Irritable Bowel Syndrome/just stomach symptoms/probiotic


2 questions please...just curious, have you ever heard of someone having IBS who has neither diarrhea or constipation, but just the stomach symptoms? And is there any particular probiotic you recommend to people? I'm told most are a waste of money.  thanks

Hi Lee. By definition, IBS requires bowel dysfunction - diarrhea, constipation, or alternating. This is the Rome Criteria for an IBS diagnosis - check here

If you just have stand alone pain, that is not IBS.

Probiotics have a good track record with clinical studies and IBS, as well as other GI disorders. They can't hurt, and they may well help. I don't have any particular brands to recommend, but in general look for one that is labeled either vegan or dairy free, and look for the highest possible bacteria count.

It's also a good idea to add in a prebiotic soluble fiber supplement, like Acacia Tummy Fiber, to encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria and probiotics.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Heather Van Vorous


I can address questions regarding diet, cooking, recipes, and non-pharmaceutical supplements (soluble fiber, herbal, probiotics, etc.) for IBS. I can supply information sources about diagnostic guidelines, symptoms, and the medical pathology of IBS, but I cannot give a diagnosis or analyze test results a patient has obtained. I would prefer not to answer questions about prescription drugs and diagnostic tests. PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME YOUR SYMPTOMS AND THEN ASK ME TO DIAGNOSE YOU!


I'm the founder and CEO of, an organization dedicated to serving people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. My goal is to offer education, support, and help that allows people with IBS to successfully manage their symptoms through lifestyle modifications.

I'm the author of Eating for IBS, the only explicit dietary guide and cookbook for people with bowel disorders. Eating for IBS then led to my second book, The First Year: IBS, a comprehensive view of the disorder and every way to successfully manage it. Together, these works have become the two best-selling, best-reviewed IBS books in America.

My writing has led to an ongoing Canadian clinical research study of the groundbreaking dietary guidelines for Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Eating for IBS; this work also led to my inclusion in the 4th edition of Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare. Today's Dietitian has featured my IBS dietary guidelines, and my work has reached gastroenterologists and internists. I'm the author of "Heather's IBS Newsletter", which is free to subscribers and is published twice monthly. As a result, I've become recognized as the foremost patient-expert on IBS in America. I've personally had IBS since age 9.

I now teach classes on managing IBS through lifestyle modifications, I developed the Heather's Tummy Care line of organic medical foods for the dietary management of IBS, and I'm planning to work with corporate HR departments to offer employee IBS education programs. I host Heather Cooks!, the Seattle television cooking show for good digestive health, which is now available on DVD and also on the HelpForIBS YouTube Channel.

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M.A. 1996
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