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Prebiotics--Bacteria foodProbiotics--Bacteria or yeast that are "friendly". One thing they tend to have in common is they do not make gas from bacteria food.In theory the prebiotics seem to help the probiotic bacteria population increase, but the idea that the only bacteria that eat them are probiotics seems to be a bit of a stretch. They feed all bacteria and the ones in the gut that make gas will make gas from prebiotics.If you tolerate increased gas levels well, prebiotics are OK and may be helpful. However many IBSers can't tolerate any food that increases gas level and prebiotics may increase gas for you until (if and when) you get probiotic bacteria established in the colon.Probiotic bacteria tend to come and go so often people who do well on them will need regular "reseeding" of them to keep the populations up. Some probiotic bacteria have been tested in IBSers and can reduce symptoms for some poeple. I'm not sure if they've really run prebiotics through a good clinical test with IBSers but they are the new big fad so are promoted as being the bestest thing ever for all people, even though a lot of IBSers here have reported they can't tolerate them.
 

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I would start with probiotics, especially if you can find one that isn't loaded with prebiotics. If you tolerate carbs really well in the diet (and fermentable fibers like metamucil/psyllium) you will probably tolerate prebiotics, but I'm not clear on how useful prebiotics by themselves really are for most people with IBS. There is evidence some probiotics (VSL#3, Culturelle, Align are some other brands with specific clinical data) do help some people with IBS.
 
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