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What Are Some Probiotic Side Effects?
Sometimes, with some people, even natural products can bring a few unwanted side effects. It’s not common, but it is possible in a few cases nonetheless. It is always wise to look up any potential side effects when trying supplements for the first time. It’s also useful to know if what you’re experiencing is acceptable or something that means you should stop with the treatment.
When it comes to probiotics side effects, they are usually the welcome ones. For example, the individual may experience higher energy levels and better digestive health. These are still side effects, but they’re helpful, not harmful experiences.
We will look more into the potential probiotics side effects shortly at the end of this piece. Let’s first run through what probiotics are, and why so many people are turning to them these days.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for human health. They are particularly beneficial for digestive health. In every single person there resides an entire colony of both good and bad bacteria. In a healthy body, the majority of bacteria is not harmful, though it’s not all super healthy either. There are somewhere between 500 to 1,000 species of bacteria living in the human gut. These species combined make up over 100 trillion bacteria. Scientists estimate that our bacterium weighs a little over three pounds (1.5 kg) in total.
Probiotics – The Good Guys
Probiotics are the “good” guys. They’re good because they are the “helpful” bacteria. And they’re helpful because of the way they keep your gut in good condition. Moreover, you can get probiotics from certain foods as well as from dietary supplements. A lot health practitioners recommended probiotics to patients with gut problems. It’s the most natural and safe way to replenish any lost or weakened good bacteria in the body.
What Probiotics Prevent
Quality probiotics can prevent and treat a whole plethora of specific ailments. Some of these include things like excessive gas, infectious diarrhea and inflammatory bowel disease. A few more include stomach bloating, IBS, skin infections and women-specific problems. Probiotics are particularly beneficial for women with urinary and vaginal health issues. And finally, probiotics can help with respiratory infections and even tooth decay.
More generally, probiotics can work as a good preventative remedy for a lot of the above. Even if you’re in good health, probiotics help to maintain your good health and wellbeing.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
You might have heard the term prebiotics. It’s sounds similar to probiotic, but they’re not the same thing. As you know, probiotics are live microorganisms found in bacteria. They are what help to keep our body in balance and functioning well. For good bacteria to survive in the bowel it needs feeding prebiotics. These prebiotics help to stimulate the growth of your good bacteria. You can get prebiotics into your system by eating certain foods.
There’s a pretty good chance that prebiotics are already in your diet, to some extent at least. Foods high in prebiotic fibers include asparagus, garlic, onions and other veggies of that family. You also have bananas chicory and dandelion greens to name a few others. Give probiotics prebiotics and you get a powerful and influential presence in your gut.
We often take antibiotics to destroy bad bacteria that have grown strong in the human body. They often do a good job of that too. The problem is, however, that antibiotics can also kill the good bacteria in the process. Because of this, people often use probiotics for counteracting the damaging effects of antibiotics.
Knowing the Probiotics Side Effects
Most people can consume live microorganisms without experiencing any harmful side effects. Then again, there are a few folks who report some discomfort at the start. This is more likely with those whose gut bacteria has been out of balance for many years. In these cases, there can be a “transition period” that proves a little uncomfortable. It’s a time when existing problems like as gas and bloating can become a little aggravated for a while.
Once this transition period is over, higher energy and better digestive health is quick to follow.
Do Probiotics Cause Side Effects?
For probiotics, side effects can be a sign of effectiveness
We believe everyone can benefit from taking a daily high-quality probiotic supplement. Most people will not get side effects from taking probiotics and will experience positive effects such as more energy and better digestive health.
However, we are all different and we all have different gut microbiomes. Many people are experiencing some form of gut dysbiosis, and therefore might react negatively to a certain probiotic supplement.
Some of the negative side effects reported by people taking probiotics include bloating, constipation, gas or loose bowel movements. These effects should only be temporary.
This aspect of taking probiotics isn’t often discussed, which is unfortunate. Many people look at their worsening symptoms and conclude that not only is the supplement not working as expected, but it’s actually making their situation worse. Consequently, they stop taking the product before it has a chance to help them.
Most of the time, probiotics side effects are temporary. The symptoms may be uncomfortable or inconvenient, but they shouldn’t last long.
The normal pH (the acidity/alkalinity scale) of the colon should be between 6.7 and 6.9. A pH of 7.0 is neutral; anything below that is acidic and anything above is alkaline. To inhibit pathogenic bacteria and encourage the growth of good gut bacteria, your colon needs to be slightly acidic.
Antibiotics, chlorine in the water supply, drugs (prescription and over the counter), and other factors that damage gut bacteria make the environment of the colon more alkaline. When you start taking a probiotic supplement, these newly introduced friendly bacteria change the pH to become more acidic—a much more hospitable environment for them. This can be a struggle in the beginning because the other bacteria are so firmly entrenched.
As the colon’s pH changes from alkaline to acidic and the good and bad bacteria go through their tug of war, some people may begin to experience grumblings, gas, loose stools, or other bowel symptoms.
How long this lasts can vary from individual to individual. For example, if you’re taking antibiotics or other drugs that kill good gut bacteria, the transition could take a long time or may never happen. Common medications such as painkillers, analgesics, steroids, anti-inflammatories, sleeping pills, birth control pills, antacids, vaccines, and many others either kill or interfere with the growth of beneficial flora. If you can eliminate or, at the very least, minimize these drugs, you have a much better chance of restoring your bowel flora to normal.
Discontinuing the probiotic may get rid of your transition symptoms, but it won’t give the good bacteria a chance to take over. And worse, you won’t experience the benefits associated with a healthy colon.