Can Probiotics Cause Diarrhea A Potential Probiotic Side Effect
Probiotics appear to be good for you in every way. Aside from aiding in digestion, the friendly gut microbiota also assists in many bodily functions, such as regulating circadian rhythm, reducing allergies and promoting heart health. However, can something so beneficial also have side effects? There have actually been reports of users experiencing diarrhea after going on a probiotic supplement. Can probiotics cause diarrhea?
Increased Risk Of Infection
review from 2017 suggest that children and adults with severe illnesses or compromised immune systems should avoid using probiotics. Some people with these conditions have experienced bacterial or fungal infections as a result of probiotic use.
If a person has a condition that affects their immune system, they should speak with their doctor before taking probiotics.
Also, anyone using antifungal medication should wait until the infection has cleared up before taking probiotics.
Is It Best To Take Probiotics And Prebiotics As Foods Supplements Or Drinks
If you are thinking about taking a probiotic or prebiotic and are unsure where to start or what to take, ask for help from a specialist. There are so many products available on the market it can be difficult to decide which to choose. The evidence is very much linked to the supplement so whether its a powder, tablet or drink youre looking for, choosing the right one should depend on the symptoms youre experiencing.
Speak to your GP if you’re experiencing symptoms or if you’re considering starting a supplement.
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Health Benefits Of Probiotics
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Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be consumed through fermented foods or supplements .
More and more studies show that the balance or imbalance of bacteria in your digestive system is linked to overall health and disease.
Probiotics promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria and have been linked to a wide range of health benefits.
These include benefits for weight loss, digestive health, immune function and more (
This is an overview of the key health benefits linked to probiotics.
What You Can Do
Don’t start taking probiotics without talking to your doctor or pharmacist about whether probiotics might help you. People who have immune deficiency or are being treated for cancer should not use probiotics without a doctor’s okay.
The most common species of bacteria used in probiotics are species of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. The bacteria are usually freeze-dried when you take the supplement, they warm up in your digestive system and become fully active. You can find probiotic supplements in most drugstores and supermarkets. They come as capsules or tablets to swallow and as loose powder to sprinkle on food. You’ll want a product that explicitly states a “sell-by” date. Dosages vary by product, so no general dosing recommendation can be made. However, common dosages for adults range from five billion to 10 billion colony-forming units per day. Take just one dose of probiotics per day.
Some people may experience loose stools in the first few days of taking probiotics, but this goes away. Taking probiotics at the end of a meal may help to reduce the symptoms.
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What Should You Do If Probiotics Arent Working
Read the label: If you experience minor side effects like bloating, nausea or gas, check the ingredients to see whether the label contains any ingredients you might be allergic to. Many probiotics contain lactose, which can irritate the gut, especially in adults. This is also important for people who are lactose intolerant or vegan.
Try a different brand: Probiotics vary widely in quality and composition. Perhaps the probiotic you are taking just isnt strong enough or doesnt contain the specific strains to make you feel better. Consider looking for a high quality, multispecies and multistrain probiotic that fits your needs.
Seek out a qualified healthcare practitioner: If youve tried several probiotics and none are working, it might be time to seek out a healthcare practitioner with expertise in gut health to help you get to the root cause of your symptoms.
The Side Effects Of Probiotics
Probiotics are safe for those who are healthy. If side effects occur, they are usually mild digestive issues, like gas. Just like before starting any new drug or supplement, you should talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic. This advice is especially important for those with suppressed immune systems. Serious complications, like infections, have been reported in some people.
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In Which Foods Do Probiotics Occur Naturally
- Yogurt Read the label to confirm it contains lactobacillus or bifidobactera.
- Unpasteurized Sauerkraut When sauerkraut is pasteurized, it destroys the good bacteria. Sauerkraut also is a good source of vitamins.
- Soft Cheese Soft cheese such as Gouda has lactobacillus present due to the fermentation process.
- Milk Those milk products which have Lactobacillus acidophilus added to the product. Read the label!
- Kefir Found in your dairy case in liquid form.
- Capsules Provide a concentrated dose of multiple strains of bacteria. Vitamin and nutrition stores have a wide variety. These should be kept in the refrigerator to preserve potency.
- Bananas and Most Fruits
Probiotics Became Popular As Antibiotics Became Unpopular
Its no coincidence that probiotics are so popular right now, Rabia De Latour, MD, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health, tells Health. The current concerns about antibiotic resistance are partially responsible for the obsession with probiotics. Heres why: Doctors have, until relatively recently, aggressively prescribed antibiotics. In the past, they were thought to be miracle drugs. From an efficiency standpoint, they are miracle drugs. But they dont come without problems.
