Saturday, March 23, 2024

Do Probiotics Help Soften Stools

Can Probiotics Cause Diarrhea

Probiotics for Constipation? Maybe Not

Diarrhea is an uncommon side effect of probiotics, but it can happen on some occasions. Generally, probiotics are one of the natural remedies for diarrhea and can help you recover from gastroenteritis quicker.

However, doctors from the Cleveland Clinic report that probiotics can cause diarrhea in the first few days of taking them. Doctors say that this should not be a cause for concern because probiotics strains already exist in our bodies.20

In general, probiotics and foods containing probiotics are safe for general use. However, they may cause mild stomach upset, diarrhea, or flatulence and bloating for the first few days after starting to take them.

Can You Take Stool Softeners Every Day

No, and you shouldnt need to take stool softeners every day. Dont take stool softeners for more than one week unless youre under the direction of your healthcare provider. If you have sudden changes in your bowel habits that last longer than two weeks, call your provider. If your poop is still hard or difficult to pass after youve taken a stool softener for one week, call your provider.

The Gut Microbiome And Constipation

Trillions of bacteria reside in the gut in what is known collectively as the gut microbiome. Find out more about your gut microbiome in our sister site, the Probiotics Learning Lab. These microbes live in an ideally harmonious equilibrium, with a balance between beneficial and pathogenic bacteria. However, certain lifestyle factors can disturb this balance leading to what is known as dysbiosis . Dysbiosis has been often noted to be present in constipation5,6. Addressing this imbalance with a probiotic can help to restore normal bowel function and increase stool frequency.

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Pharmacy shelves are packed to the gills with different types of laxatives. At first glance, they might seem like the magic wand you need to make your poop-less bathroom visits disappear. But not all of these meds are created equal, and depending on them too much for relief can do more harm than good. Your body can get used to relying on stimulant laxatives, like Dulcolax and Senna, in order to have a bowel movement if these types of laxatives are used on a long-term basis, as your colon can lose the ability to contract on its own, says Shah. This is just one of a host of side effects associated with prolonged laxative use, which include electrolyte imbalances, seizures, heart arrhythmias, muscle aches, and more.

To be on the safe side, follow the dosing instructions on the box, and dont use any type of laxative for more than a week or two without telling your doctor first. They might recommend that you take a different type of laxative or fiber-bulking agents instead. According to James-Stevenson, these are considered safe for short- and long-term treatment of constipation symptoms. Regular probiotic use can safely stave off difficult dumps, too.

If altering your diet or activity isnt solving your poop problems at the end of the day, dont wave it off: A change in your bowel habits can sometimes be a sign of something more ominous occurring with your health, such as colorectal cancer, says Chen. If you notice a consistent change, inform your doctor.

How Should This Medicine Be Used

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Stool softeners come as a capsule, tablet, liquid, and syrup to take by mouth. A stool softener usually is taken at bedtime. Follow the directions on the package or your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take stool softeners exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Swallow the docusate capsules whole do not split, chew, or crush them.

Take capsules and tablets with a full glass of water. The liquid comes with a specially marked dropper for measuring the dose. Ask your pharmacist to show you how to use it if you have difficulty. Mix the liquid with 4 ounces of milk, fruit juice, or formula to mask its bitter taste.

One to three days of regular use usually are needed for this medicine to take effect. Do not take stool softeners for more than 1 week unless your doctor directs you to. If sudden changes in bowel habits last longer than 2 weeks or if your stools are still hard after you have taken this medicine for 1 week, call your doctor.

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Can I Use Probiotics To Help With Medical Conditions

There is currently a large amount of research happening around the idea of what probiotics can do for your body. Even though there are a lot of possibly positive outcomes, researchers are still working to find definitive answers about how probiotics can help with various conditions.

However, there are some medical conditions where probiotics may help. This can vary between people meaning that what works for one person may not work for another. These can also vary based on the certain probiotic that is taken.

Some of the conditions that might be helped by increasing the amount of probiotics in your body include:

  • Upper respiratory infections .

Everything About Probiotics And Constipation

Most of us have been constipated at some point. Constipation refers to difficulty with or infrequent bowel movement. There has been a lot of research focused on exploring the role of probiotics in preventing and treating chronic constipation.

The human gut is home to trillions of microorganisms of more than a thousand different species of bacteria. While one-third of microbiota that resides in the gut is common to many, two-thirds of these are specific to every individual. Both the number and type of microorganisms are believed to play a key role in gut health.

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Improve The Pooping Frequency

We now have truthworth scientific research evidence to believe that probiotics raise the frequency of pooping by 1.3 times with more bowel movements per week in compared to non-probiotics users.

