Thursday, May 23, 2024

Can Probiotics Hurt Your Stomach

Can Probiotics Cause Bloating

Can Probiotics Cause Stomach Pain?

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?

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.”

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.

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Probiotics Are Good Bacteria

Your body is home to billions of organisms like bacteria, fungi and yeasts. Most of these organisms are harmless and many help your body work properly they form whats called the human microbiome.

Probiotics are some of the helpful good bacteria that make up your microbiome, explains Dr. Drass. They come in supplement form, but they also occur naturally in certain foods.

These fermented and aged foods are packed with probiotics:


Your kids likely get most of their probiotic intake from yogurt.

Some Strains Can Increase Histamine Levels

Best supplements for stomach bloating

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 (

28 ).

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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A Recent Study Shows A Surprising Link Between Probiotics And Brain Fog

Probiotics have become a common way to treat conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, and various formulations even have decent medical data in their favor. However, some patients take probiotics and feel even worse. Symptoms can include cramping, gassiness, diarrhea, fatigue, and even brain fog or memory problems. Often these symptoms intensify just after a meal. Recently, a group of researchers in Augusta, Georgia made an attempt to try to figure out what was going on. The study is open access, so take a look.

They followed a group of patients who presented to their GI clinic of a period of three years. Anyone who came in with gas, bloating, and a complaint of brain fog were included in the study. All people on antibiotics, those with a history of short gut after colon surgery, or those with other reasons for gassiness or abdominal pain were excluded. A few patients who didn’t have brain fog but had abdominal symptoms were included for comparison. The researchers were left with a cohort of about 42 patients with abdominal bloating, 34 with bloating and brain fog, and no known reason why. The cognitive symptoms usually lasted between 30 minutes to several hours after a meal, and in 13% were so severe that the patients had quit their jobs.

In a few weeks, I’ll be attending the Harvard Probiotics Symposium, and I’ll be sure to get back to you with the latest developments, strides forward, disappointments, and surprises.

Copyright Emily Deans MD

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.

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Why Do Probiotics Make Me Sick

Probiotics are supposed to make you feel better, right? So, if you take probiotics, nausea or other uncomfortable symptoms may follow. You may be left scratching your head wondering why the probiotics are making you sick.

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If probiotics make you sick, it’s possible that you have an underlying issue, like SIBO, going on in your digestive system. It’s also possible that you’re taking contaminated probiotics, since there’s very little regulation on the supplement industry.

Sometimes, temporary symptoms are one of the signs the probiotics are working, but if you don’t start feeling better after a week or so, you may have an underlying digestive issue. It could be small intestinal bacterial overgrowth that’s making those probiotics work against you. Always talk to your doctor or a qualified nutritionist before you start taking probiotics to make sure they’re right for you.

Probiotic Dosage And Preparation

Use Probiotics for Acid Reflux

Because there are many different probiotic strains and formulations, there is no set dosage. Factors like age, weight, and general health may influence how much or little you need.

As a general rule, a probiotic should provide at least 1 billion colony forming units per day, with dosages ranging from 1 billion to 10 billion for adults. If used in children, less than 1 billion CFU would be prescribed. Probiotic supplements are generally taken on a daily basis, ideally before a meal.

Probiotic suppositories tend to have higher CFUs as they are meant for short-term use only. Generally speaking, suppositories should be used for no more than seven consecutive days.

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How Do Probiotics Keep Me Healthy

There are many ways that probiotics and good bacteria keep your body healthy. When you are sick, there is an influx of bad bacteria in your body, meaning the bad bacteria outnumber the good bacteria, which kicks your body off balance.

The probiotics then fight off this bad bacteria until there is a healthy balance in your body once more.

As well as helping balance out the bacteria in your body when you are sick, there are other ways that probiotics are constantly working to keep you healthy.

include breaking down and absorbing medications, creating important vitamins, helping you digest food, and helping the cells that line your gut stop bad bacteria that have made their way to your stomach through food or drink from entering your bloodstream.

Probiotics And Side Effects

When taking probiotics for the first time, many people wonder whether they are going to experience side effects. Generally speaking, probiotics do not elicit any side effects, and are very safe supplements. Find out more in this in-depth review.

The short answer is no, probiotics do not have any expected side effects. Friendly bacteria supplements contain highly researched strains of bacteria which have been shown to work for their hosts health, rather than against it. Learn more by reading What are probiotics? on the Probiotics Learning Lab.

Some clients may not like the idea of taking live bacteria, but you can reassure them that probiotic live cultures are found naturally in our guts, and in a balanced diet containing fermented foods . Most people will be able to take them without experiencing any noticeable adverse effects at all. Learn more about some of our favourite fermented foods over on the Probiotics Learning Lab.

It is more common for people to notice initial effects when first taking prebiotics: you can find out more information in the prebiotics section below.

Learn more about the safety of probiotics by reading the following articles and FAQ on the Probiotics Learning Lab:

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Probiotics: Who Shouldn’t Take Them

Some people find that taking probiotics causes symptoms like gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. For most people, these symptoms are temporary however, side effects are more likely in those who are very young or elderly and those who have less robust immune systems or a damaged immune system, such as those with HIV or a terminal illness. Indeed, probiotics might not be good for people who are already extremely ill.

