After Taking Probiotics Regularly I Started To Feel Super Sick
It happened at a Jonas Brothers concert. One minute I was singing along to “Year 3000,” feeling my happiness beginning, and the next I was in the bathroom trying not to throw up. My stomach hurt the entire ride home, and I remember thinking I must have eaten something weird or maybe I was getting sick. A week later, on a flight to Los Angeles to visit my brother, I started to feel sick again, and this time, my symptoms didn’t let up the entire trip.
After forgetting to take my nighttime pills for a couple days – including the 30 billion colony forming units of probiotics I had recently started taking to help my IBS – I started feeling better. That’s when I realized the two might be connected. Is it possible to take too many probiotics? And what exactly are the side effects? I talked to a gastroenterologist to find out more.
Symptoms And Standard Treatments
People with gastritis typically experience pain in the upper abdominal area, nausea and vomiting, according to the NIDDK. Other symptoms include burning stomach pain, loss of appetite and burping. Erosion of the stomach lining due to gastritis can lead to bleeding and symptoms of blood loss, such as dizziness, shortness of breath, paleness, fainting and blood in vomit or stool.
Gastritis treatment typically involves managing acid production in the stomach with hydrogen blockers and proton-pump inhibitors to cut down on inflammation and eradicating the H. pylori population with antibiotics. Some patients also rely on antacid tablets to help neutralize stomach acid. The “triple therapy” combo of H2 blocker or PPI plus two antibiotics was the preferred course of treatment for the past 20-plus years, as noted in the Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology review.
The wide-spread use of antibiotics to fight H. pylori has resulted in an increase in antibiotic resistance for some of the drugs commonly prescribed. When bacteria become resistant to medication, the treatment is less effective. According to the journal Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, the success rate for treatment with antibiotics may be as low as 70 percent.
Ways Probiotics May Be Able To Ease Your Stomach Pain
Nowadays, stomach pain seems to affect nearly every person in the United States.
For some, its just a passing bout of discomfort.
For others, stomach pain is a debilitating condition that makes life nearly unbearable.
Whichever camp you fall into, theres a bit of hope on the horizon in the form of probiotics.
More and more studies are showing that probiotics can treat many different causes of stomach pain.
Lets take a quick look at 7 common stomach ailments and how probiotics may provide relief
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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.
Are Probiotics Good For Gastritis
People with gastritis experience abdominal pain and nausea when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed. Taking probiotics for gastritis may help destroy the harmful bacteria that cause this condition while increasing the efficacy of antibiotics and other medications.
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Probiotics can improve digestive health and help treat gastritis caused by H. pylori infection. These supplements may help decrease H. pylori colonization in the stomach lining and complement standard antibiotic treatment for gastritis.
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Can Prebiotics Cause Gas
We talk a lot about probiotics, but taking a prebiotic is just as important for your gut health. Prebiotics are non-living, non-digestible ingredients which feed all that good bacteria that your probiotics are bringing you. That bacteria has got to stay alive too!
Dietary fiber is one of the best prebiotics. But the problem is, most Americans dont get enough of the right kinds of fiber. So the alternative option is supplements the problem with that, though, is that they are often derived from fiber or carbs, and cause gas and bloating.
We created a prebiotic supplement that uses a novel bacteriophage thats free of starch and fiber which gives you all of the benefits of prebiotics without any of the discomfort.
Remember that probiotics side effects, like gas, stomach pain or bloating, is just your body is getting used to the amount of good bacteria working to get your gut healthy. In the meantime, reduce the amount of complex carbs and fibers youre eating to limit further.
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 .
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Probiotics Can Cause Diarrhea
Studies have shown how helpful probiotics can be for infectious diarrhea, traveler’s diarrhea, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and C diff diarrhea. However, they can cause diarrhea in some people.
This negative side effect should pass as your body gets fully adjusted to the new probiotics. In the long run, probiotics should not cause diarrhea. If you have diarrhea that lasts greater than 2 weeks while taking a probiotic then stop taking probiotics.
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When Is The Best Time To Take Probiotics
As with many supplements and medications, there are certain times and factors that can change their efficacy, for good or bad. Research shows that the best time to take a probiotic is 30 minutes before a meal. Consistency is key when it comes to taking a probiotic and experiencing as many of the potential health benefits as possible. This means that it is necessary to take it daily to ensure routine and regular replenishment of the guts bacteria.
The stomach is a highly acidic environment, which can make it difficult for many supplements to pass through in their most bioavailable form. The same is true for probiotics. Look for a high-quality probiotic that uses time-release tablets to deliver its bacteria safely to the gut.
The composition of your meal can also help or hinder your probiotics efficacy. A large meal will move more slowly through the stomach and trigger more stomach acid production. If your probiotic is taken along or prior to this type of meal, the probiotic will move more slowly and be exposed to a hostile environment for longer.
Everything In Your Mouth Counts
PKU can be successfully managed with a severely restricted diet. That simple statement is factually true, but practically impossible to follow, as it requires slashing protein consumption by about 90 percent. To compensate for the missing protein, several times a day PKU patients take a medical formula commonly referred to simply as formula containing forms of proteins that are digestible to their bodies. Several manufacturers now add vitamins and minerals and offer a variety of formats and tastes to make it more consumer friendly, but that wasn’t always the case.
