Signs Your Probiotics Are Not Working And What To Do About It
If you have been taking a probiotic for 2-3 weeks and your symptoms are not improving, youre getting sick more often, or you’re experiencing side effects, then your probiotics are not doing what they should.
: May 31, 2019
Probiotics are one of the most useful supplements on the planet but what are the signs your probiotics are not working? And what can you do about it?
There are really three key signs that should give you a pretty clear indication that your probiotics arent working.
Are There Any Risks Related To Probiotics
Probiotics are generally considered safe. However, there are some risks linked to the supplements. These risks are increased if you have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, have recently had surgery or have other serious medical conditions.
Unlikely, but possible, risks can include:
- Developing an infection.
- Developing a resistance to antibiotics.
- Developing harmful byproducts from the probiotic supplement.
Signs You Need Probiotics
Thinking of loading up on kefir, yogurt, and kombucha?
While this is all well and dandy, chances are that one cup of yogurt a day wont be able to satisfy the concentrations you need.
Youll really have to supplement when your gut flora has been heavily compromised.
And how would you know that?
Well, heres a quick list for you to check out the signs that might indicate the need for a probiotic.
#1. If youve been suffering from a digestive tract issue
These can include diarrhea, IBS, gas, constipation, and indigestion.
#2. If youve skin conditions like eczema, acne, psoriasis, or rashes
These can indicate pre-existing gut issues.
Take note to check for hormonal issues for acne as well before you take probiotics.
#3. Youve daily stress, anxiety, and a depressive mood without any other known cause
Your brain behavior is most likely out of sorts due to unbalanced gut flora.
#4. If youre having a sweet tooth lately
The kind of food you crave might be a good indicator of the kind of bacteria youre hosting.
#5. If you were on antibiotic medication
Antibiotics do not discriminate good from bad bacteria. So, if youve just finished a round of antibiotics, think about rebalancing the gut flora with a probiotic.
#6. Your metabolism is out of whack
Interestingly, obese people are found to have a limited diversity of gut bacteria.
#7. Food poisoning
There can be two scenarios.
If you recently ate something that had gone bad. Or youve had an episode of food poisoning.
Read Also: How To Use Probiotics To Lose Weight
Summary Of How Probiotics Work
- A probiotic can only work if it is capable of surviving the harsh stomach environment. If you have selected a strain that is proven to reach the gut alive help it out by taking it in the morning with your breakfast.
- The probiotic will take up short term residence in either the small or large intestine depending on the conditions in these areas.
- Once in situ the probiotics can crowd out any bad bacteria by competing for their food sources and space.
- Probiotics will also provide certain vitamins and short chain fatty acids which are known to be beneficial for our health.
- Depending on the specific strain chosen, changes to the gut can be noted from as little as 3 days.
You should now feel confident that you have the knowledge to answer the following commonly asked questions:
Whats Wrong With The Milk Test
While some probiotic bacteria will cause milk to clump or curdle, its not an identifying trait of all probiotic bacteria. Not all probiotics will ferment lactose and produce lactic acid. The products of fermentation can include ethanol, lactate, and hydrogen gas. The ones that primarily produce lactic acid are called Lactic Acid Bacteria .
Lactose is actually made of two 6-carbon sugars, glucose and galactose. In lactic acid fermentation these 6-carbon sugars are converted into the 3-carbon molecule lactic acid which causes the curdling of milk.
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What Can You Do If Your Probiotics Are Not Working Properly
Luckily, if you have side effects or your supplement isnt working, you arent helpless! There are a number of steps you can take make your probiotic the health-boosting powerhouse you were after!
These steps are:
Lets check out how and why these steps may help make your probiotic more effective!
Sign 7 Fewer Sugar Cravings
Some experts consider adding probiotics into the diet to be one of the best ways toreduce sugar cravings.A poor diet leads to less diversity of gut bacteria, and having an imbalance of bacteria in your gut, called dysbiosis, leads to cravings for sugary foods and drinks.Certain microbes in the gut prefer sugar, causing an increase in the number ofsweet receptors. Thus you crave and consume more sugary foods and drinks,thereby creating a snowball effect where you feed and create more sugar-lovingbacteria in the gut, causing more sugar cravings. Its a vicious cycle that can be broken by taking a high-quality probiotic, which increases the diversity and health of the gut, thereby reducing the influence of any one species of bacteria, say the sugar loving one, on the body.
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Reduce Inflammation With Probiotics & Improve Digestive Symptoms
Here comes the big one – probiotics reduce inflammation within the gut .
Inflammation is particularly detrimental to proper digestion. It exaggerates intestinal permeability, interferes with insulin signaling, and can cause digestive symptoms .
Why does dysbiosis cause inflammation in the first place? Well, bad bacteria living within the gut have toxic molecules called lipopolysaccharides in their outer membrane, which trigger an immune and inflammatory response in the body. And that response is associated with digestive symptoms, among other health issues.