A general concern is that probiotics are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration , Lucak says. Instead, they are classified as a food supplement, so the health claims of the manufacturers are not subject to verification and may not be accurate. As a result, evidence also suggests that the strains and concentration per dose can be inaccurate from company to company and even from bottle to bottle of the same brand.

Keep in mind that the effects of one strain of probiotics do not necessarily hold true for other strains or even for different preparations of the same species or strain. If you do experience gas and bloating from one type of probiotic, you can try switching to a different kind to see whether it agrees more with your digestive system.

Because the quality and quantity of probiotics is not regulated by the FDA, it is difficult to accurately assess the effectiveness of one formulation against another, Lucak says.

Some Ingredients May Cause Adverse Reactions


People with allergies or intolerances should read the labels of probiotic supplements carefully, since they might contain ingredients they could react to.

For example, some of the supplements contain allergens such as dairy, egg or soy.

These ingredients should be avoided by anyone who is allergic, as they may trigger an allergic reaction. If necessary, read labels carefully to avoid these ingredients .

Similarly, yeast-based probiotics should not be taken by those with yeast allergies. Instead, a bacteria-based probiotic should be used .

Milk sugar, or lactose, is also used in many probiotic supplements .

While studies suggest that most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate up to 400 mg of lactose in medications or supplements, there have been case reports of adverse effects from probiotics (

39 ).

Some people experience gas and bloating when consuming synbiotics. Those who experience these side effects may want to select a supplement that does not contain prebiotics .


Probiotic supplements can contain allergens, lactose or prebiotic fibers that may cause adverse reactions in some people. These ingredients can be avoided by reading labels.

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Can Probiotics Cause Stomach Pain

by Eric Bakker N.D.

Can probiotics cause stomach pain. This is a question we get regularly asked. People take a probiotic, particularly if theyd take an enzyme probiotic formula, Ill get sometimes a comment, Oh, I got this pain in my tummy. I took this capsule and an hour later I feel like vomiting or I felt sick or Look, anythings possible with supplements. Some people react to drinking purified water, they get sick from drinking that. So people can react to all kinds of stuff.

When you have a reaction, especially with a probiotic, I start to think what type of bacteria youve got in your gut and whats really going on there. So try it from this angle. If you get any kind of sensation like that with a probiotic, always make sure you take it with food. Dont take it away from food. Some people can get away with probiotics away from food, but the general consensus is, from where Im sitting, from the experts Ive spoken to, that probiotic should be taken with food. So when we say with food, it can be the beginning of the meal in the middle of the meal or at the end of the meal. If youve got a very strong aggravation, take a probiotic right in the middle of the meal. That should lessen any chance of bad pain or things like this. More chance of getting this reaction if you take a probiotic enzyme formula rather than a probiotic formula.

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About Eric Bakker N.D.

Probiotics May Increase The Risk Of Infection For Some People

In rare cases, taking probiotics can lead to infections in some people. Caution should be taken when considering probiotic supplements if you have a weakened immune system, current illness or have recently had surgery as there is a higher risk for infection.

Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement.

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What Is The Gut Microbiome

Your gut is home to trillions of microorganisms and is a little ecosystem on its own. There are 400 different species of bacteria that thrive in the human gut that are responsible for a number of critical body functions.

These microbes play crucial roles in digestion, metabolism, immunity, and mental health. 70% of your immunity is located in the gut lining and 90% neurotransmitters are produced in the gut.

The gut is often nicknamed the second brain for these reasons because neurotransmitters are chemical messengers responsible for regulating mood.

It is crucial to maintain the proper balance of bacteria and other microbes in the gut for your overall health and its obvious that Dewey from the movie Unstoppable does not care too much about his health which is too bad since his bad health prevented him from be able to run about five mph for about five seconds which would have prevented that train from killing so many people.

Being out of shape in a job like that is just not wise.

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Side Effects And Risks

Probiotics Can Save Your Life! (Probiotics vs. Prebiotics vs. Antibiotics) Dr. Mandell

Probiotics are considered safe for most people. Studies dont report major risks involved with taking them.

The most commonly reported side effects of probiotics are gas and bloating. If you have severe reactions, including abdominal pain, reduce your daily CFU intake and slowly increase again over time.

Always talk with your doctor before beginning a new health supplement. Before giving probiotic supplements to your child, talk to their pediatrician. Premature infants shouldnt take some probiotics.

Probiotics might not be recommended for people with chronic illness or a weakened immune system. Dont use probiotics to replace prescription medications without first consulting your doctor.

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How Might Probiotics Work

Probiotics may have a variety of effects in the body, and different probiotics may act in different ways.

Probiotics might:

  • Help your body maintain a healthy community of microorganisms or help your bodyâs community of microorganisms return to a healthy condition after being disturbed
  • Produce substances that have desirable effects
  • Influence your bodyâs immune response.

Certain Strains May Increase Histamine Levels

Lactic-acid bacterial strains in foods can produce histamine, a type of biogenic amine. During the production of fermented foods, like cheese and yogurt, Lactobacillus is commonly used and can result in foods that are high in histamine.

While histamine plays an essential role in many physiological functions like the immune response and secreting gastric acid during digestion, high amounts of histamine can be mildly toxic. Increased levels of histamine lead some to experience nausea and shortness of breath.

When choosing a probiotic, be sure to pick one with strains that do not produce histamine. All probiotic strains in Omni-Biotic products are tested to ensure that they cannot produce histamine.

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