Probiotics Help To Relieve Constipation And Its Symptoms
Apart from helping to soften stool and increase the number of times a week that you poop, probiotics can help with the complications of constipation.
Suffering from infrequent bowel movements can make going to the bathroom very difficult and it can cause varying accompanying symptoms. However, regularly taking high-quality probiotics can help to ease the pain while passing stool and resolve stomach bloating, gas, and stomach spasms .
The journal Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica reported that probiotics helped patients to pass stool more frequently in the week. In addition, taking probiotics also helped to reduce bloating, abdominal cramping, and the sensation of incomplete emptying. The study found that probiotics with L. casei Shirota bacteria were the most beneficial for helping constipation.8
Research into easing constipation symptoms in the elderly has also shown that probiotics can treat constipation. The Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics published a systematic review of 9 studies into probiotics for treating constipation symptoms in older people.
The study concluded that probiotics improved constipation in elderly people by 1040% compared to placebo controls in which no probiotic was used.9
What Are The Most Common Types Of Probiotic Bacteria
Though there are many types of bacteria that can be considered probiotics, there are two specific types of bacteria that are common probiotics found in stores. These include:
Probiotics are also made up of good yeast. The most common type of yeast found in probiotics is:
- Saccharomyces boulardii.
Dr Sheth Talks About Poop And Probiotics
The material provided below is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the diagnosis or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. You should always seek medical advice before consuming any new medicines or supplements.
The information provided herein is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice or to replace professional medical care. You should always seek the advice of a medical professional before starting any new medication or dietary supplement. The opinions stated herein are those solely of the writer and do not portray the opinions of the Culturelle® brand, i-Health, Inc., or DSM.
Dr. Shethº is a gastroenterologist with his A.B. degree and medical degree from Brown University. He is the Chief of Gastroenterology at the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. Dr. Sheth is the recipient of various honors and recognitions and has several publications in numerous medical journals.
Most of us are inclined to quickly flush away our bowel movements without taking a peek in the toilet bowlit is waste, after all. But it turns out, a quick glance can yield valuable information about your diet and digestive health.
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Do Probiotics Make You Fart Or Feel Gassy
While most people who take probiotics do so without encountering any negative side effects, some people DO experience a minor increase in flatulence. Its just a byproduct of the GI tract undergoing changes and adjustments. The good news, though, is that, unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to one of the ingredients in the supplement, any increased gassiness should stop within a few weeks of consistent use.
How Does Rectal Bleeding Appear
You might see or experience rectal bleeding in a few different ways, including:
- Seeing blood on your toilet paper when you wipe.
- Seeing blood in the bowl of the toilet when you are using the bathroom the water in the bowl might look like its been dyed red.
- Noticing dark red, black or tarry poop while you are having a bowel movement.
Rectal bleeding can be bright red or darker in color. You can also have rectal bleeding without being able to see it. This can happen when you have very small amounts of blood in your stool called occult bleeding.
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How Do Probiotics Affect Stool
August 12, 2013 by Lara Swanson
Although it is fairly common to hear people advise others to take probiotics after a round of antibiotics, few people really understand the reason behind that, or what the benefits of probiotics are. One common question that comes up in probiotics discussions is their effects on the bowels. If you have read our previous discussions on probiotics for men, women, and children, you may be wondering if taking probiotics will have an effect on your bowel health. This article will explore the positive effects that probiotics can have on stool, especially in relation to antibiotic-related diarrhea, and overall bowel health.
The Effects of Antibiotics
According to the Mayo Clinic website, diarrhea cause by taking antibiotics is not an unusual occurrence. Although most cases of diarrhea are considered mild but the Mayo clinic report, diarrhea is never a pleasant experience. WebMD reports that antibiotic related diarrhea occurs in 1 in 3 people taking antibiotics, a much broader scope than indicated by the Mayo clinic. Again, many cases are mild and clear up soon after the antibiotic course is finished. Other cases are more severe and can cause colitis, or inflammation of the colon.
Probiotics and AAD
Help for Constipation
Constipation and Diarrhea? What Gives?
Improve Symptoms Associated With Constipation
As we just saw, Lactobacillus plantarum bacteria combined with either Bifidobacterium breve or Bifidobacterium animalis has been found to improve many underlying causes associated with constipation. Research has found that Bifidobacterium lactis can also help ease stool expulsion and improve symptoms such as bloating, hard stools, and the sensation of not emptying your bowels completely.
