There’s a lot of talk about probiotics these days—and for a good reason. They can help improve your gut and overall health, but sometimes they have some side effects.
Even though probiotics aid digestion, some people experience bloating when they take them. But why?
Well, it’s because your body may be getting used to the changes in your gut microbiota. That’s normal! It just means that you may need to reassess how much you should be taking and ways you can improve your gut health when on probiotics.
So let’s talk about why people often experience bloating after taking probiotics and how you can reduce this side effect.
Can Probiotics Make You Bloat?
Probiotics are great for your gut health and overall health. But some people experience uncomfortable side effects when taking probiotics for the first time. The most common side effect of probiotics is gas, followed by bloating.
People bloating for several reasons like:
- Eating too much
- Swallowing excess air
- Constipation and
- Food intolerance — such as lactose intolerance
However, bloating can also be a side effect of introducing probiotics into your diet. These new bacteria strains take time to adapt to living in your digestive tract.
The good news is that most people adapt to the microflora in their gut with time. After some days, the bloat symptoms will eventually subside. If you find yourself bloated for too long, try taking smaller doses of your probiotics throughout the day.
Experts also advise reducing some food types when taking probiotics.
Carbonated drinks, high-carbohydrate foods, and sugars can make these symptoms worse if you take probiotic supplements with them at the same time. Such foods ferment quickly to cause gas in your intestine.
Bacteria from probiotics digest what you eat, producing gas as a byproduct.
The gas you burp up is the byproduct of food fermentation inside you.
Other underlying conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) also increase your gut’s chance to produce gas that can cause bloating.
Before starting a probiotic regimen, make sure that they won’t react to any medications or food sensitivities you may have. Then try keeping track of what foods trigger gas symptoms when paired with probiotic use to avoid them.
Why Do Probiotics Cause Bloating?
There are two main reasons you bloat when on probiotics
The most common reason why people get bloated while taking probiotics is the rise in their intestinal gas. Probiotics contain live bacteria, which can increase gas production in your intestines. It is normal if it doesn’t cause you any discomfort or pain.
You can take probiotics before eating a meal to reduce excessive gas formation due to the fermentation of food by the bacteria.
The second reason you might bloat after taking probiotics is what you eat afterward. Some foods may not work well with specific strains of probiotics. When you consume a probiotic that is sensitive to duet change may cause bloating. Eating more carbs and fibers can cause gas buildup.
Food like milk or yogurt may cause bloating because they contain lactose.
How To Avoid Bloating When Using Prebiotics
Taking probiotics can cause bloating and gas, but there are some simple strategies you can use to keep discomfort to a minimum:
Stick to a Lower Dose
The higher the dose, the greater chance you will experience side effects like bloating and gas.
Most studies show that taking anywhere from 1 billion to 5 billion CFUs daily is safe for most people. However, these types of doses may cause side effects in those who are sensitive or intolerant.
If you have never taken probiotics before or have any health conditions that may affect your gut health (such as irritable bowel syndrome), start with a lower dose (around 1 billion CFUs) until you know how your body reacts. Then, gradually increase it over time as needed.
Try a well-tolerated Strain
Look for strains likely to cause fewer adverse reactions with your body’s unique makeup. People with any gastrointestinal issues should use a strain with fewer colony-forming units (CFUs). You can find this information on the product label.
However, probiotic strains like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium infantis are safe for the gut. They are also effective for treating digestive issues such as constipation and IBS.
Some probiotic supplements have formulas with safe strains that don’t buildup gas in the stomach.
Biotics–8, for example, is a prebiotic supplement known to stop bloat and support calm digestion. It has a unique combination of Lactobacillus bacteria strains, prebiotics, digestive enzyme, and vitamin D. The ingredients combine to ensure gut microbiome balance and calm digestion.
Consume Prebiotics and Probiotics Together
Prebiotics can provide the necessary nutrient for probiotics to feed on so they won’t ferment your stomach food. Examples of prebiotics are asparagus, artichokes, and bananas.
Some probiotic supplements combine prebiotics in their formula. It makes it easy to use without external prebiotic sources.
An example of a probiotic supplement with prebiotics is the Probiology Gut+.
See what it looks like:
It has enough prebiotic fiber to nourish the probiotic bacteria in the small intestine. Another advantage of Probiology Gut+ is that it has bacteria strains like Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Lactobacillus plantrum. They both reduce IBS symptoms like cramping, stomach upset, and bloating.
Avoid Certain Foods
Eating lots of junk food or not getting enough fiber from whole grains and vegetables could cause digestive problems while taking probiotics. Some foods can make probiotic side effects worse. For example:
- Caffeine: Caffeine increases the production of gas by bacteria in your colon. It also decreases the absorption of nutrients from food, making symptoms worse. If you’re having problems with bloating after taking probiotics, try avoiding coffee, tea, and chocolate until the symptoms disappear.
