Probiotics For Upset Stomachs
Whether you’re experiencing stomach discomfort at home, due to food poisoning or a viral infection, or in a hostel in Mumbai, due to travellers diarrhoea you are now aware that certain strains of probiotics may help to ease associated symptoms.
As well as helping to manage the symptoms of these types of stomach upsets, probiotics can also offer a level of protection against developing them. Maintaining a healthy microbiome through regular use of a high-quality, daily probiotic supplement adds another layer of support for the gut, and may reduce the severity or duration of symptoms from any of the above types of stomach upset.
The NHS8 has even reported on this topic on their website, examining a review which looked at a number of clinical studies on probiotics and stomach upsets, and concluding that they “reduced the duration of diarrhoea by about 25 hours compared with no treatment”.
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.
Taking Probiotics During The Stomach Flu
Whenever possible, prevention is best. Thats why taking a daily probiotic supplement is critical. By maintaining a healthy gut ecosystem, you increase your bodys ability to fight off illnesses of the digestive system.
However, even the healthiest digestive systems can sometimes fall victim to the variety of bacteria causing the stomach flu. When this happens, taking probiotics is an important part of your recovery strains like L. gasseri, L. fermentum, and L. brevis have all shown a capability to protect against or improve resistance to influenza.
Some studies suggest taking probiotics during the stomach flu is beneficial because it shortens cases of diarrhea. Prolonged bouts of diarrhea can cause severe dehydration.
One study showed that probiotics improved the symptoms of viral gastroenteritis in otherwise healthy individuals. Specifically, participants experienced a decreased duration of diarrhea by an average of 0.7 days and a decreased duration in hospitalization by 0.76 days.
There isnt any significant research on whether probiotics can help with other stomach flu symptoms. However, it can be assumed that repopulating the gut with healthy bacteria has the potential to decrease vomiting alongside diarrhea.
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Do Probiotics Really Help
Gastroenteritis or intestinal inflammation caused by infections with viruses, bacteria or parasites is a common ailment in young children, accounting for about 1.7 million pediatric emergency room visits in the U.S. each year.
Some studies have suggested that probiotics, or “good bacteria,” can help kids with gastroenteritis, but many of these studies were small and not rigorously designed, the researchers said.
In the new U.S. study, nearly 1,000 children with gastroenteritis were randomly assigned to receive either the probiotic Lactobacillusrhamnosus GG or a placebo, for five days. The children were ages 3 months to 4 years old, and visited the emergency room for symptoms of gastroenteritis, which can include watery stools, vomiting and diarrhea. The study took place in hospitals in 10 U.S. cities.
The study was a “double blind,” which means that neither the patients nor the researchers knew whether the children had received the probiotic or the placebo.
During the two-week study, children in the probiotic group fared about the same as children in the placebo group. For example, in both groups, symptoms of diarrhea cleared up after two days, and the children missed about two days of daycare.
The Canadian study, which was similar in design to the U.S. one and which involved nearly 900 preschool-age children, also found no benefit for another common probiotic that contains two strains of bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011 and L. helveticus R0052.
What To Eat With A Stomach Virus
You’ve been there: A nasty case of the stomach flu or a random bout of food poisoning hit you, and you feel weak and shaky…but finally ready to eat something. What is the best food for an upset stomach or the food for diarrhea? Here, registered dietitians share their tips for how to rehydrate and what to eat with a stomach virus so you can start feeling like a functional human again.
But before you explore what to eat after the stomach flu, you might want to take notes on what to avoid when battling a stomach bug so you don’t exacerbate the pain. Sheri Kasper, registered dietitian and co-founder of Fresh Communications, suggests steering clear of caffeine, as it can be irritating to the stomach and may make certain symptoms worse. “It’s also important to avoid alcohol because the goal right after the stomach flu is to replace fluids and alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes fluid loss,” she adds. “Highly acidic or spicy/boldly spiced foods can also trigger nausea or stomach pain, so they should be approached with caution.”
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How Do Doctors Treat Viral Gastroenteritis
Your doctor may prescribe medicine to control severe vomiting. Doctors dont prescribe antibiotics to treat viral gastroenteritis. Antibiotics dont work for viral infections.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend probiotics. Probiotics are live microbes, most often bacteria, that are like the ones you normally have in your digestive tract. Studies suggest that some probiotics may help shorten a case of diarrhea. Researchers are still studying the use of probiotics to treat viral gastroenteritis. For safety reasons, talk with your doctor before using probiotics or any other complementary or alternative medicines or practices.
Anyone with signs or symptoms of dehydration should see a doctor right away. Doctors may need to treat people with severe dehydration in a hospital.
How Probiotics Might Be Bad For You
Because these good bacteria already exist in the body, theyâre considered safe for most people. But there are some things to consider.