When I was a kid, it tasted horrible, was the consistency of house paint. I didn’t think about it, I just drank it. I didn’t like it but you get used to it after a while, recalls Jeff Wolf, the twang of Appalachia still strong in his voice. Now age 50, he grew up in Ashland, Kentucky and was part of the first wave of persons with PKU who were identified at birth as newborn screening was rolled out across the US. He says the options of taste and consistency have improved tremendously over the years.
Some people with PKU are restricted to as little as 8 grams of protein a day from food. That’s a handful of almonds or a single hard-boiled egg a skimpy 4-ounce hamburger and slice of cheese adds up to half of their weekly protein ration. Anything above that daily allowance is more than the body can handle and toxic levels of Phe begin to accumulate in the brain.
Les Clark with a birthday cake.
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Do I Need To Take Probiotic Supplements
Probiotics can come from the food and drink that could already be in your diet, most fermented foods, such as pickles and yogurt, are home to a number of good bacteria that can help your body get the right balance of probiotics.
There are also a few fermented drinks that you can try that are packed full of good bacteria such as kombucha, which is fermented tea, and kefir, which is a fermented dairy drink. There are plenty of food and drink options that are packed with probiotics, such as:
Introducing these foods into a well-balanced diet will help with the probiotic balance in your body, especially your gut. When buying these foods, check the label for live and active cultures, which means that the food or drink is full of good bacteria.
You can also take probiotic supplements if you feel you arent getting enough probiotics in your diet, probiotic supplements can come in a variety of forms including pills, food, drink, or powders. You should always check with your healthcare provider before adding a new supplement to your diet.
Do Probiotics Cause Stinky Gas
Yes we have to address it, okay? Maybe this is TMI but you deserve to know: If youre taking a yeast-based probiotic, you may find the gas is a little smelly. Why? Well, because its gas but also because yeast is a live active agent, with very busy and sometimes volatile bacteria. Its why we put it into bread, as it rapidly expands and has quicker chemical reactions. Fortunately, none of Jetsons probiotics are yeast-based, so you can check your concern at the door.
Many people are conscious of the fact that taking probiotics cause bloating and gas, but theyre also worried it might not be wise to take them before work .
This is an easy fix: take probiotics that are not solely yeast-based. Although Saccharomyces boulardii is a common probiotic bacteria that is known to cause gas build-up, taking a probiotic blend of yeast and spore based probiotics can help to eliminate these uncomfortable side effects.
Keep in mind that limiting complex carbs and moderating the fiber in your diet will also help limit gas, especially when youre adjusting to probiotics.
What about eating probiotic foods like whole grains? Well, not only can they cause gas, but they also dont normally change the gut flora in your intestines . Whole grains do, however, play a role in moderating your blood sugar levels, so everything in moderation.
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Can Probiotics Cause Stomach Pain Or Bloating
Stomach pain is not a common complaint when taking probiotics. However, as your client’s gut microbiome adjusts to the introduction of new probiotic bacteria or yeast, there may be an alteration in gas production due to bacterial fermentation which may contribute to the development of bloating, increased flatulence and potentially stomach discomfort. Some probiotics strains such as Bifidobacteria lactis HN019 has been shown to be helpful in reducing the severity of abdominal cramping and bloating compared to placebo3.
Overall, as its rare to experience any noticeable side effects, it is sensible to first consider whether any symptoms your client may experience whilst taking probiotics could be caused by any other factors new foods, medications or perhaps other supplements – and the connection to the probiotic could be coincidental.
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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Use Probiotics To Your Benefit
By now you should be more aware of the potential side effects of overdosing on probiotics and how to eliminate or minimize those side effects. If you continue to have discomfort while taking probiotics, I recommend you stop taking that particular brand.
Because of the differences in dose, diversity, and delivery mechanisms, not all probiotics are created equal. One probiotic will not have the same benefits or side effects as another.
For example, a probiotic using one strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus may help your digestive health, but another using a different Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain may not have the same effect. It may take some experimenting to determine the right brand for you.
Probiotics Are A Bit Difficult To Predict Because They’re A Bit Like A Foreign Exchange Student Arriving In A High School The Cliques Are Already Established And Then This New Person Walks In And It’s Possible That They Change The Dynamics But It’s Also Possible That Nothing Changes At All Dr Will Bulsiewicz
Its difficult to predict how you respond to a probiotic because no two peoples gut microbiome is the same. There may be benefits, harms, or no changes at all.
Thats why its wise to think about whether they made any difference for you,specifically.
Did your digestion improve? It might get worse again if you stop. Did you get over that cold faster than usual? Maybe theyre helping your immune system. Did you feel no different than before? Then stopping might not have any effect either.
Dr. Bulsiewicz recommends having a specific goal in mind before starting probiotic supplements. hen I recommend probiotics in my gastroenterology clinic, I always have a specific goal in mind, he explained.
Are we treating IBS, gas and bloating, or constipation? If so, then I can choose the probiotic most likely to address that specific issue, and we can make an assessment of whether or not the symptom improves while on the probiotic.
There is a good chance that what happens when you stop taking probiotics is linked to why you started a supplement in the first place.
If a person improves while on a probiotic, then there is a strong possibility that they will see worsening of their digestive symptoms when they stop the probiotic, said Dr. Bulsiewicz.
If, alternatively, that person never really improved on the probiotic in the first place, then they likely won’t notice a difference whether they continue the probiotic or stop it, he added.
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.”