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Probiotic and constipation: bacteria as allies of intestinal transit

Are you tired of constipation and looking for solutions to relieve yourself? We may have the answer to your problem!

In the fight against constipation , probiotics stand out. They are today widely recognized for their effectiveness in preventing and improving this digestive disorder (and not only that!).

So, ready to discover the secrets of probiotics for a relaxing intestinal transit?

probiotic and constipation

I. What is constipation?

Constipation is a common digestive disorder characterized by difficulty passing stools. It manifests itself by a reduction in the frequency of stools (less than three per week), a feeling of incomplete stools, hard stools that are difficult to expel, and is sometimes accompanied by abdominal pain and cramps.

Constipation is often temporary. Unfortunately, when it becomes chronic, it is wrongly commonly minimized, ignored or even normalized.

The causes of constipation:

Constipation often results from a disturbed intestinal microbiota, which can be impacted by different factors such as:

  1. Diet : A diet low in fiber and essential nutrients can slow down intestinal transit and unbalance the microbiota.
  2. Stress : And yes again…. The digestive system does not escape the harmful consequences of stress. It impacts intestinal motility by disrupting the balance of intestinal flora.
  3. Taking antibiotics : Here, the entire intestinal flora is turned upside down.
  4. A chronic illness : Irritable bowel syndrome , for example, frequently includes constipation and is generally accompanied by bloating, episodes of diarrhea and long-term abdominal pain. If you experience these symptoms, talk to your doctor for a diagnosis.

A lack of physical activity can also promote constipation by slowing peristalsis, the natural movement of intestinal muscles.

Focus on the intestinal flora (or microbiota):

The intestinal flora is all the bacteria present in the intestine.

It is made up of billions of microorganisms that help maintain a healthy environment in the intestine. According to INSERM , we have as many microorganisms in our intestines as there are cells in our body 😮!

The different strains of bacteria present in the intestinal flora play an essential role in the digestion and absorption of nutrients.

When the intestinal flora is unbalanced, the entire digestive system suffers!

II. Probiotics to improve constipation

Probiotics are live microorganisms present in our intestines that help to strengthen and balance the intestinal flora.

They help, among other things, to improve digestion and regulate intestinal transit.

Which probiotics to choose against constipation?

“Can I choose any probiotic if I’m constipated?” Ouch ouch ouch… If only! Each strain of probiotics has a specific action on the body and it is essential to choose them carefully to effectively treat constipation. To help you, studies have identified several strains beneficial for intestinal health. Among them we can cite:

  1. Lactobacillus casei
  2. Bifidobacterium lactis
  3. Lactobacillus acidophilus
  4. Lactobacillus plantarum
  5. Limosilactobacillus Reuteri
  6. Lacticaseibacillus Rhamnosus

In case of constipation, these probiotics will help improve intestinal transit as well as the frequency and consistency of stools.

How do probiotics affect intestinal transit?

1/ They increase the volume of stools by promoting the absorption of water in the intestine.

2/ They promote intestinal motility, that is to say the contraction of the muscles of the intestine which allows stools to be pushed through the digestive tract.

3/ Finally, they improve the composition of the intestinal flora by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and limiting that of pathogenic bacteria.

III. Probiotic Foods to Improve Constipation

It is entirely possible to find these precious probiotics on the plate thanks to foods rich in lactic ferments or fermented drinks (yum!)

Where to find probiotic foods in the diet?

  1. In natural yogurt . Flavored yogurts should be avoided because they are too rich in sugar. Eat for breakfast or as a snack.
  2. In fermented drinks like kefir, which contains up to three times more beneficial bacteria than yogurt, or kombucha (very fashionable). A small glass of kefir or kombucha in the morning on an empty stomach = healthy intestines!
  3. In fermented foods like sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), kimchi (fermented vegetables) and tempeh (fermented soybeans) consumed several times a week.

In addition, and to ensure you are choosing the right strains, you can refer to the information in this article to help you choose!

IV. Our additional tips to avoid constipation

And yes, no miracle result without a healthy lifestyle (and a little help from Mother Nature 😝)!

probiotic and constipation

1/ Back to basics: food

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables rich in fiber to nourish probiotics and promote intestinal transit.
  2. Consume coconut water, prunes (a great classic) and black radish juice.
  3. Thorough hydration! 1.5 to 2L of water per day, we can never say it enough. 😉
probiotic and constipation

2/ Focus on seeds and medicinal plants

  1. Psyllium is a mild laxative that helps move stools through the digestive tract.
  2. Flaxseeds are rich in fiber and help increase stool bulk.
  3. Mallow, marshmallow and buckthorn promote the proper functioning of the intestines. Psst: be careful with buckthorn, because it can be irritating.
probiotic and constipation

3/ Physical exercise

When we move, we also stimulate the muscles in our intestines, which makes it easier for food to move through the digestive system.

probiotic and constipation

4/ Calm stress

Belly breathing is an effective technique for calming stress and improving intestinal transit. Result: we reduce the level of cortisol and relax the digestive system.

probiotic and constipation

5/ Stomach self-massage:

Massage your stomach clockwise to follow the path of the colon. Massages help reproduce the natural movements of digestion.

To conclude

In case of constipation, pamper your intestinal flora with probiotics, by choosing the right microbiotic strains and integrating fermented foods into your diet.

Don't forget to take care of your lifestyle to optimize the beneficial effects of probiotics.

You will thus be able to put all the chances on your side to boost your transit! 💪

Eloise Dubois-Gaché - Naturopath

Naturopath and FENA certified

Thanks to her solid experience in different herbalists, Eloïse includes, if necessary, complete and precise advice in phytotherapy, aromatherapy, gemmotherapy and micro-nutrition when setting up a personalized and adapted lifestyle program to everyone.

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