Also Check: Does My Baby Need A Probiotic
Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth
The small and large intestines usually contain different types of bacteria. SIBO occurs when bacteria from the large intestine start growing in the small intestine.
The large intestine predominantly contains anaerobic bacteria, which do not require oxygen and live by fermenting indigestible carbohydrates from plant-based foods as they pass through the gut.
Symptoms of SIBO are similar to those of IBS, including gas, bloating, and diarrhea. SIBO can also cause brain fogginess and short-term memory problems.
Not everyone with IBS has SIBO, but the overgrowth is more common in people with IBS. SIBO also frequently develops in older females.
Experts do not fully understand what causes the overgrowth, but it may result from reduced gut motility, which slows the passage of food through the gut. This can cause fermentable carbohydrates to remain in the small intestine for longer.
Results of a indicate a possible link between SIBO and probiotic supplementation in people with brain fogginess. The researchers found that symptoms improved when participants stopped taking probiotics and started taking antibiotics.
Anyone with SIBO symptoms should consult a doctor.
Additional Benefits Of Taking Probiotics
In summary, probiotics are powerful dietary supplements to help improve your digestion. Whether you have constipation or diarrhea, adding a high-quality probiotic to your dietary supplements could lead to big improvements and health benefits.
At the same time, it is important to remember that probiotics are not the magic pill. In addition, we recommend you eat plenty of dietary fiber , drink plenty of water each day and follow a balanced diet. If your digestive issues persist or worsen, consult a healthcare practitioner to dig deeper into potential causes!
Prebiotics For Constipation: The Evidence
Unlike probiotics, research shows that prebiotics are consistently helpful for improving bowel regularity.
A meta-analysis looked at results of 27 studies about prebiotics ability to improve constipation symptoms. It also inspected synbiotics ability to improve constipation symptoms, which are combinations of probiotics and prebiotics.
They found that prebiotics alone increase weekly stool frequency and improve stool consistency .
Combining prebiotics AND probiotics together may be the best bet of all. When combined, prebiotics and probiotics are referred to as synbiotics.Synbiotics, however, seem to be even more effective than prebiotics alone.
Most notably, synbiotics were shown to decrease whole gut transit time by 13.5 hours on average – meaning you could dramatically ramp up your stool passage frequency.
Synbiotics also were also shown to improve stool consistencyand decrease bloating and pain with stool passage.
When it comes to specific prebiotics that may be helpful, one prebiotic superstar stands out among the bunch — Sunfiber.
Sunfiber is repeatedly shown in scientific studies to reduce constipation, increase regularity , reduce abdominal pain with stool passage, and soften stools . Even low doses can have these effects.
One study asserted that Sunfiber is a credible candidate to be a single comprehensive solutionfor overall maintenance of proper digestive health . Thats some pretty high praise!
How To Select And Use Probiotics
Picking the right probiotic is key to treating constipation, as certain strains may not be as effective as others.
Look for supplements that contain the following strains of bacteria, which have been shown to improve stool consistency (
- Lactobacillus reuteri
- Bifidobacterium longum
Although there is no specific recommended dosage for probiotics, most supplements pack 110 billion colony-forming units per serving .
For best results, use them only as directed and consider decreasing your dosage if you experience persistent side effects.
Given that supplements may take several weeks to work, stick to one specific type for 34 weeks to evaluate its effectiveness before switching.
Alternatively, try including a variety of probiotic foods in your diet.
Fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, kefir, natto, tempeh, and sauerkraut are all rich in beneficial bacteria, as well as plenty of other important nutrients.
Certain strains of probiotics may be more effective than others at treating constipation. Aside from taking supplements, you can eat fermented foods to increase your probiotic intake.
Should I Give Probiotics To My Kids
Probiotics can be beneficial for both adults and kids. If your child has an illness that requires an antibiotic medication for treatment, taking a probiotic can help shorten symptoms. Probiotics can also be used to help relieve constipation, acid reflux, diarrhea, gas and eczema in children.
Introducing probiotics into your childs diet through food is typically a safe way to give them probiotics. Foods like yogurt and cottage cheese are often part of a balanced diet and can add in good bacteria without much risk.
There are commercially available probiotic supplements specifically designed for infants and children. However, it is important to talk to your childs pediatrician before giving them any probiotic supplement or changing the childs diet to include probiotic-rich foods.
Taking Probiotics Properly To Avoid Pooping A Lot Loose And Colored Stool
Barbara G, Stanghellini V, Brandi G, et al. Interactions between commensal bacteria and gut sensorimotor function in health and disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 2005 100:25602568. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2005.00230
Quigley EM. Microflora modulation of motility. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2011 17:140147. doi: 10.5056/jnm.2011.17.2.140.
