Is Yogurt Bad for IBS? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Yogurt is good for IBS. Because it has probiotics and calcium and they can reduce inflammation, gas, bloating and diarrhea.

IBS is a condition that affects your digestive system and causes symptoms like stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.

In IBS, your body has issues with the nerves and muscles in your intestines, which may make them more sensitive or contract too strongly or weakly.

This can lead to various health problems, such as malabsorption, dehydration, hemorrhoids and poor quality of life.

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 health1

To effectively manage IBS, you should consume fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains and avoid fat-rich foods like fried foods, cheese and butter.

Now, yogurt is a food produced by bacterial fermentation of milk.

It contains live cultures of beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics.

People usually eat yogurt plain or with added sugar, fruit or granola.

Yogurt is good for IBS because it contains probiotics and calcium.

Probiotics can help restore the balance of gut bacteria and reduce inflammation, gas and bloating.

Calcium can help regulate muscle contractions and prevent diarrhea.

However, yogurt may not be suitable for people with IBS who are lactose intolerant, as it still contains some lactose, which can cause digestive distress.

One cup of plain, low-fat yogurt can give you 49% of your daily calcium needs, 28% of your daily phosphorus needs, 10% of your daily magnesium needs and 12% of your daily potassium needs.

Probiotics can positively affect IBS by improving the intestinal barrier function, modulating the immune system, inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria and producing short-chain fatty acids that nourish the colon cells.

Calcium can positively affect IBS by binding to excess bile acids and water in the colon, which can reduce diarrhea and prevent dehydration.

Furthermore, yogurt is a dairy product and dairy products are good for IBS.

Because, they provide high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals that can support your health and well-being.

You can eat one to three servings of yogurt per day safely.

More than that can cause excess calcium intake, which can interfere with iron absorption and cause constipation.

Also, you shouldn’t eat yogurt if you have lactose intolerance to prevent abdominal pain, gas, bloating and diarrhea.

Because, lactose intolerance means that your body cannot digest lactose, the natural sugar found in milk and dairy products.

You can buy fresh yogurt in your local market or can order it from online.

Always choose yogurt that has live and active cultures, low fat and no added sugar.

Because, these factors can enhance the health benefits of yogurt and reduce the potential drawbacks.

You can store yogurt in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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 an IBS-friendly 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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