They can trigger an allergic reaction. They might cause mild stomach problems, especially the first few days you start taking them. You might have stomach upset, gas, diarrhea, or bloating. Those symptoms usually go away after your body gets used to them.
If you have an immune system problem or another serious health condition, you may have a greater chance of issues. Some reports have linked probiotics to serious infections and other side effects. The people most likely to have trouble are those with immune system problems, people who’ve had surgery, and others who are critically ill. Don’t take probiotics if you have any of those issues.
Always talk to your pediatrician before giving probiotic supplements to your child. If you’re pregnant or nursing, you should also talk to your doctor before you try one.
Most probiotics in the U.S. are sold as dietary supplements. That means the companies that make them don’t have to test their products and show that they work or that they are safe. More research is needed to confirm that probiotics are safe and effective.
Ask your doctor which probiotics are the right ones for you. Be sure to stop taking them if you have any problems.
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Probiotics Can Aid Digestion And Help Maintain Gut Health
What are the benefits of taking probiotics? Bacteria have a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health might seem literally and figuratively hard to swallow. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. Northern Europeans consume a lot of these beneficial microorganisms, called probiotics , because of their tradition of eating foods fermented with bacteria, such as yogurt. Probiotic-laced beverages are also big business in Japan.
Some digestive disease specialists are recommending probiotic supplements for disorders that frustrate conventional medicine, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Since the mid-1990s, clinical studies suggest that probiotic therapy can help treat several gastrointestinal ills, delay the development of allergies in children, and treat and prevent vaginal and urinary infections in women.
Self-dosing with bacteria isn’t as outlandish as it might seem. An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy bowel. These microorganisms generally don’t make us sick most are helpful. Gut-dwelling bacteria keep pathogens in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function.
How Does The Stomach Flu Happen
The stomach flu isnt the flu at all. In fact, its not even a single illness. Instead, many people use the term stomach flu to refer to a range of bacteria that cause vomiting and diarrhea, including those causing food poisoning.
A few examples of bacteria, infections, and illnesses many call the stomach flu include:
Actual stomach flu is called viral gastroenteritis. However, many people mistake food poisoning for the same thing because they present with the same primary symptoms.
Viral gastroenteritis happens when a person comes into contact with any of the viruses that can cause it. You would generally touch a contaminated surface or substance and then touch your mouth to be infected. Some of these viruses can live for weeks on surfaces, so it can be challenging to determine where they originally came from.
Food poisoning happens when something you eat has been contaminated or undercooked. Sometimes this contamination occurs at a restaurant or factory. However, if youve left food on the counter for too long or eat leftovers from the fridge that arent good anymore, you could get food poisoning.
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After looking at fecal samples, researchers found that having more Bacteroides dorei, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Bacteroides massiliensis, and Bacteroides ovatus was tied to a lower viral load of SARS-CoV-2.
Its also important to note that in previous studies, probiotics have been shown to prevent gastroenteritis , sepsis and respiratory tract infections all conditions connected to COVID infections.
Because of all this research showing that that microbial balance plays a role in COVID-19 infection, researchers are working on developing a probiotic supplement specifically designed to reduce the risk and severity of COVID-19 infections. But it will be a while before this product makes it to market. Right now, theyre still working on large-scale clinical trials to demonstrate the microbiome-COVID connection and develop the right probiotic formula.
How To Make Your Gut Healthier And Your Immune System Stronger
Its important to make one thing clear probiotics wont cure COVID-19. But there is a lot of evidence that keeping your gut microbiome in balance could potentially keep you safer from all infections, and that includes COVID-19.
So, if you suspect you have an imbalance going on in your gut, now is the time to make some changes. Here are some of the symptoms of gut dysbiosis:
- bad breath
- having trouble thinking or concentrating
The best way to restore balance to your gut is through diet. Eat a healthy diet filled with nutrient-rich, whole foods, and completely cut out the processed stuff especially sweets. Sugar feeds the bad bacteria in your gut and can make dysbiosis worse.
Youll also want to invest in a good probiotic . And dont forget to manage your stress levels. Stress and gut health are closely connected.
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Stomach Flu: An Overview
It is quite common site in the Emergency Room at various locations where on an everyday basis people both children and adults alike come with complaints of vomiting and diarrhea, which are symptoms suggestive of Stomach Flu or viral gastroenteritis as it is medically known. It is estimated that Stomach Flu is responsible for about a million emergency room visits in a year.
While adults may be helped by taking antiemetics and anti-diarrheal medications, same is not the case with the children as they need to be handled with care even more because of the sensitive nature of the stomach. The stomach contains millions of bacteria of which some are harmful and some are good for the body.