What Can Our Poop Tell Us
Before we begin our conversation about probiotics and the potential beneficial effect they might provide to our gastrointestinal health and the regulation of our bowel, let us define a few things. Across the many cultures of the world, there are various euphemistic, colloquial, and profane terms that describe human excrement.
This is what is going on in your gut right now!
Human excrement is composed of feces. Feces are the solid remains of partially digested food that have decomposed as they travel through the gastrointestinal tract. Human feces are slightly acidic and are composed almost entirely of water, with only about a third of their weight corresponding to organic solids. These organic solids, in turn, are composed of bacterial biomass and undigested carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. Small traces of metabolic waste and some epithelial shedding are also found in human feces.
Defecation, which is the physical expulsion of feces from the body, can potentially provide a keen observer with some subtle and not so subtle clues as to the state of health of the individual. The physiological mechanisms behind defecation are complex, but in essence, revolve around the voluntary and involuntary contraction of the sphincter and rectal muscles as well as peristalsis of the intestinal walls.
There are two factors involved in the defecation process which are telling in regards to the general and gastrointestinal health of a given individual.
Whats Normal Pooping Whats Constipation
Constipation is a common digestive issue, affecting millions of Americans each year, according to a January 2013 report in Gastroenterology.
“Constipation is generally defined as a decrease in frequency of bowel movements,” says Gabriel Winberry, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist and researcher at WakeMed in Raleigh, North Carolina. “Everyone has a baseline number that they go each day.” When you go less than what your normal is, that’s constipation.
“Ninety percent of people will go at least once every other day,” Dr. Winberry says, adding that many people have a bowel movement one to two times a day and the normal tends to be higher for babies and young children. From infancy into the toilet training years, bowel movements are more frequent, and “children ages 1 to 4 might go more like four to six times per day, but this can vary slightly,” he says.
Read more:The Best-Rated Probiotics
Probiotic Supplements And Constipation
Constipation is defined as less than three bowel movements per week. For some individuals, ensuring sufficient fiber and fluid intake may already be enough to help regulate their bowel movements.
The use of probiotic supplements in various cases of constipation has been studied by many researchers over the years. The conclusion: Probiotic supplements can be extremely helpful to those suffering from constipation. Probiotics rebalance the gut flora and improve mucus production in the intestines, which in turn can improve the frequency and consistency of your bowel movements.
Probiotics Decrease Whole Gut Transit Time
Research into taking probiotics for constipation have found that they improve the time food takes to pass through the gastrointestinal tract. This is known as whole gut transit time or bowel transit time.
Research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology found that probiotics decrease whole gut transit time. The study found that the B. lactis HN019 strain of probiotics helped to reduce whole gut transit time and improve gastrointestinal issues in adults.5
The study found that the probiotic, B. lactis HN019 is safe for human consumption and there were no reported side effects.
How Effective Are Probiotics
Researchers are currently unsure how effective probiotic supplements are for treating conditions. Theres constant research on the topic. While many research studies have had positive results on the impact of probiotic supplements, more research is still needed.
Its also important to keep in mind that unlike medications, dietary supplements do not need to be approved by the FDA. This means that manufacturers can sell supplements simply with claims of safety and effectiveness.
Always talk with your healthcare provider before taking a supplement or giving one to your child. Supplements might interfere with medicines you may be taking. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, check with your provider before taking any supplement.
Track Changes In Health
Some benefits of probiotics are well-established. According to Harvard Health, you can take probiotics to treat or prevent-
- Urinary tract infections
- Vaginal infections
Now, if you are taking probiotics for a health concern, its very easy to determine the efficacy of your probiotics.
You only have to look for improvements in your symptoms!
For instance, if you are suffering from diarrhea, probiotics supplements should reduce your bouts or frequency.
Or, if you are taking them for infections, look for signs of improvement and decrease in symptoms.
In simple words, your health improvements are signs your probiotics are working.
Next, we will discuss another easy way to check if your probiotics have any effect. Most of you will experience these as a part of taking probiotics.
Will Probiotics Make You Gain Weight
While it is believed that a connection exists between ones gut bacteria and obesity, the actual research just isnt there yet. Probiotics may show promise in regulating weight in mice, but again, the research is limited and no human trials exist.
The safest thing we can say is, dont overdo it. Eating too much of anything can become a bad thing and the same holds true for probiotics.
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!