Can Probiotics Cause Gas and Bloating?
Published October 25, 2022
All things have their pros and cons and probiotics are no exception. While they may have plenty of health benefits, probiotics may also cause several side effects. The most common of which is the apparent increase in farting which leads some people to ask: can probiotics cause gas and bloating?
Can Probiotics Cause Gas And Bloating?
Unfortunately, yes. As a matter of fact, bloating and flatulence are the two most frequent side effects of probiotics. That’s because our body already has its own population of microorganisms – both good and bad. They make up what we call our microbiota. When we introduce probiotics into the fray, your body may not recognize them immediately. The increased flatulence is one of the signs that your body is responding to probiotics. It may take the body a few days to a few weeks to adjust to the probiotics.
During this period, the good bacteria will also start to affect your body’s digestive process. As a result, the foods you eat are broken down and converted into nutrients much faster. This process creates gas as a by-product. The body then gets rid of this excess gas by burping or passing it through your anus.
Foods rich in carbohydrates are especially known to give off lots of gas. So if you want to minimize farting while on probiotics, cut back on carbohydrate-rich foods. Starting with a low dose of probiotics will also help. It helps your body get slowly acquainted with probiotics thus minimizing adverse reactions.
The good news is these side effects or digestive problems typically clear up after a few days. Ironically enough, if you don’t experience these side effects, probiotics can instead alleviate gas and bloating.
Put simply, once your body adjusts, the health benefits would often outweigh the negative side effects.
Other Side Effects of Probiotics
Aside from unpleasant digestive gasses, probiotics may also cause the following side effects:
Some probiotic foods, particularly fermented ones, contain biogenic amines.
They are substances that develop when you age or ferment protein-rich foods. Though generally safe, some people don’t respond well to amines. It restricts their blood flow and may even cause headaches.
Though very rare, there have been reports of people experiencing skin rashes due to probiotics. But it’s worth noting that this particular side effect is often entirely dependent on the probiotic strain or species.
In addition, they’re typically very mild. If they aren’t, or if they don’t clear up quickly, stop taking probiotics.
Increased Allergy Risk
Some probiotic strains can increase histamine levels in your blood. This can lead to allergy symptoms like inflammation, watery eyes, runny nose, or difficulty in breathing.
There are also probiotic foods or even supplements that contain or are derived from dairy, egg, or soy. If you’re allergic to these foods, be sure to read the label first.
Increased Risk of Infection
Probiotics are safe in general, but they can pose a risk for people with compromised immune systems. A review in 2017 shows that they can develop bacterial and fungal infections from using probiotics.
As such, they must first consult a doctor before taking probiotics.
Should You Take Probiotics Every Day?
In general, it’s safe to take probiotics every day. In fact, it’s recommended to take them daily.
Remember that probiotics are considered natural supplements, not medicines. Thus, they pose no risk of overdosing. Besides, it can take days for the good bacteria to establish themselves in your microbiome.
This makes probiotics most effective when taken on a regular basis.
When Should You Stop Taking Probiotics?
Side effects from probiotics are usually not life-threatening. And in many cases, they go away on their own. But if they don’t or they get worse, call your doctor immediately to determine the possible causes. Your doctor will likely know if the symptoms are caused by probiotics or something else entirely. When it comes to your health, and with everything else in life, always err on the side of caution.
Summit It Up: Can Probiotics Cause Gas And Bloating?
Probiotics can indeed increase flatulence, which may in turn result in bloating. However, it only lasts for a while, at which point, it can alleviate a variety of symptoms, including irritable bowel syndrome. You can also minimize the intensity or frequency of the symptoms with the right steps. Similarly, you may amplify the side effects if you consume too much probiotics at once, though there’s no risk of overdosing.
There are other side effects, like skin rashes, headaches, and allergic reactions, but they’re not as likely. The bottom line is you must communicate with your doctor during your first few days of taking probiotics.
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This Content Has Been Reviewed For Factual Accuracy
About The Author
Lenard Arceo is an experienced writer who enjoys learning to code in his spare time. He has a fascination with health and nutrition and enjoys sharing his knowledge and research. He is proud of his commitment to communicating factual content that has helped his readers with life changing choices over the years.