Do more bowel movements mean that you are no longer staying in the toilet for hours? Yes! Probiotics can totally make you feel comfortable when go to poop.

As for the effect of laxatives, scientists also reported an increase of 2.5 bowel movements a week in people using this medication. So, probiotics must be the potential alternative treatments to normalize the frequency of bowel movements, arent them?

Stool Softeners Are A Safer Option

How Much Poop Is Stored in Your Colon??

Along with fiber supplements, stool softeners are generally safer than other laxatives. These medications can be used on a daily basis without causing significant side effects, notes the Mayo Clinic. The downside is that they may not work for everyone. Current evidence doesnt support their use in the treatment of constipation.

Bulk-forming laxatives, such as psyllium husk and other fiber supplements, are safe to use daily. Generally, they take anywhere between 12 hours and several days to work, says Harvard Medical School. Other types of laxatives appear to be more effective, but they also carry a higher risk of side effects. Osmotic laxatives, for instance, may cause bloating, gas, diarrhea, and nausea, warn the experts at Harvard Medical School. The same goes for saline laxatives, which may lead to electrolyte imbalances.

Stimulant laxatives, such as castor oil, senna, and Dulcolax, are the most effective, but should only be used for occasional constipation. Their side effects range from nausea and vomiting to dehydration, dizziness, fainting, and bloody stools . In the long run, they may affect bowel function and cause dependency, notes Harvard Medical School. These medications should be your last resort.

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Latest Clinical Data On Probiotics For Constipation

Probiotics are live bacteria that are identical to the ones naturally found in our bodies. They can be found in some fermented foods like yogurt, but they are also available in supplement form. They have other benefits aside from treating constipation.

Probiotics work by restoring the balance of good bacteria in the gut, which is important for overall digestive health.

Studies have shown that probiotics can be effective in treating a range of digestive problems, including constipation.

Probiotics help to increase the amount of water in the stool and reduce the time it takes for waste to travel through the intestine.

In addition, they help to stimulate bowel movements and reduce inflammation. As a result, probiotics can be a helpful treatment for constipation.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • What kind of laxative is best for me?
  • Am I taking any other medicines that will interact with a laxative?
  • Do I need a prescription laxative, or can I buy one over the counter?
  • How long should I take a laxative?
  • Can I use a bulk-forming laxative every day?
  • Are there any tests you recommend before I begin taking laxatives?

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How Long Should Laxatives Be Used For

Ideally, laxatives should only be used occasionally and for short periods of time. Stop taking a laxative when your constipation improves.

After taking a laxative, to help stop constipation returning you can make certain lifestyle changes, such as drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly and including more fibre in your diet. These types of measures are a better way of preventing constipation than excessive use of laxatives.

See your GP for advice if youre often constipated, despite making appropriate lifestyle changes, or if your constipation hasnt improved after taking laxatives for more than a week.

Dont get into the habit of taking laxatives every day to ease your constipation because this can be harmful.

In some cases, you may be prescribed a laxative to use regularly, but this should always be supervised by your GP or a gastroenterologist .

Probiotics Can Cause Constipation By Revealing Underlying Digestive Issues

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Probiotics typically reduce constipation. According to several studies, probiotics were found to increase the average number of weekly bowel movements by 1.3, and generally supported softer stools that were easier to pass. These studies found Bifidobacterium to be the most effective probiotic for supporting regular digestive health.5

Because constipation is not typical when taking probiotics, experiencing constipation with probiotics may be a sign that you do not have enough fiber or water in your diet. In these instances we recommend increasing consumption of fiber with your probiotics. You can also start taking prebiotic fiber with your probiotics. Be sure to select one that is organic and diverse so your probiotics can have good food to thrive.

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You Might Have More Energy

Not only might your mood get a lift from taking probiotics, but Dr. Axe notes that you may also find you have increased energy and less fatigue.

Probiotics play a role in neurotransmitter production, including serotonin, which has mood-boosting and calming/sleep-promoting effects, he explains. Some also contribute to cognitive health by helping to facilitate a healthy inflammation response and supporting nutrient absorption, which helps fuel normal brain activity.

Research has revealed that chronic fatigue syndrome is linked to an imbalance in the microbiomewhich can cause leaky gut syndrome. Basically, this means that bacteria enter the blood, triggering an immune response. Fortunately, research has also proven that taking probiotics may be useful for restoring balance to the microbiome and thus, alleviating fatigue and other symptoms.

You can also get a good amount of probiotics in your diet when you incorporate these 14 Probiotic Foods for a Healthy Gut into your meals!

