Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Tap water?


Is it possible that municipal tap water, containg fluride and chlorine, can have an adverse effect on beneficial intestinal bacteria? I have always used tap water but have just switched to bottled 'Culligan' water.
I have malabsorption, poor digestion of foods and too fast transit time, and bloating, as the chief symprtoms of my I.B.S. Too early to tell if the bottled water makes a difference yet.
I am trying an experiment for the next few weeks I will only drink bottled water and take probiotic capsules to see if that helps.
In the past when I took probiotic capsules they gave relief after about two weeks-by that time they had run out. I cant stomach yogurt. Maybe I should take them continually?
Thanks for your thoughts!

Barry, I don't think there is any evidence for your thoughts on the municiple water supply, but I can understand your logic in this!

As for the probiotics and bottled water, this is certainly worth trialing and I hope it works for you. I know you don't like yoghurt, but you may be interested to hear about a probiotic yoghurt called ProVen that has got some evidence base for IBS. You can read about this by going to my web site, IBS Help Online.

Hope your symptoms improve soon Barry.



Irritable Bowel Syndrome

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dr Peter Thatcher MBBS, MRCPI. IBS Physician & Gastroenterologist


I can answer questions on all aspects of IBS or the Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Medicine and Gastroenterology. This would include aspects of diagnosis, investigation and management of IBS and other gastroenterology or medical conditions.


I am a Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist in the United Kingdom. I qualified as a physician in 1993 and have been practicing Medicine and Gastroenterology ever since. I regularly run gastroenterology clinics and 1:4 patients have IBS. I am also the web master of IBS Help Online, an Irritable Bowel Syndrome help site.

British Society of Gastroenterology Member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, Cornwall. UK

Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist, Fully UK Trained Medical Degree at Kings College School of Medicine & Dentistry 1993 Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland Examinations 1997

Awards and Honors
MBBS 1993 MRCPI 1997

©2016 All rights reserved.