Can probiotics cause headaches

Can Probiotics Cause Headaches? (see the cause)

Probiotics have a long history in the world of medicine. They’ve been used to treat several diseases, including diarrhea and IBS. But could this fermented food be causing headaches?

Key Highlights

While most probiotics are not known to cause headaches, certain strains have been linked to relieving chronic migraines and hangovers. However, those sensitive to food amines—like tyramine or histamine—may experience headaches when taking high doses of probiotic supplements.

This occurs because the fermentation process that makes these supplements useful produces biogenic amines. This cause increased blood flow or drops in pressure, leading to headaches in people sensitive to the substance.

In this article, you’ll find out how to avoid getting headaches from probiotics and how to treat them if they do occur.

Can Probiotics Trigger Headache?


Like bloating and gas, headache is one of the probiotic supplements’ most commonly reported side effects. However, it’s rare and usually lasts only a short time.

A number of studies have looked into the probable cause of headaches after taking probiotics. Most concluded that except in cases with other underlying medical conditions, probiotics only trigger headaches in some sets of people who are sensitive to biogenic amines.

Most probiotics contain multiple strains of good bacteria.

One way they stay alive is by fermenting protein-containing food like yogurt and kimchi, which produces amines as part of the process’s end product.

Amines can cause your blood vessels to constrict and expand erratically, leading to a headache. Common biogenic amines associated with headache triggers include histamines, tyramine, and phenylethylamine.

Additional research is needed to better understand the mechanics of how fermented foods affect headaches, but keeping a food diary that details your headache symptoms can help you identify whether these foods are problematic for you.

Can Probiotics Cause Migraines?

Yes, you may have migraines if your body responds to probiotic supplements differently from most people. Also, fermented foods like yogurt have amines, and migraines may follow if you take them.

The reason why this happens is that they are fermented foods. That means they have amines such as octopamine, synephrine, and tyramine, potentially linked with headaches and sometimes migraines.

Since human medical makeup is the focus here, your body may be more sensitive to foods, drugs, and changes than other people. For this reason, you may experience migraines when others feel primary headaches after taking fermented foods.

If you are concerned about the health implications of taking probiotics, your doctor may be able to help. He or she can help you find which strains will not cause headaches and explain how to take them safely.

Related: 5 Best Probiotics Supplement for Migraines

Can Probiotics Cause Neurological Problems?

Taking too many probiotics can cause you to experience neurological problems—like brain fog, dizziness, and migraines. So it’s important that you learn how to take your probiotic safely.

Neurological side effects are counterproductive effects that you want to avoid, especially if you are trying to improve your cognitive function.

The problem is that most people don’t realize they have taken too much of their probiotics until it’s too late. If this happens to you, you’ll probably notice the symptoms right away.

Other things can cause you neurological problems apart from taking too much of the supplement.

For example:

  • An infection of the central nervous system can cause you to have a headache or experience other neurological problems.
  • Some prescription medications can cause these symptoms as well.
  • An allergy or sensitivity to certain ingredients in your probiotic may be causing your brain fog, dizziness, and migraines
  • .Your brain fog, dizziness, and migraines may be caused by a vitamin deficiency.
  • An auto-immune disease can cause your immune system to attack healthy cells in your body, leading to neurological problems.

If you experience neurological symptoms that coincide with the use of probiotics, consult your doctor to determine if it may be a causal relationship.

Why Do Probiotics Give Me Headaches?

Natural probiotics food

Apart from the side effects of amine production by probiotics in the gut and “the mind-gut theory,” there are other wrong practices that can give headaches with probiotics.

Some of these include:

Taking the probiotic with dairy product

Diary products can further trigger the production of amines by probiotics, which can make you get a headache. This is because amines are produced during the fermentation of dairy products.

Taking the probiotic with foods high in histamine

Histamine-rich foods include garlic, strawberries, spinach, and tomatoes. These foods can increase the production of amines, which can make you get a headache.

Taking the probiotic with alcohol

Alcohol is also a histamine-rich food, so taking it with probiotics can trigger the production of amines and make you get a headache.

Taking large quantities of probiotics

Too much of anything is bad, especially regarding your health. Taking large doses of probiotics can increase the number of amines in your system and trigger headaches.

Taking probiotics with other supplements or medications

Probiotics and other supplements or medications can increase the number of amines in your body and trigger headaches. Before starting a probiotic regimen, check with your doctor if you’re taking other supplements or medications.

Taking antibiotics

Taking antibiotics can wipe out all bacteria in your body, including good bacteria that help keep histamines at bay. This can lead to histamine intolerance, a condition that causes headaches and other symptoms. If you’re taking antibiotics, talk to your doctor about what supplements or medications you can take while on the medication.

Being stressed out

Stress and anxiety can increase histamine levels in your system. This is why many people who suffer from migraines experience relief when they relax or meditate.

How Long Does a Probiotic Headache Last?

How long a headache lasts can depend on the type of probiotic. Your migraine may last for just a few hours if it’s because of dairy foods like yogurt.

But if you’ve been taking supplements regularly for some time and are suddenly without them when experiencing migraines again, expect headaches to last longer so that your body has an opportunity to re-adjust its natural balance.

