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Can Probiotics Cause Stomach Pain

Can Probiotics Cause Gas And Stomach Pain

Can Probiotics Cause Stomach Pain?

There are many known benefits in taking probiotics, but do they have side effects? Can probiotics cause gas and stomach pain?

The quick answer is yes.

However, this is not something to fret over with. As a matter of fact, the underlying reasons are surprisingly good, which youll learn in this article. Youll also learn the other side effects and determine when you should stop taking probiotics entirely.

Signs Your Probiotics Are Working

When you take a high-quality probiotic supplement, you may notice several positive changes in your body, ranging from improved digestion and more energy, to improved mood and clearer skin.

Oftentimes, the first and most immediate change individuals notice is improved digestion.

The probiotic bacteria work to rebalance your gut flora, which can quickly improve things like frequency and regularity of your bowel movements and alleviate bloating or gas. Over time, the positive effects of the probiotic bacteria extend beyond improved digestion.

A well-balanced gut microbiome will strengthen your gut barrier function, which prevents toxins and pathogens, which in todays world you most likely ingest on a daily basis, from entering your body via the gut.

This, in turn, decreases the burden on your immune system and your liver, thus making you less prone to illness and reducing inflammation in your body. Inflammation can manifest in many ways, including skin issues, brain fog, fatigue and lack of concentration. Therefore, reducing inflammation and re-balancing your immune system can bring about a variety of positive effects. Lets explore some of them in more detail:

Do Probiotics Cause Gas Whats Normal And Whats Not

  • Summary: · Unfortunately, probiotics can cause gas, among other side effects like flatulence , bloating, and more. The good news is there are some
  • Matching search results: If your symptoms are severe and do not dissipate, its time to talk to a health professional to see what might be going on. Severe side effects from probiotics may be related to significant dysiobis in the gut microbiome that cant be

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How To Choose A Probiotic Supplement

A reaction to probiotics may be more to do with the specific product you are using and not so much with probiotics in general. Here are three things you need to consider when choosing a good quality probiotic:

> Effectiveness of strains – some strains are more well researched than others so confer with your practitioner on whats right for your condition. Three of the most beneficial strains for IBS-type symptoms to look out for are bifidus infantis, bifidus lactis, and lactobacillus plantarum. These can be taken individually, or in combination.

> Number of strains – diversity is your friend when it comes to a healthy microbiome. For this reason, a probiotic with 10-30 different strains is generally a good place to start, so long er you tolerate them all.

> Higher CFUs – CFU stands for colony forming units and is used as a measure of how many bacteria are in probiotics. I typically recommend products that have at least 15-50 billion CFUs. However, failure to titrate this type of product in slowly may cause symptoms because of the sheer amount of microorganisms introduced.

> Reputable brand – with probiotics not being regulated in many markets, ensuring youre getting what you pay for can be difficult. For this reason, I recommend sticking with reputable brands recommended by your practitioner.

Possible Side Effects Of Probiotics

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Probiotics are living bacteria and yeasts that provide health benefits when consumed in large amounts.

They can be taken as supplements or consumed naturally through fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha .

The health benefits of probiotic supplements and foods have been well documented, including a lower risk of infections, improved digestion and even a reduced risk for some chronic diseases .

While there are many health benefits linked to taking probiotics, there can also be side effects. Most of these are minor and only affect a small percentage of the population.

However, some people with serious illnesses or compromised immune systems may experience more severe complications.

This article reviews the most common side effects of probiotics and how to reduce them.

Also Check: What Is The Best Probiotic For H Pylori

Ways Probiotics May Be Able To Ease Your Stomach Pain

Nowadays, stomach pain seems to affect nearly every person in the United States.

For some, its just a passing bout of discomfort.

For others, stomach pain is a debilitating condition that makes life nearly unbearable.

Whichever camp you fall into, theres a bit of hope on the horizon in the form of probiotics.

More and more studies are showing that probiotics can treat many different causes of stomach pain.

Lets take a quick look at 7 common stomach ailments and how probiotics may provide relief

What Does The Research Say

Probiotic bacteria used in supplements should have been extensively clinically trialed in human subjects. Always recommend supplements which name the strains of bacteria, not just the species.

In clinical trials, where adverse events are recorded, there were no statistically significant increased adverse events in the probiotic group compared to the placebo group. They both had good tolerability, with few adverse events7,8,3,9.

In a review of 627 studies8 using probiotic agents 235 stated non-specific safety statements such as well tolerated and the remaining 287 reported the presence or absence of specific adverse events .

The conclusion of this review based on the available evidence showed no statistically significant increased risk of the overall number of adverse events associated with short term probiotic use versus control group participants. However, rare adverse events are difficult to assess.

Read Also: Are Nature Made Probiotics Good

Which Probiotic Is Best For Stomach Issues

Probiotics have emerged as a possible remedy forissues affecting the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics for stomach pain, diarrhea, or other stomach-related problems are now on the shelves in many pharmacies and stores. So how do you decide which one to take?

Read on for tips on which probiotics may help your most common stomachcomplaints.