Probiotics are one such class of what may be called as medicine or a food supplement which fills the body in with good bacteria. Now, whether this is useful for an adult or a child is still under investigation but in this article we will study about the pros and cons of Probiotics and whether it really is helpful for conditions like Stomach Flu.
Restore Your Gut Flora After A Gastro
The intestinal flora comprises the totality of all bacteria living in your intestine. Several trillion microorganisms produce vital enzymes there, help with nutrient absorption and strengthen the immune system. About 80 percent of all immune responses of your body are regulated by the intestine. In the case of a gastro-enteritis, however, the intestinal flora is massively strained and partially damaged. It therefore needs a lot of time to stabilise again. You support it in a natural way with a gentle, balanced diet and probiotic food.
In order to be able to build up your intestinal flora after a gastrointestinal infection, a varied, vitamin-rich and fibre-rich diet is helpful. It promotes the growth of useful bacteria in your intestine. Whole grain products, fruit and vegetables, nuts, legumes and lactic acid fermented foods are important energy suppliers for your intestinal bacteria and your whole organism. However, fibre-rich foods are not easily digestible. After a stomach flu, you should therefore only gradually put them back on the menu. The same applies to prebiotic and probiotic foods.
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How Probiotics Help Restore The Gut Microbiome In Covid Cases
While probiotics havent been top of mind for frontline healthcare workers battling COVID-19, some clinicians have begun to routinely treat COVID-19 patients with probiotics to preserve and replenish intestinal balance and stave off secondary infections.
Specifically, Chinas National Health Commission recommended such use of probiotics as far back as February 2020, just as news of the virus was spreading worldwide.11
In a study carried out in Zhejiang province, China, patients with relatively mild symptoms of COVID-19 were more likely to have received probiotics alongside other treatments, such as interferon-alpha inhalation, lopinavir, ritonavir, and arbidol.6
In addition to the use of probiotics and zinc, antiviral drugs and monoclonal antibodies have also been seen to rapidly improve symptoms of diarrhea in people with COVID-19.12,13
Taking Probiotics After The Stomach Flu
Probiotics arent only good during the stomach flu, but theyre also helpful during your recovery. After an illness, your gut needs to be repopulated with beneficial bacteria. Therefore, you may find it helpful to increase your probiotic intake for a few days following any stomach illness.
Never take more of a probiotic supplement than the directions state. However, you can increase your intake by eating foods that naturally contain probiotics or incorporating one probiotic drink into your routine. Foods that naturally contain probiotics include fermented foods like:
- Sourdough bread
- Soft cheeses
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What Causes A Stomach Bug
A stomach bug is usually caused by viruses, including:
- Enteric adenovirus
Viral gastroenteritis peaks in the winter and spring when these viruses are most actively spreading in the community.
The viruses that cause stomach bugs are spread from person to person by:
- Touching an infected person
- Touching a surface with the virus on it
- Consuming foods or drinks with the virus in them
What Is The Role Of Probiotics In The Management Of Viral Gastroenteritis
Probiotics are nonpathogenic live microorganisms that provide beneficial effects on the health of the host. In recent years, probiotics have entered mainstream medical practice, as a decrease in the severity and duration of infectious gastroenteritis has been shown in some strains.
Probiotics help to improve the balance of the intestinal microflora, although the exact mechanism of action is incompletely understood. Hypothesized mechanisms include suppression of growth or invasion by pathogenic bacteria, improvement of intestinal barrier function, and effects on immune function.
Literature shows a statistically significant, but clinically moderate, benefit for some strains, mainly in infants and young children, in the treatment of acute watery diarrhea, especially in rotavirus gastroenteritis.
Until further data are available, only those organisms that have been clinically tested can be reasonably recommended, Lactobacillus casei GG and Saccharomyces boulardii being the most reported. Limited data and modest expected benefit must be explained to patients.
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Using Prebiotics And Probiotics To Rebuild The Gut Bacteria After A Gastrointestinal Infection
Bifidus and lactic acid bacteria live as microorganisms in your intestine. They are particularly effective probiotics: They strengthen the intestinal mucosa, fend off pathogens and support the absorption of nutrients. They also create an acidic environment in the intestine, which inhibits the spread of harmful intestinal bacteria. With probiotic foods you can support the population of the health-promoting bacterial strains in your intestine. Natural yoghurt, kefir, pickles, apple vinegar and sauerkraut contain live lactic acid bacteria that are good for your intestines.Prebiotics in turn support the growth and activity of beneficial intestinal bacteria. Artichokes, chicory, flea seeds, linseed and black salsify contain the polysaccharides inulin and oligofructose. These indigestible food components are not broken down in the small intestine they reach the large intestine intact, where they nourish the intestinal flora.The interaction of prebiotic and probiotic foods can therefore help you to build up your intestinal flora after a stomach flu.