What Is The Best Probiotic For Constipation

Those struggling with chronic constipation tend to have lower levels of the beneficial probiotic strains Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium while having an increase in potentially harmful microorganisms. Choose a supplement containing multiple strains of these two types of bacteria.

When shopping for a probiotic, consider avoiding products containing gluten, dairy, soy, and yeast. If your gut is out of balance, its lining could be more permeable than its meant to be. This allows undigested molecules into the bloodstreamoften called leaky gutand gluten, dairy, soy and yeast are particularly problematic for many people with leaky gut.

Omni-Biotic Balance is a probiotic that combines six strains of beneficial bacteria specifically shown to increase frequency of bowel movements and improve stool consistency while leaving out fillers that can exacerbate digestive distress.

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Which Probiotics Are Best For Constipation

Constipation can be very distressing for both parent and child. Research has found that probiotics could help constipation in children, particularly by helping them go to the toilet more often .

There are two probiotics for constipation . These are Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. One or both strains are found in:

  • Ultimate Flora Kids ,

Although this is in capsule form, the manufacturers state that the capsule can be opened and the contents can be mixed with cold food or drink.

Unfortunately, theres not enough evidence that probiotics can prevent tummy bugs before they happen .

Of course, the usual advice to treat diarrhoea must still be followed. This includes plenty of fluid to prevent dehydration.

Signs of dehydration include less urine than usual , darker colour urine, being less responsive and alert or a sunken fontanelle .

Rehydration drinks such as Dioralyte may be suitable for some children, especially those over 5 years.

Breastfed babies should continue to be fed and may need extra feeds.

Bottle-fed babies should be offered sips of cooled boiled water in between their feeds.

Seek medical advice for all babies under 12 months, children under 5 years with any signs of dehydration, children over 5 years with ongoing signs of dehydration, children or babies with bloody diarrhoea or if diarrhoea continues for more than 7 days.

Are There Any Storage Instructions For Probiotics

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Several probiotic strains are very fragile and need to be protected from heat, oxygen, light and humidity. The probiotics might start to break down or die if they are exposed to these elements. Because of this, you may need to refrigerate your probiotics or store it in a particular place. Refrigerating certain probiotic strains ensures that theyre still viable when you go to use them and will still provide the full benefit of the probiotic. Always read the labels on any probiotic product you purchase to make sure you store it correctly and use it within the expiration date.

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What Else Could Be Causing My Constipation

Chances are that probiotics aren’t the cause of your constipation. Common causes of constipation are lack of fiber and fluids, not enough physical activity and poor stress management, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“Especially in kids, the majority of causes are dietary and behavioral,” says Dr. Winberry. “It’s functional constipation. This means that the bowel is healthy and everything is functioning fine, but there is a disconnect in what’s going on. Sometimes people do not want to go to the bathroom in a social setting or at school. Only a small percentage is caused by anatomic reasons or medications.”

To stay on track with your bowel movements, Dr. Winberry has some advice. “In general, increasing your fiber changes the type of bacterial balance in your intestines,” he says. “Folks who have more fiber have bacteria that’s helpful for staying regular.”

Although constipation isn’t usually a sign of a more serious health condition, it can be. Because of this, it’s always best to see a doctor if you have any concerns. “If you’re experiencing significant abdominal pain when trying to go to the bathroom, weight loss or blood, those are reasons to seek medical attention,” says Dr. Winberry. “Any distressing symptoms that are affecting your daily routine are red flags.”

Probiotics For Constipation In Children: Do They Really Work

The use of probiotics for constipation in children has garnered a lot of support from experts. A lot of studies have touted the benefits that probiotics can provide to the human digestive system. However, in the past few years, experts have found out that prebiotics may be an even better option when it comes to solving digestive-related problems.

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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

What Causes Constipation

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Youve probably heard about common lifestyle-related causes of constipation, like not drinking enough water or eating enough fiber. But if youve got the lifestyle component down pat and youre still having trouble, your constipation might be stemming from something else.

That something else could very well be dysbiosis – an imbalance of the bacteria in your microbiome. Hold on folks, were getting science-y for a second here:

The term microbiome refers to the collection of microorganisms living in your gut. Dont freak out at microorganisms — its normal and healthy to have bacteria living within your gut!

The bacteria in your gut help the body regulate the immune system, digest food, and even create vitamins. Helpful kinds of bacteria are called, in laymans terms, good bacteria.

But bad bacteria exist too. Too much bad bacteria in your gut can wreak havoc on your digestion.

If you have more badbacteria than good bacteria, you have an imbalanced microbiome — which we call in fancy science terms, dysbiosis. Constipation may be a side effect of that imbalance.

If only there was a way you could push out bad bacteria and increase good bacteria, thereby rebalancing your gut microbiome…

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