With less bad bacteria and LPS around, inflammation will go down.
So lets connect the dots since probiotics may increase the amount of beneficial bacteria and reduce counts of bad bacteria in your gut, they may also reduce the amount of lipopolysaccharides in your body, which in turn lowers inflammation.
And lowering inflammation is key to improving your digestion, since inflammation is associated with digestive issues .
Are There Side Effects Of Taking Probiotics
Side effects from probiotics are extremely uncommon but they can happen.
The most common side effect associated with probiotic supplements that are bacteria-based is gas and bloating. Yeast-based probiotics, on the other hand, can cause constipation and increased thirst.
Though its unlikely if you do happen to be experiencing any of these side effects, your probiotic is not a great fit for you individually, and you should switch to another strain or brand.
Also Check: What Is The Best Natural Probiotic
How Long Can It Take For Probiotics To Activate
Heres where things get a bit more vague. The truth is that it can ultimately depend on what result you want to get from the probiotics. It depends on what sort of shape your gut is in at the moment, what your health is like and whether the probiotic in question is actually any good.
If the probiotic is high quality and consists of a few strains and species then you are more likely to notice improvements much sooner. In some cases, you can begin to see your digestion improving within around 1 to 2 weeks after you first start taking it.
There are some people that have sensitive bodies, in which case they can sometimes expect to feel different after just a couple of days. Some of the bigger effects like mood improvement, improvement in inflammation and weight loss can sometimes take up to 4 to 8 weeks to truly take effect.
What Is The Downside Of Taking Probiotics
Probiotics are safe for the majority of the population, but side effects can occur. The most common side effects are a temporary increase in gas, bloating, constipation and thirst. Some people can also react poorly to ingredients used in probiotic supplements or to naturally occurring amines in probiotic foods.
Also Check: Are Probiotics Good For Acid Reflux
Youre Experiencing Less Digestive Discomfort
The state of your microbiota seriously affects your ability to digest the food you eat. As a result, if your gut bacteria are out of whack, your ability to digest food becomes limited.
This can lead to a host of digestive issues, including:
- stomach cramps
Fortunately, taking probiotics can improve your ability to break down and digest food and ease many of these symptoms.
So, if you have been taking a probiotic for a while and youre noticing less digestive discomfort after you eat, you can be pretty sure that your supplements are starting to work.
How To Choose A Probiotic That Will Actually Work
So, if youre questioning whether or not your probiotic is doing much of anything at all for your overall health, it may be time to change it up. Since not all probiotics are created equal, we are here to share some tips on how you can choose a probiotic that will do what it claims to do.
Here are three things to keep in mind before choosing a probiotic.
Also Check: Probiotic And Prebiotic Foods List
How Do You Know Probiotics Are Working
Probiotics are the good bacteria in the gut which help support a healthy gut microbiome. Some positive effects of probiotics include fighting off bad bacteria, improving digestion and regulating bowel movements, supporting the immune system, and helping with weight loss.
Your gut contains billions of good bacteria that support many critical functions in your body, including digestion, nutrient absorption and the immune system. This world of good bacteria is referred to as your gut microbiome.
Environmental factors such as a diet of overly processed foods, certain medications and stress can disrupt this ecosystem of good bacteria living in your gut. When the ecosystem of gut bacteria gets disrupted, ailments such as digestive discomfort, irregular bowel movements, more frequent illness and allergies can develop.
Over the past few years, probiotics have become one of the most popular supplements. Probiotics are dietary supplements that consist of some of these many good bacteria that live in a healthy gut and that can help rebalance and strengthen your gut microbiome.
Probiotics can help with improving digestion, gut health and overall wellbeing. So, lets say you were to start taking a probiotic supplement which in our opinion, almost everyone should how do you know that your probiotic is working?
The Takeaway: How Long Does It Take For Probiotics To Work
The short answer: It takes most people 2 to 3 weeks to feel significant benefits when they start taking probiotics.
Thats because probiotics need time to accomplish their three key goals: increase your good bacteria count, decrease your bad bacteria count, and reduce inflammation.
Overthrowing the bad bacteria thats already in power, working to remove them, and reducing the inflammation that the bad bacteria had produced is a process.
Adding good bacteria in the form of probiotics is not a one-time thing — you need to consume them consistently to win the war thats going on down there.
Think of taking probiotics as adding more soldiers to the microbiome battlefield every day — and think of taking prebiotics as giving your soldiers supplies.
Expecting one dose of probiotics to fix your symptoms is like expecting to win a war in a single day. Sending one small wave of good soldiers to the battlefield — taking one probiotic pill — wont be enough to overthrow the king in power .
But sending a well-supplied group of soldiers to battle on a daily basis will eventually be enough to put your desired ruler back in power, so they can clean up the damage that bad bacteria has done .
Give your gut the soldiers, supplies, and time it needs to fix things up, and youll finally feel your best again.
