Do you often experience bloating or getting excess gas after taking probiotics? If so, there’s nothing to worry about. Gas and bloating are some people’s digestive system’s normal reaction to probiotics after all were all different.
In some cases, probiotics can be used to relieve bloating. Now, don’t be confused. This article will explain how probiotics cause gas and bloating, and while they can also treat gas and bloating.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are good bacteria that naturally reside in our digestive tract. They protect the gut by providing a protective lining to the gastrointestinal tract to prevent harmful contaminants from entering the system. These friendly bacteria also fight harmful bacteria that are trying to invade the gut. Aside from their gut-protective function, they also assist and facilitate the digestion of foods.
In some cases, good bacteria weaken and get defeated by the colony of harmful bacteria. If this happens, gastrointestinal problems occur resulting in poor digestion which may also lead to diarrhea, reflux, Crohn’s disease, constipation, bloating, excess gas, abdominal pain, and cramps. Our body needs to replace lost good bacteria to maintain the balance between the good and bad bacteria in the gut.
Probiotics can be found in foods and supplements in pill form. Foods rich in probiotics include yogurt, cultured milk drink, dark chocolate, fermented vegetables, miso soup, tempeh, pickles, and fermented tea. Probiotics supplements commonly come in pill form that can provide multiple strains of probiotics. However, these supplements must be taken under the recommendation of a medical doctor.
By taking probiotics, we are adding more good bacteria in our digestive system to address the problems at hand or to maintain a healthy digestive system. But that’s not all. Probiotics are also associated with our immune and nervous systems. They help the immune system by providing help in the fight against harmful toxins, and they boost your mental state by producing hormones called serotonin which affect mood and induce better sleep quality. People who are regularly taking probiotics have shown a lower risk of cancer and diabetes compared to those who don’t.
Whether you have gastrointestinal problems or not, it is recommended to have your daily intake of probiotics to ensure the well-functioning of your digestive system. You can do this by eating foods rich in probiotics.
Gas and bloating effects of probiotics
Though probiotics can help alleviate most digestive problems, some people experience bloating and gas after taking a probiotic supplement. These are common side effects because you are increasing the number of bacteria in your digestive system all of a sudden. Your gut reacts as a means of adjusting to these newly-introduced bacteria by releasing gas or bloating. Once your digestive system becomes accustomed to them, the side effects eventually subside, usually within a few days.
The gastrointestinal tract can serve as habitat for harmful bacteria, yeast, and fungi that can harm our digestive system and overall health. The introduction of probiotic supplements starts an all-out war in your gut where new good bacteria crowd out all harmful microorganisms residing in the digestive tract. When fungi and harmful bacteria die out, they are released from the body as gas. But these gases are not immediately freed from the body, and they need to stay in the gut in the meantime. This gives you a feeling of being bloated because your intestines are filled up with gas from the dying toxic bacteria. Gas is usually released after the next meal is consumed.
When you experience gas and bloating after your probiotics intake, don’t panic. Rather wait, these are indications that your good bacteria are doing their job of defending your gut against bad microorganisms.
Depending on the advice of your doctor, you can minimize the side effects by starting off with a small dosage of probiotics. Do not shock your digestive system by introducing a massive amount of bacteria that your gut may not handle. Give your digestive tract enough time to adjust to new bacteria by starting off slow. You can gradually increase the dosage after few weeks.
Gut reactions may vary from person to person. Bloating can be accompanied by mild pain or chronic pain in some cases. Lactose intolerance must also be taken into consideration. Some people are sensitive to milk, and they tend to feel bloated after drinking milk or consuming dairy products. Some probiotics can be found in milk products such as yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, and cheese. If you happen to have lactose intolerance, you can take probiotics from other lactose-free supplements such as fermented vegetables and fermented teas.
There are some people who still feel the effects even after they’ve stopped taking probiotics. And the explanation for this is simple: your probiotics are having a hard time fighting off resistant bad bacteria in your gut. This can happen if you eat too much sugar and grains. Harmful bacteria feed on carbohydrates to survive. And you’re giving them more of a chance to thrive by eating foods that may provide them the carbs they need. Even if you’re taking probiotics, bad microorganisms can still fight back and reclaim your gut. Bloating and gas would totally subside when most of the bad bacteria are gone from your system.
If you’re not taking probiotics and you experience frequent bloating, this is a sign that the bad bacteria may have overpowered your digestive system. You feel bloated because yeast and fungi are producing gas that is being trapped inside your gut. Taking probiotics can help clean your digestive tract by reducing the number of dangerous microorganisms that are producing excess gas. But don’t expect bloating would immediately stop after taking probiotics. Chances are bloating will persist, and you’ll experience having gas now and then to release trapped gas inside your gut. But don’t worry, bloating caused by probiotics is not a bad sign.
Remember, probiotic supplements are not intended for everyone. You need to consult a doctor first before taking supplements to avoid health problems. As mentioned earlier, you need to make sure you are not allergic to milk before taking any dairy-based probiotics. Lactose intolerance can cause stomach pain, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. In some severe cases, it can lead to increased heart rate, a decrease in blood pressure, and difficulty in breathing.
Complications may also arise if you are taking antibiotic medications in conjunction with your probiotic intake. Taking probiotics is recommended after you’ve stopped taking antibiotics as well as during. In these cases, the advice of a doctor is still the best option. Patients with artificial heart valves are not advised to take probiotics because they are exposed to a higher risk of heart valve infection.