In a healthy body, trillions of bacteria and other living organisms colonize the skin, mouth, intestines, and genital tract. Among these are probiotics. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, probiotics are “livemicroorganisms” in the gut to help keep a person’s body healthy.

“They do a great job fighting off disease-causing microbes trying to gain entry,” said University of Washington epidemiologist Lynne McFarland,PhD, the co-author of The Power of Probiotics.

According to the National Institutes of Health, you can add probiotics to thegut by consuming supplements or fermented foods like yogurt and cheese. Many food manufacturers add them to a variety of food products as well.

The American College of Gastroenterology notes that much more high-quality studies are needed to determinethe effectiveness of probiotics for gastrointestinal disorders.

The AGA does have recommendations regarding probiotic use. According toAGA guidelines:

Headaches From Amines In Probiotic Foods

Natural Remedies for Stomach Bloating: Probiotics

Some bacterial strains in probiotic foods produce undesirable biogenic amines, which can cause some people to experience headaches. In low doses, its safe to consume foods that produce these by-products because your intestines have the ability to detoxify biogenic amines before you experience any side effects. High amounts of biogenic amines can often overload the intestines ability to detoxify and lead to adverse effects like headaches.

Biogenic amines are mainly found in probiotic-rich foods that undergo fermentation, such as cheese, dried meat, wine, and some fish. Its unlikely that a probiotic supplement would result in the production of biogenic amines and subsequent side effects.

Recommended Reading: Digestive Advantage Daily Probiotic Reviews

Prebiotics And Bloating: Why It Happens And How To Avoid It

Prebiotics, which are the fiber that probiotics eat, have been around for millenia, but theyve only come into our collective consciousness in the last decade or so. Prebiotics are vital to our gut health, but they can have the unpleasant side effects of gas and bloating. Heres everything you need to know about taking them.

Can Probiotics Cause Bloating

The short answer is yes but not for long. In fact, in the long haul they have the opposite effect. Keep in mind that your system is being introduced to billions of living things that all move around, react to their surroundings and will take time to settle in.

Achieving your best gut health isnt going to happen overnight. Bloating is simply a of your body needing to push all this bad bacteria out. Youre usually introducing a strain of bacteria that loves to eat what youve eaten.

The hard to digest foods like starch, fiber and some sugars, will bring out the strongest bacteria. They are tasked with doing the heavy lifting and releasing strong enzymes which break down very tough molecules. So yes, all those carbs and sugars youve been eating are going to be a little tougher to break down.

You may find that switching to less complex foods and fibers will help your gut remain balanced and not so gaseous. Foods that are low in starch, and complex sugars and high in fiber might be the better choice.

Why? Because foods that are rich in starch and fiber will be tougher to break down and thus more gas is produced which will cause bloating. Make sense?

Read Also: Best Organic Probiotic For Infants

Amines In Probiotic Foods May Trigger Headaches

Some probiotic-rich foods, like yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi, contain biogenic amines (11,

14 ).

Amines can excite the central nervous system, increase or decrease blood flow and may trigger headaches in people sensitive to the substance .

One study found that low-histamine diets reduced headaches in 75% of participants. However, a review of 10 controlled studies found no significant effect of dietary amines on headaches .

More research is needed to determine whether or not amines can be direct triggers of headaches or migraines in some people.

Keeping a food diary including any headache symptoms you might experience can help clarify whether fermented foods are problematic for you.

If probiotic-rich foods trigger your symptoms, a probiotic supplement may be a better choice.


Fermented foods rich in probiotics naturally contain amines. Some people may experience headaches after eating these foods, and should instead opt for probiotic supplements.

How Long Should I Take Probiotics For Bloating Before I See Results

Probiotics For Gas Relief Stomach Bloated _ Ceskomoravska

Everyones body responds differently to different supplements so it is difficult to say exactly how long you should be waiting before you start seeing effects from the supplement.

Some people may start to feel better within a few days of taking their probiotics for bloating, but others may need to wait up to two weeks before they feel any improvement. If there are no changes after several weeks you should consult your doctor about what other options you can try to relieve your bloating.

If one probiotic supplement doesnt seem effective, its best to discuss this with your doctor. Just because one probiotic doesnt work for you, it does not mean all probiotics are ineffective. There could be other factors at play including your diet, lifestyle, and stress levels that affect how well the supplement works for you.

You can also try taking a different type of probiotic which might work better for your system. The whole point of taking supplements is to be proactive about your health and support your body in any way you can during these routine check-ups with your doctor.

Some of the best probiotics for bloating include: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Streptococcus thermophilus.

Also Check: Does Probiotic Yogurt Help You Poop

Recommended Reading: Daily Probiotic For Vaginal Health

Looking At Yogurt Benefits

Yogurt has plenty of benefits. For one, its a good source of protein. In the case of Greek yogurt thats been strained so its thicker, USDA data shows one cup of nonfat plain contains 23 grams of protein, compared to just 13 in regular yogurt.

Additionally, probiotic blends may benefit digestive health. Most yogurt has been pasteurized with heat to kill bacteria, but this kills the good bacteria, too. To make sure youre getting probiotics, look at the label for live, active cultures.

