Priobiotics are being investigated as a potential treatment for different diseases such as interstitial cystitis (IC), as well as a supplement to support general wellness.These friendly bacteria are similar to the beneficial microorganisms which are found in the human gut. One theory is that probiotics encourage growth of good bacteria in your intestinal tract which helps to boost your body’s natural immune defenses. For example, probiotics have been shown to help keep babies from getting allergic eczema. Whether probiotics can actually treat conditions like allergies is less clear, but there is intriguing evidence. In a pilot study, people with grass pollen allergy who drank a probiotic drink for five months had lower blood levels of grass pollen antibody.

There are lots of types of probiotics and the effects found from one species or strain of probiotics do not necessarily hold true for others, or even for different preparations of the same species or strain. At this time, there is also limited evidence supporting the use of probiotics in IC and the information available is contradictory.

  • Some IC patients report that foods naturally containing probiotics—fermented and unfermented milk, miso, tempeh, and some juices and soy beverages—may be bothersome to their IC.
  • Other patients shared in the ICA’s 2009 Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Survey, that probiotic supplements appear to help reduce IC symptoms.

Much more scientific knowledge is needed about probiotics, including about their safety and appropriate use.

Can Probiotics Ease Your IC?

Interstitial cystitis (IC) patients have sometimes found probiotics to be helpful. We’ve taken a look at which ones may help, and why.

Revised Tuesday, May 26th, 2015