The more we take antibiotics, the more we become resistant to them. This means that if we continue to take antibiotics for anything and everything even when theyre unnecessary, theyll stop working to cure us sooner rather than later. In fact, the World Health Organization says that antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.
Theres another problem with antibiotics: They mess with your microbiome. A 2016 report sums it up this way: In addition to the development of resistance, the use of antibiotics heavily disrupts the ecology of the human microbiome. When antibiotics disturb your gut, some of your bodys crucial processes go haywire, including your bodys ability to produce vitamins.
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Probiotics & Pooping A Lot
Probiotics can make you poop a lot. The question of whether it can or not has been demystified in this material as follows:
Maintains adequate bowel movements
A study in the Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging 15:215-20 showed that its subjects, elderly, could reduce the use of laxative synthetics by taking probiotics. Laxatives are normally drugs that are indicated for constipation to increase the transit time of gut contents and therefore help expel poop. While probiotics have shown to act in the same manner by introducing beneficial bacteria, increased amount of poop can be explained by this mechanism the study postulated.
Treatment of IBS associated reduced transit
probiotics have been preferred for the treatment of IBS and therefore its accompanying reduced gut motility. It is the reduced gut motility that leads to reduced bowel movements in a day or week. Probiotics play a hand in the management of IBS by improving the transit time, reduction of segmental pooling and increasing bowel movements overall. Trusted sites such as the Dr. Oz, Mayo and WebMD support the pertinence of probiotics in improving bowel movements.
There are strains that lead to stimulation of intestinal motility
Sign 3 Ease Of Digestive Troubles
Perhaps the strongest evidence for probiotics is in treating diarrhea caused by aviral infection or from taking antibiotics.Probiotics restore the natural balance of bacteria, which is disrupted during aninfection or when taking antibiotics.Additionally, researchers found that probiotics also help constipation . Studies from Kings College in London show that probiotics increased the number of weekly bowel movements by 1.3, and helped soften stools, making them easier to pass .Therefore, if you see an improvement in diarrhea or constipation symptoms afterstarting probiotics it can be the most obvious sign that the supplements areWorking.
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What Has Science Shown About The Effectiveness Of Probiotics For Health Conditions
A great deal of research has been done on probiotics, but much remains to be learned about whether theyâre helpful and safe for various health conditions.
Probiotics have shown promise for a variety of health purposes, including prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea , prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis and in premature infants, treatment of infant colic, treatment of periodontal disease, and induction or maintenance of remission in ulcerative colitis.
However, in most instances, we still donât know which probiotics are helpful and which are not. We also donât know how much of the probiotic people would have to take or who would be most likely to benefit. Even for the conditions that have been studied the most, researchers are still working toward finding the answers to these questions.
The following sections summarize the research on probiotics for some of the conditions for which theyâve been studied.
You Suffer From Skin Conditions Such As Acne And Psoriasis
Flushing waste from your body helps you maintain clear, healthy-looking skin, which is why digestive problems are commonly linked to skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, hives, and rashes. If youre having problems managing one or more skin conditions, and topical remedies arent working, you may need to work on clearing your skin from the inside out with help from probiotics.
Autism, Candida, and yeast infections are cited as other common health problems linked to poor gut health. If you think you may need probiotics, talk to your doctor about nutrition therapy using probiotics, or try our Suprema Dophilus a high potency probiotic that contains five billion viable cells per capsule with eight different probiotic strains. This probiotic formula helps support long-term digestive health and may help reduce symptoms of related conditions.
Looking for high-quality vitamins and supplements to help you meet your health goals? Visit the Garcia Weight Loss & Wellness Centers online store to view our selection of diet supplements, easy exchange foods, and skin care formulated with natural mineral and botanical ingredients.
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on January 1, 2018
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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.
What Types Of Foods Have Probiotics
The full list is quite robust, but below are 7 of the most common foods containing probiotics:
While it would be great to keep ourselves in a steady supply of probiotic foods, stocking the shelves with the above items consistently wont be the cheapest endeavor. So if cost or consistency is an issue, we recommend getting your probiotics through a supplement or nutritional shake. Its way easier to budget in, stay consistent, and ensure youre getting the right daily dose. And, oftentimes, you can find supplements with additional health benefits.
