products and I can't seem to give them up. But the main thing for me is being free from the pain. I hope that this helps some other IBS sufferers. Have a good day!

Review by Samina

I have suffered from multiple food allergies since childhood, which have steadily grown in number, and my IBS (up to 12 bowel movements a day, always loose) reached its worst level at age 25. Doctors seemed unable to help and put it all down to stress.

Stress was a factor, but since taking Biocare acidophilus and eliminating wheat I have noticed a huge improvement. However the improvement only lasts while I continue to take at least three capsules daily all in one go. I used to have episodes every fortnight but if I take a maintenance dose of three caps per day I can manage to go without a bout for a few months at a time.

I also tried Primal Defense which was very good but expensive, and was a bit too strong for me as I experienced a lot of die-off symptoms from the bad bacteria.

Review by T

I have suffered from IBS (mainly diarrhea) for most of my life. At age 30 my nutritionist recommended Biocare Acidophilus two caps a day. At this dose it did not have any noticeable effect. I then read on that you can take much higher doses to overcome food poisoning. I took about 12 capsules (in two doses on an empty stomach) after a particularly bad bout that went on for weeks and it sorted it within a day. I have since noticed I can have normal bowel movements if I take high doses but this works out to be expensive.

Review by Bill

I'm a 10-year veteran of IBS-D, and like most sufferers I have run through the trial and error of various medicines, tests, exercises, you name it. I had a guy at the health store tell me about probiotics. They come in capsule form and I take two a day. Before I started taking probiotics I was experiencing five to 10 episodes a month. After about two weeks my serious symptoms went away. Still some minor spasms and gas, but nothing else.

For three months I was as good as I had been in years. I did have a setback where I had a serious episode that lasted a week, but for the last couple months all is well again. So while I can't explain the episode I have to believe there is something to this probiotics stuff. Up to now nothing has come remotely close to helping. The product I am taking contains acidophilus, bifidum, and longum. Good luck!

Do you suffer from IBS? Have you tried acidophilus? Please contact Sophie to send in your review.