Once you know the cause of your probiotic headaches, it’s easier to decide how best to treat them.

If you get a headache from too many probiotics at once or from an allergy response, reduce the number of supplements you take until your body can better handle them.

If you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms because of a sudden lack of probiotics, slowly increase your intake until you feel better.

How Can I Stop Headaches From Probiotics?

The best way to stop a probiotic headache is to probe its source.

Have you overdosed on supplements?

Did you eat a probiotic food that upsets your gut?

With this, you’ll know if to flush them out or stop the food for relief.

Other ways to manage the headache side effects from probiotics include:

Take a break from the probiotics

If you’re experiencing any headaches, discontinue using your probiotic supplement for a few days to see if it makes a difference.

Consider switching brands or types of probiotics

There are many different strains; some may be better tolerated than others. For example, Bifidobacterium lactis is known to cause fewer side effects than other strains of Bifidobacterium.

Consider taking a probiotic with prebiotics

Prebiotics are indigestible fibers that help your body to promote the growth of good bacteria in the colon. They can be found naturally in foods like leeks, garlic, onions and bananas, or you can take them as supplements.

Consider taking a probiotic with fewer strains or less of each strain

Some people tolerate higher doses better than lower ones, while others are the opposite. If you’re experiencing headaches from your probiotics, try cutting back on how many bacteria strains you take at once.

Take a probiotic with other supplements

If you’re taking several different supplements, try taking the probiotic at a different time of day than the others or take it with meals to ensure it does not interfere with the absorption of other nutrients.

Try a different dosage of probiotics

Some strains/products may be better tolerated in higher doses than others; for example, Bifidobacterium lactis is often recommended at higher dosages (5-10 billion CFUs per day) than other strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilus or Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

Finally, If the headaches don’t go away, it might be that you have a serious medical condition and need to see your doctor.

Are Probiotics Good For Migraines?

Probiotics are a likely source of defense against the severity of migraines. This is linked to the improvement of gut health which is connected to brain health.

My Research strongly suggests that brain function improves when gut activity is better overall. Considering this view, chances are that since probiotics may help your gut microbiome attain better health, you may be less vulnerable to migraine.

The idea behind this concept is that gastrointestinal disorders and migraines share a connection. Interestingly, the same potential exists for depression—and perhaps even paranoia or anxiety.

The connection between the immune system and gut health is undeniable. The brain is directly connected to the immune system, which in turn influences it.

As such, if you have a healthy gut microbiome, your brain will also be healthy.

With the right probiotics in your system, gut microbiota improves, and inflammation lessens. This stabilizes brain function—and may even reduce migraine frequency and severity.

Which Probiotic Is Good for Headaches and Migraine?

Probiotic supplements can help to restore the balance of bacteria in your gut, helping cure certain headaches and migraines. However, some probiotic products may not contain enough cultures needed for this effect.

For a supplement to work, it needs to contain the right mix of strains of probiotics.

You should also take enough capsules for the product to be effective—usually at least 10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) per day. The best probiotic for headaches and migraines is a combination of several different strains.

Probiotics supplement brands like Biotics 8 and Yourbiology Gut+ have unique formulas that are designed to treat headaches and migraines. These products contain multiple strains of probiotics that work together to improve your health and relieve symptoms. They also have additional ingredients like prebiotics that help support digestion.

In addition, Yourbiology Gut+ has ingredients that help combat stress—one of the leading causes of headaches and migraines. So rather than just treat your symptoms after the fact, you can expect this probiotic supplement to boost energy and focus throughout the day.


Can Your Gut Cause Headaches?

The imbalance of gut bacteria can cause headaches, but this is rare. When you have a headache, it’s usually because of something wrong with your brain.

But sometimes, pain comes from somewhere else in your body, like your digestive system. This is called referred pain, which happens when nerves from another area send information to your brain about the pain that’s happening elsewhere in the body.

So, if your gut is in pain, it could send signals to your brain. This can cause headaches or other types of pain in the head and neck area.

Can Probiotics Help With Abdominal Migraines?

Probiotics can help with abdominal migraines, but it depends on the type of bacteria in your gut. Some probiotics may decrease inflammation and pain in people who have abdominal migraines. These probiotics are called Bifidobacterium longum and Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

Other probiotics have been shown to reduce pain in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal disorders. These strains of bacteria include Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus Plantarum.

Can Probiotics Cause Gastric Headache?

Probiotics can cause gastric headaches, but they may not be the sole cause. Gastric headaches are more common in people with an inflamed stomach lining (gastritis) or a hiatal hernia.

These conditions can also cause other symptoms, such as indigestion and heartburn. When these symptoms are present, it’s important to see your doctor. He or she may prescribe an antibiotic or other medication to treat the underlying condition.

Wrap up

If you are one of the many people who suffer from chronic headaches, you may want to try eliminating foods that contain high levels of amines. If you’re not sure whether a food contains amines, check the label or consult a nutritionist for help deciphering ingredient lists.

Also, avoid taking too many probiotics and consuming alcohol. These could be the cause.

Once your headache symptoms have subsided, you can start reintroducing these foods back into your diet slowly to see if they trigger another headache episode.

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