Which leads us to
Where Do Probiotics Work In The Gut
Once through the stomach, the probiotic bacteria embark on the next stage of their journey. They are released into the small intestines, where some strains will begin to take up residence for a short time. Other strains may pass through the small intestine and take up residence when they reach the large intestine . Where probiotics choose to reside is governed predominantly by the specific conditions in different areas of the gut including pH , oxygen levels, and the type of bacteria in the microbiome4.
Some areas of the gut have more oxygen available like the small intestine, whereas other areas have little or no oxygen like parts of the large intestine, making those areas only suitable for certain strains of bacteria that do not need oxygen to survive. Additionally, the pH differs at different points along the digestive tract, with the small intestine typically being more acidic than the large intestine. Although, as we have learned, it can be a challenge for probiotic bacteria to travel through the highly acidic stomach, which can reach acidity levels of around pH 1.5, probiotic bacteria actually prefer a slightly acidic or pH neutral environment5. All these factors influence where particular strains of bacteria choose to live.
Probiotics And Vaginal Health
Probiotics may also be of use in maintaining urogenital health. Like the intestinal tract, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem. The dominant Lactobacilli strains normally make it too acidic for harmful microorganisms to survive. But the system can be thrown out of balance by a number of factors, including antibiotics, spermicides, and birth control pills. Probiotic treatment that restores the balance of microflora may be helpful for such common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection.
Many women eat yogurt or insert it into the vagina to treat recurring yeast infections, a “folk” remedy for which medical science offers limited support. Oral and vaginal administration of Lactobacilli may help in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, although there isn’t enough evidence yet to recommend it over conventional approaches. Probiotic treatment of urinary tract infections is under study.
Probiotics are generally considered safe they’re already present in a normal digestive system although there’s a theoretical risk for people with impaired immune function. Be sure the ingredients are clearly marked on the label and familiar to you or your health provider. There’s no way to judge the safety of unidentified mixtures.
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How To Tell When Probiotics Are Working
You may find the following article of interest to increase your understanding of how probiotics work: Benefits of Probiotics
Good health starts in the gut, and its best to address any presenting digestive symptoms regardless of which health condition youre trying to support. If people are generally well or have good digestion, they may not initially notice a drastic change when they take a probiotic supplement. But so many different things can affect the gut microbiome, such as medications, stress, and poor diet, that its always good to keep the gut microbiome well supported by taking probiotics and eating fermented foods. Also, over a longer period of time they may notice positive changes, such as less frequent colds or skin breakouts. For others, when they are taking a probiotic supplement for a specific condition, they may notice a specific improvement in that area. However, having a healthy microbiome is just one consideration when supporting any health condition for a fully holistic protocol a doctor should be consulted, and a health professional such as a nutritional therapist, who can also advise on diet and lifestyle.
Are Probiotics Good For You Not Always
Are probiotics good for you? The answer to that question seems baked right into their name: pro-biotics. Weve all heard about the benefits of a healthy gut microbiome. Probiotics are one way we try to give our digestive system an extra dose of that good bacteria.
Studies have shown that probiotics can help prematurely-born babies fight intestinal inflammation. And perhaps they can help older women from developing weaker bones. But what about everyone else? Can popping a few probiotic supplements do any harm?
The answer is yes. Too much of any bacteria, even the good kind, can be harmful to your digestive system. And if probiotic supplements headed for your colon dump their contents too early, bacteria in your small intestine can cause symptoms of brain fogginess. Dr. Satish Rao, Professor of Medicine at Augusta University, joins Ira to discuss why we should proceed with caution when it comes to probiotics.
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Can Probiotics Cause Diarrhea Yes But
As we have shown, probiotics can induce diarrhea. However, once you get past the adjustment phase, it becomes a nonissue. While probiotics and diarrhea are inextricably linked, the former is a long-term solution for smoother stools. In other words, probiotics reduce diarrhea far more than they induce it.
Can I Give Probiotics To My Kids
Adults and children alike can benefit from probiotics. If your child is suffering from an infection that necessitates the use of antibiotics, a probiotic can assist to alleviate symptoms.
Childrens constipation, acid reflux, diarrhoea, gas, and eczema can all be helped with probiotics.
Incorporating probiotics into your childs diet through food is usually a safe approach to do so. Yogurt and cottage cheese are common components of a well-balanced diet and can provide beneficial bacteria without posing a significant risk.
There are probiotic supplements specifically formulated for newborns and children on the market.
However, before giving your child any probiotic supplement or changing their diet to include probiotic-rich foods, speak with their paediatrician.
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