- Alcohol: Alcohol inhibits digestion, which can cause bloating and diarrhea when combined with probiotics. If you’re having problems with bloating after taking probiotics, avoid alcohol until the symptoms go away.
- Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits contain acid that can irritate your stomach if it’s already upset by the bacteria. You may also want to avoid tomatoes and tomato products while taking probiotics since they contain similar acids that could cause problems for your digestive tract.
- Fat foods: Fatty foods are hard for some people’s bodies to digest, so they tend to cause gas and bloating after meals. If you notice yourself experiencing these side effects while taking probiotics, try limiting your intake of fatty foods until you see an improvement in how you feel after meals.
- Avoid dairy: Dairy products cause gas and bloating in some people. It’s best to avoid them altogether if you have a weak stomach or are prone to getting bloated quickly. However, if you want some dairy products, opt for a non-fat version. They contain less fat content that causes gas and bloating problems for people sensitive to lactose intolerance or milk protein sensitivity.
How to Stop Bloating On Probiotics
Avoid food that can increase the chances of bloating when combined with prebiotics. You can also switch brands of probiotics when you bloat. But if you are already bloated, here are some ways to reduce or stop it:
Exercise helps prevent constipation, bloating, and other digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and diarrhea. It also helps in improving your overall health by encouraging better blood flow, which improves the digestion process.
Yoga is another way to reduce bloating.
The postures and breathing techniques help strengthen your core muscles and improve digestion. Yoga also improves mental health by reducing stress levels, making intestinal movement easier.
Drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to stop bloating naturally. Drinking at least eight glasses per day will help keep things moving smoothly through your digestive tract and prevent constipation from happening too often or too severely.
Fiber helps bulk up stools to pass through the colon more quickly without causing discomfort or straining – a common cause of bloats due to poor bowel habits or poor dieting habits (which includes drinking sodas).
Breathe deeply from the stomach and expand your belly as much as possible without straining yourself. It helps push out any trapped air and reduces bloating. You can also try yoga breathing exercises to get rid of bloating fast.
Massaging those areas around your abdomen can help move gas along the digestive tract faster and relieve excess pressure on the stomach while it better digests food.
Gently massage your abdomen from side to side or up and down using your fingers or palms for about 5 minutes each session until you feel better.
How long does probiotic bloat last?
Probiotic bloat typically lasts up to a few days, but in some cases, it can last up to one week. In most cases, the bloating will subside on its own after a few days. However, if the bloating persists for more than a week or two or if you experience severe abdominal pain, you should see a doctor rule out other possible causes.
Probiotic supplements are generally safe, but side effects like bloating are possible.
Can too many probiotics cause bloating?
It’s possible that taking too many probiotics can cause bloating. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are supposed to have health benefits, and they’re found in things like yogurt and supplements.
Too much of anything can cause digestive issues like bloating and gas, so it’s not surprising that too many probiotics might have the same effect.
Nausea and diarrhea might also be a consequence of taking too many probiotics since your body is essentially getting an overwhelming amount of live bacteria all at once.
Can probiotics cause abdominal distension?
Yes, probiotics can cause abdominal distension. The most common side effects of probiotics are bloating and gas – as I discussed above. This happens because the bacteria in probiotics grow in the gut and release gas.
What relieves bloating fast?
Well, there are a few things you can do to try to relieve bloating fast.
First, try avoiding foods that cause gas and bloating. Common culprits include beans, broccoli, cabbage, and dairy. You might also want to try taking an over-the-counter anti-gas medication like Simethicone.
Second, try drinking peppermint tea, ginger tea, or taking a probiotic supplement to help reduce bloating caused by gas-producing bacteria.
Yeah, mint is a natural digestive aid that can help to relieve gas and bloating. Ginger is also excellent for digestion and can help to soothe the stomach. If you don’t have tea on hand, try simply chewing on a few mint leaves or grating some ginger into a glass of water.
Another simple tip is to avoid carbonated drinks like soda, as they can cause bloating.
Do probiotics make you gain weight?
No, probiotics will not make you gain weight. In fact, they may even help you lose weight. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system.
Although, some people have reported that certain probiotics do lead to hunger and might lead to weight gain. But no rigid studies yet to back this up.
Can probiotics cause bloating in babies?
It is possible for infants taking probiotics to experience bloating for a short while – as you’re introducing new bacteria into the gut.
However, studies have shown that infants taking probiotics actually cry less and that baby probiotics can help to soothe upset tummies. So while bloating may be a side effect of taking probiotics, the overall benefits seem to outweigh the drawbacks.
Final Thoughts on Probiotics and Bloating
Some users experience gas and bloating after using probiotics for the very first time.
This happens as a result of changes in the gut microbiota, more gas may be produced than usual, which could lead to bloating. But these effects tend to disappear within a few days or weeks of taking probiotics.
If you got any further questions regarding how and why taking too many probiotics causes bloating – drop a comment below, please.