Possible Ways To Reduce Probiotics Side Effects
In the event that youre experiencing side effects from probiotic supplementation, there may be some effective ways in which you can mitigate them. Examples of strategies to mitigate side effects of probiotics include: dosage modification, altering administration details, and switching the bacterial species and/or brand. Prior to implementing any of the side effect mitigation strategies below, discuss the safety and theorized efficacy of each with a medical professional. Also realize that usefulness of side effect mitigation strategies may be subject to significant individual variation.
What Normally Causes Diarrhea
The main cause is due to the presence of parasitic bacteria in your gut. This includes salmonella and the notorious E. coli. It may also be the result of virus infections, such as the rotavirus, which is a common cause of acute diarrhea in children.
Other triggers of diarrhea include:
- Antibiotics: can indiscriminately kill good and bad bacteria
- Lactose: some people lack the enzyme responsible for lactose digestion
- Pre-existing digestive disorders: such as celiac, colitis or Crohns disease
Probiotics, for the most part, reduce diarrhea. This was confirmed in a study showing that subjects on a probiotic supplement noticed results in an average of one day. This is not a surprise considering good bacteria promotes digestion and fights off the bad bacteria that causes watery stools. Why, then, do some people complain of diarrhea within hours or days after taking probiotics?
Taking A Probiotic At The Wrong Time May Negate Its Effectiveness
Its best to take a probiotic when your stomach is less acidic and youve had some water and a bite to eatotherwise it may not work properly and could cause a belly ache, bloating, or gas which are all common side effects of taking probiotics. According to a study published in Beneficial Microbes, a probiotic supplement taken within 30 minutes of eating a meal better survived the gut environment. For this reason, an afternoon probiotic might be your best bet.
Heres why, exactly: probiotic supplements contain live bacteria , like Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus gasseri, or Lactobacillus acidophilus.
These bacteria need to survive and thrive to do their work in your bellyrequiring warmth and water and food. This is why its probably not best to pop your probiotic in the morning. Your belly simply doesnt have enough of the right conditions for the probiotic to thrive. Plus, your morning stomach tends to be fairly acidic, which can also make it hard for a probiotic to successfully thrive. You might experience gas, bloating, or even diarrhea when first supplementing with probiotics, but this should become less frequent once your body becomes accustomed to the repopulation of good bacteria.
Can You Take Probiotics While Pregnant
When carrying a child, a mother wants to create the safest environment possible. This is a time where the mother-to-be will begin integrating new and recommended health practices like exercise, supplements, and new diet habits. One question that is asked by pregnant women is whether or not probiotics are safe to take while pregnant. The benefits of probiotics are well documented, and many pregnant women want to know if probiotics will benefit them as well.
Pregnancy may be a good time to integrate a probiotic into your regimen simply due to the increased potential for an imbalance in gut bacteria that pregnancy naturally produces. Stress, medications, diarrhea, and vomiting as well as certain diet choices can cause bad bacteria to overrun the gut and lead to a dampened immune response, inflammation, fatigue, and more.
The simple answer is yes, probiotics are generally safe to take while pregnant. However, it is always recommended to discuss any introduction or discontinuation of supplements with your healthcare provider.
Many studies have shown that not only are probiotics safe to take while pregnant but also that they can add great benefits for mother and baby. A 2019 study by Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology found that the pregnant womens gut microbiota improved through probiotic supplementation and that her immune system was enhanced.
May Contribute To Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth
A 2018 study suggested that there may be a link between SIBO and probiotic supplementation in people who regularly suffer from brain fog. It appears that the symptoms of these people improved when they stopped taking probiotics and started taking antibiotics.
The bacteria in your small and large intestines are usually somewhat different from one another in terms of species and strains. Your large intestine contains mostly anaerobic bacteria, which can grow without oxygen. These bacteria survive by fermenting prebiotics, the carbohydrates that cannot be broken down in the gut.
Small intestine bacterial overgrowth SIBO occurs when bacteria from your large intestine end up in your small intestine and start growing. Symptoms are often mistaken for IBS because they include gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Sometimes, SIBO can cause brain fog and short-term memory problems. In fact, SIBO is more common in those with IBS.
Although its not known what causes the bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, some researchers suggest it can be a result of sluggish gut motility. This causes food to spend longer periods of time in the gut, which in turn means more fermentation in the small intestine.
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Migraine And Gut Health: What You Need To Know
Most people who have migraine also experience nausea and vomiting during an attack, but what if that connection goes deeper into the gut? What if there is a link between migraine and gut health and by taking care of your gut you may be able to better manage your migraine?