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Colonization May Not Be Necessary To Receive The Many Healthy Benefits Of Probiotics
Gut microbiota testing is a relatively new concept that is still being fine-tuned. It remains uncertain if the bacteria we pass in our feces provide a true reflection of the bacteria that are alive and flourishing in our gut. We known that our gut microbiota responds to what we eat, what we drink and much more. Researchers at Rush Medical College in Chicago stated that, colonization may be unnecessary to achieve positive results in probiotic therapy, and during such passage, the probiotics continue to be metabolically active, thus providing health benefits to their hosts. Sometimes we dont have to have all the answers to know that something works the positive effects of taking probiotics have been well documented in hundreds of clinical trials. The beneficial bacteria found in probiotics provide a number of health benefits and this is why we take our probiotics daily!
How Do You Know If Probiotics Are Working
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.
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How To Know If Your Probiotic Is Working
When it comes to taking care of your gut, it can be tough to determine whether or not your current course of action is enough.
Fortunately, you have an incredible tool: Your poop!
Your stool will give you all of the information that you need to know about how well your gut is functioning. The texture, frequency, and even colour can tell you how your gut bacteria are doing.
It also provides clues about what changes you might need to make in order to get yourself back on track.
So, if youre wondering how to know if your probiotic is working, take some time during your day to check out where things stand with these points.
Remember, checking them more than once is always good for peace of mind especially if something isnt looking right.
1) Stool Texture: You should expect to see normal stools that fall somewhere between soft and hard. If you notice your stools are consistently coming out wetter than usual or abnormally hard, you may want to try adding an additional source of soluble fiber into your diet.
This includes foods like vegetables, fruits, oats, barley/barley flour , canned pumpkin puree, pears , canned peaches in a heavy syrup, etc.
2) Stool Frequency: For adults, stooling three times per day is considered optimal. Going less often means that not everything you eat has been processed properly which means toxins could start building up in your body and eating away at your health.
How Does The Milk Test Work
Clump formation occurs in the milk test when the liquid becomes acidic. This is due to the presence of probiotics that can ferment lactose into lactic acid.
Commonly, the probiotic bacteria that can convert lactose to lactic acid are from the genus Lactobacillus. The more lactic acid is produced in the milk, the more it forms clumps.
Unfortunately, not all probiotic bacteria causes milk to curdle. The Bifidobacterium family of probiotic, for example, frequently fails the milk test since its environmental condition requires a small amount of oxygen for it to be able to turn milk acidic.
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How Do I Know My Probiotic Is Working Well
Many people are not aware of how to know if their probiotic is working.
A good way that can be determined by the individual would be noticing a change in bowel movements, as well as an improvement or lessening of any symptoms they were experiencing beforehand with digestive issues and more!
A lot goes into knowing whether or not your natural gut health supplement is effective- its definitely worth seeing these changes for yourself.
For instance, did you notice anything about your stool before taking this? Did things improve after starting on the product?
Do you know if your probiotic is working? You may be wondering why it feels like you are not getting the same benefits from your probiotic as other people.
This is actually a common question and here are some tips on how to know if your probiotic is working.
Start by assessing your symptoms. If you are not noticing any change, then the probiotic may not be giving enough benefits for you or it may not be the right probiotic for you.
However, if you still have symptoms or had a die-off reaction, then its possible that your probiotic is working well for you.
You Are Experiencing Side Effects
And finally, while it is unquestionably uncommon, some people do experience side effects when they start supplementing with probiotics.
The most common negative side effect associated with the majority of bacteria-based probiotic supplements is an increase in gas and bloating.
If your probiotic contains yeast, though, you may also experience constipation and increased thirst.
And if youve been supplementing with probiotic-containing foods, such as yogurt or sauerkraut, you may find yourself experiencing headaches as a side effect. This is because these foods contain unique compounds known as biogenic amines.
These little compounds form when certain molecules in food are fermented by bacteria. Once in the body, these biogenic amines can stimulate your nervous system and alter blood flow. This can lead to headaches!
If youre experiencing any of these side effects then you can be sure that your probiotic isnt working great for you.
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Tips For An Effective Probiotic Trial
If youre starting a course of probiotics, it helps tohave realistic expectations about how quickly they will start working. Youdont want to give up on your probiotic supplements before theyve had a chance toimprove your well-being.You also dont want to waste money taking probiotic products that dont have any health benefitsfor you.
Based on my observation in the clinic, some patients notice the benefits of probiotics as soon as 1-3 days. For others, it takes as long as 2-3 weeks to see the effects of probiotic supplementation. A look through the research generally supports my observations about how quickly probiotics work, with one interesting exception. Heres a summary of the research results:
|Research Summary: How Soon Do Probiotics Start Working?|
|Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source]||2 months 3 years|
There are hundreds of studies that show the benefits ofprobiotics for a wide variety of medical conditions including digestiveproblems andnon-digestive symptoms. However, most studies dont collect daily symptom data.That means that, for most studies, we know that probiotic supplementationwas effective but we dont know how quickly it worked.