Is Kombucha Good for IBS? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Kombucha is good for IBS because it contains probiotics, antioxidants, and organic acids, which can help balance the gut bacteria, reduce inflammation, and ease diarrhea and constipation.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects your digestive system.

It causes abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both.

IBS is a chronic condition that you’ll need to manage long term.

In IBS, your body has problems with the nerves and muscles that control the movement of food and waste through your intestines.

This can lead to various health problems, such as malabsorption, inflammation, infection, and psychological distress.

One of the key factors in managing IBS is diet.

What you consume can affect your gut bacteria, which can impact your IBS symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage IBS, you should consume fiber-rich foods like oats, carrots, and berries and avoid FODMAP-rich foods like garlic, onion, and honey.

FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates that can cause gas and bloating in some people with IBS.

Now, kombucha is a fermented tea drink that contains probiotics, antioxidants, and organic acids.

People usually drink it for its health benefits, such as improving digestion, immunity, and detoxification.

Kombucha is good for IBS because it contains probiotics, which can help balance the gut bacteria and reduce inflammation in the gut.

Probiotics can also help ease diarrhea and constipation, which are common symptoms of IBS.

However, kombucha is not good for all types of IBS.

Some people with IBS may have a sensitivity to FODMAPs, which are also present in kombucha.

FODMAPs can trigger gas, bloating, and pain in some people with IBS, especially those with IBS-D (diarrhea-predominant) or IBS-M (mixed bowel habits).

One cup of kombucha can give you about 10% of your daily needs of vitamin B12, 4% of vitamin B6, and 2% of vitamin C.

Vitamin B12 can help with nerve function and red blood cell production, vitamin B6 can help with metabolism and mood regulation, and vitamin C can help with immunity and collagen synthesis.

Probiotics can positively affect IBS by restoring the gut microbiome and modulating the immune system.

Antioxidants can positively affect IBS by protecting the cells from oxidative stress and inflammation.

Organic acids can positively affect IBS by lowering the pH of the gut and inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria.

Furthermore, kombucha is a carbonated drink and carbonated drinks are bad for IBS.

Because they introduce gas into the digestive system, which can cause cramping and pain due to the hypersensitivity of the gut.

You can drink one cup of kombucha per day safely.

More than that can cause side effects such as nausea, headache, and acid reflux, due to the high acidity and caffeine content of kombucha.

Also, you shouldn’t drink kombucha if you have a history of gastric ulcers, kidney stones, or liver disease, to prevent worsening your condition.

Because kombucha can irritate the stomach lining, increase the urinary oxalate levels, and interfere with the liver function.

You can buy kombucha in most grocery stores, health food stores, or online.

Always choose organic, low-sugar, and unpasteurized kombucha.

Because organic kombucha is free of pesticides and chemicals, low-sugar kombucha is better for your blood sugar and calorie intake, and unpasteurized kombucha preserves the live probiotics and enzymes.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing IBS effectively.

I always recommend my IBS patients to follow a low-FODMAP diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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