Some doctors are now saying that is a possibility. In fact, one study has found a strong correlation between migraine and microbes residing in the gut. Additional studies also support the link between migraine and gut health.
Have we been overlooking an important method of migraine treatment? Is there a more effective way to manage attacks? Could we drastically improve migraine by simply taking probiotics and changing our diet?
Not so fast. This research is still in the early stages. There is evidence that good gut health may help improve migraine attacks. However, there is also plenty of evidence that shows taking care of your gut will improve your overall health, so either way, its a win.
We talked to Danny Park, M.D., of RevIVe Wellness in the Chicagoland area and Section Head of Neurology at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago to learn more about migraine and gut health.
Unfortunately, sometimes there are not a lot of studies that look into this, says Dr. Park. But there are some and theres a lot of anecdotal evidence as well. More research definitely needs to be done.
Heres the skinny and what you need to know.
Ramp Your Intake Slowly
If you think that you are allergic to the probiotic or that you may be allergic, then taper up your dose slowly. Start by increasing the frequency of intake in a day with the same dose.
Then step up the amount or the size of the spoon against the same frequency of administration. This will enable you first administer a test dose that will help you determine whether you will get an allergic reaction.
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Can Probiotics Cause Nausea & Dizziness
Probiotics are essentially supposed to provide relief. That is why you have you chosen to take them anyway. This is not what you would expect and not what Metchnikoff expected when he first documented a connection between increased consumption of yoghurt with enhanced health and longevity. Mainstream science, health organizations and mass media acknowledges that in deed probiotics are efficient in solving some of your gastrointestinal problems.
Probiotics have been scoped and scrutinized by scientific research groups and this has made considerable advents in the relation between specific strains of bacteria and desired effects. While most researches indicate insufficient data to back the effectiveness in treatment of medical conditions, it is difficult to ignore the unwanted effects associated.
Nausea refers to that unpleasant psychic experience in humans that results in reduced gastric motility and increased tone in the small intestines. It is the first stage to the process of vomiting.
You may feel nauseated after taking probiotics and this material assures that you are not alone. Reports have been made concerning nausea within the first 3 weeks of initiating probiotic consumption. There are a variety of reasons for this including:
Diarrhea Gas Bloating And Other Digestive Symptoms
Some people experience mild upset stomach, excess gas, diarrhea, or bloating during the first few days of taking probiotics as the gut microbiome rebalances. These side effects typically subside within a few days and dont necessarily mean youre taking too large of a dose. But experiencing continued side effects may be a sign to decrease the amount of probiotics youre taking.
More Tips For Reducing Probiotic Side Effects
For most people, starting a probiotic might bring on some minor symptoms, but theyll dissipate over the course of a few days to a week. Typically, the benefits far outweigh the negative aspects. To help reduce the effects of a probiotic, you can follow these helpful tips:
Switch it up. If youre experiencing a number of side effects, consider trying a different strain to see if your body reacts better to it.
Consistency is key. As with many medicines and supplements, make sure to take your probiotic every day, preferably at the same time. This will help you to see results faster.
Take it alone. To avoid your probiotic fermenting with other foods or causing an adverse reaction, take it first thing in the morning with a glass of water. Dont include it with your morning cup of joe, though, because it can speed up your digestive system and potentially cause diarrhea when the two are taken together.
Dont skimp on fiber. Probiotics feed off of dietary fiber, so make sure youre getting enough throughout the day.
Probiotics are becoming more well-known each day for their ability to treat a variety of problems, including weight problems, digestive issues , urinary tract infections, and even vaginal issues. While there are a number of benefits, before you begin taking a probiotic, you should consult with your doctor and consider any potential side effects. You can then decide if theyre right for you.
Some Strains Can Increase Histamine Levels
Some bacterial strains used in probiotic supplements can produce histamine inside the digestive tract of humans .
Histamine is a molecule that is normally produced by your immune system when it detects a threat.
When histamine levels rise, blood vessels dilate to bring more blood to the affected area. The vessels also become more permeable so that immune cells can easily get into the relevant tissue to combat any pathogens .
This process creates redness and swelling in the affected area, and can also trigger allergy symptoms such as itching, watery eyes, runny nose or trouble breathing.
Normally, histamine that is produced in your digestive tract is naturally degraded by an enzyme called diamine oxidase . This enzyme inhibits histamine levels from rising enough to cause symptoms .