While its tempting to say all yogurt is healthy, the reality is many yogurt benefits are lost once it has been flavored with artificial ingredients or has a ton of sugar added to it. Your best bet is to stick with plain flavors, adding your own fruit for sweetness and flavor. Pay close attention to the nutrition facts because each brand may have its own sugar content, even in plain flavors.

Recommended Reading: Can Soy Cause Diarrhea

Expert Tips For Choosing Probiotics

Probiotics come in two forms: live cultures such as in yogurt or in a dormant form, such as those found in capsules. If you want to try probiotics, here are tips to help you choose.

One advantage to probiotics in food is that they may also contain other beneficial ingredients, such as dietary fiber, which also promotes digestive health. But most experts agree that its a matter of preference whether you consume probiotics in your diet or as supplements.

Watch the expiration date. Because probiotics are living organisms, the amount placed in the container or capsule when it was manufactured may not be the same as when you consume the product. You must use these products before the expiration date to be sure the probiotic is still effective.

Play detective. If your doctor recommends a specific species and strain of probiotic, be aware that you may have a difficult time finding it. Many manufacturers dont tell you exactly which strain is in their product they only list the species . If youre looking for a specific strain of probiotic and its not listed on the label, call the manufacturer and ask. This information might also be on the companys website.

Buyer beware. To avoid being scammed, dont order products online unless you know and can trust the site. Keep in mind that the price of probiotics can vary tremendously, and a higher cost doesnt necessarily mean the products are of higher quality.

Additional reporting by Erica Patino

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Can Prebiotics Cause Gas

We talk a lot about probiotics, but taking a prebiotic is just as important for your gut health. Prebiotics are non-living, non-digestible ingredients which feed all that good bacteria that your probiotics are bringing you. That bacteria has got to stay alive too!

Dietary fiber is one of the best prebiotics. But the problem is, most Americans dont get enough of the right kinds of fiber. So the alternative option is supplements the problem with that, though, is that they are often derived from fiber or carbs, and cause gas and bloating.

We created a prebiotic supplement that uses a novel bacteriophage thats free of starch and fiber which gives you all of the benefits of prebiotics without any of the discomfort.

Remember that probiotics side effects, like gas, stomach pain or bloating, is just your body is getting used to the amount of good bacteria working to get your gut healthy. In the meantime, reduce the amount of complex carbs and fibers youre eating to limit further.

Certain Ingredients Can Cause Adverse Reactions

7 Facts about Probiotics | Stomach Problems

In addition to offering different strains of bacteria, probiotics supplements can often include other ingredients introduced during manufacturing which can lead to adverse reactions. Some people may experience side effects from probiotics not because of the microbes themselves but because of other ingredients within the supplement, such as lactose, soy, or egg. Its important to check supplement labels and avoid these probiotics if you have sensitivities or allergies to these types of common ingredients.

Read Also: Do I Need To Take Probiotics With Antibiotics

Best Probiotics For Ibs

When it comes to which probiotics are most effective for treating the gas, bloating, abdominal pain and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, the answer is that a number of different kinds may be effective. A review article by the GI Society looked at the results of a number of studies that examined the impact of probiotics on IBS symptoms, concluding that several types of probiotics showed benefits.

In particular, several strains of Lactobacillus bacteria seemed to help people with IBS symptoms. These included Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and a number of variants of Lactobacillus acidophilus. Other recently studied probiotics that proved effective, according to the GI Society, included Bifidobacterium longum, Propionibacterium freudenreichii, Bifidobacterium infantis 35624, Enterococcus faecalis DSM 16440 and even a strain of E. coli bacteria .

Though a number of probiotics were shown to be effective at relieving IBS symptoms, the experts noted that the treatments that combined more than one probiotic seemed to provide the most relief.

“My recommendation is to choose a multi-strain probiotic and take it for at least eight weeks,” Valles says. “You may want to choose a probiotic that, among the different strains, contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, which seems to be present in the studies that have shown beneficial effects.”

They Can Increase Infection Risk For Some

Probiotics are safe for the vast majority of the population, but may not be the best fit for everyone.

In rare cases, the bacteria or yeasts found in probiotics can enter the bloodstream and cause infections in susceptible individuals (

50 ).

Research also suggests that people with severe acute pancreatitis should not take probiotics, as this may increase the risk of death .


People with compromised immune systems, venous catheters, recent surgery, acute pancreatitis or prolonged hospitalizations should avoid taking probiotics.

Recommended Reading: Best Probiotic With Prebiotic Supplement

Most Common Side Effects Of Probiotics

Despite their proven health benefits , for those who dont tolerate them, the most common side effects of probiotics we see in our clients are: > Gas > Looser stools > Abdominal pain

I really want to emphasize that the vast majority of these side effects of probiotics are experienced only temporarily and/or by those with a chronic gut infection or severe dysbiosis, and heres why…

If the side effects of probiotics you are experiencing are actually the result of die-off during a protocol, weve written an entire blog post HERE explaining the mechanism and ways to manage these detox reactions.

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