However, some people with histamine intolerance have trouble properly breaking down the histamine in their bodies, seeing as they do not produce enough DAO .
The excess histamine is then absorbed through the lining of the intestinal tract and into the bloodstream, causing symptoms similar to an allergic reaction (
Theoretically, they may want to select probiotic supplements that do not contain histamine-producing bacteria, but to date, there has been no research on this specific area.
Some histamine-producing probiotic strains include Lactobacillus buchneri, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus hilgardii and Streptococcus thermophilus .
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Could Your Probiotic Be Making You Sicker
A spread of colorful pills.
Mindy D. had suffered from constipation for years when her gastroenterologist advised her, at 38, to take a popular over-the-counter probiotic. Over the next two years, she experimented with different dosages, sometimes taking it three times a day. But she kept getting sickersometimes so ill she couldn’t work.
“We shouldn’t just presume probiotics are safe.”
Her symptoms improved only after she traveled from Long Island to Georgia to see Satish S. C. Rao, a gastroenterologist at Augusta University. “The key thing was taking her off probiotics and treating her with antibiotics,” he says.
That solution sounds bizarre, if, like many, you believe that antibiotics are bad and probiotics good. Millions of Americans take probioticslive bacteria deemed usefulassuming there can be only positive effects. The truth is that you really don’t know how any probiotic will affect you. To quote the American Gastroenterological Association Center for Gut Microbiome Research and Education, “It remains unclear what strains of bacteria at what dose by what route of administration are safe and effective for which patients.”
It’s fineunless it isn’t. “Probiotics are capable of altering the microbiome in unpredictable ways,” explains Leo Galland, an internist in New York who specializes in difficult digestions. “I’ve had patients who got gas and bloating, constipation or diarrhea from probiotics.”
Your Microbiome Is Unique
Headaches From Amines In Probiotic Foods
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.
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Certain Ingredients Can Cause Adverse Reactions
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.
Go Slow On The Probiotics
Usually, the mainstay during side effects is withdrawal of the causative agent. Just reduce the dose in a tapering fashion. Reduce the frequency to which you are taking it then reduce the dose or size. This will enable you leave the probiotic without much strings attached.
To alleviate dizziness, then try do a half dose of the probiotic. This may help reduce it further.
Vivo Colostate University Phsyiology: http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/stomach/vomiting.html
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Take Probiotics Before Bedtime
Taking probiotics immediately before bedtime on an empty stomach may help to reduce gas and bloating. Your gut is relatively inactive at night, but probiotics can produce gas when combined with certain foods. Taking food on an empty stomach ensures that the probiotics dont have any obstacles in the way, which also allows more of the live bacteria to reach your large intestines.14
Your Immune System Will Thank You*
“The longer you take a probiotic, the more diverse your microbiome will become, and the stronger your immune system and GI tract get,”* Bindiya Gandhi, M.D., an American Board Family Medicineâcertified physician, previously told mbg. In other words, as your gut microbiome balances, your immune system is supported and strengthened.* In fact, did you know that over 70% of the immune system is located in your digestive tract?
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The Benefits Of Probiotics
There is a lot of research happening in the world of probiotics, but even so, researchers dont fully understand all of the health benefits of having healthy gut flora. The body and the symbiotic relationship that it has with the microorganisms that call it home are complicated, but there is evidence that probiotics may help alleviate or prevent several health conditions as well as boost our overall health.
Adverse Reactions To Allergens
Those with food intolerances or allergies may be more susceptible to adverse reactions from probiotics. One of the most common reactions is to the dairy content of probiotics.
Many probiotic strains are derived from dairy and contain lactose, the sugar in milk. However, studies suggest that the probiotic bacteria in fermented and unfermented milk products can actually reduce the symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Every case is unique, and a minority of people with lactose intolerance can suffer from gas and bloating when consuming probiotic strains like Bifidobacterium bifidum when they begin their course. Although these symptoms may dissipate, its advisable to switch to dairy-free probiotics.
Those with egg or soy intolerances may react to the presence of these allergens in some products. Similarly, those who are sensitive or allergic to yeast should avoid supplements that contain yeast strains.
If you have sensitivities or allergies to certain foods, check the label on the product before purchasing.
Another factor to consider is that many probiotic supplements also contain prebiotics. These are plant fibers that your body cannot break down, so instead, your gut bacteria consume as food. The most common prebiotics include lactulose, inulin, and various oligosaccharides.
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