Can Probiotics Cause Stomach Pain? (SEE WHY)


can probiotics cause stomach pain

The idea that something as good for you as a probiotic could cause stomach pains may be confusing. If that’s happening to you, read on to learn more about what’s happening in your body and why it happens so often with this supplement.

Probiotics cause stomach pain because they can alter the bacteria in your gut or stomach. It may take time for your body to adjust if you start taking probiotics. During this adjustment period, you might experience mild discomfort from the changes inside you. Bloating, diarrhea, or stomach cramp are also early side effects of starting probiotic supplements that usually clear up within a few days.

Stick with me to understand more about the link between abdominal pains and probiotics. Also, you’ll learn simple steps to ease probiotic stomach pains and discover how to take probiotics safely.

Can Probiotics Give You A Belly Ache?

Stomach pain

Generally, probiotics are a blend of living, good bacteria that are naturally present in your body. This includes your gut, mouth, and skin, among other places. As such, these helpful microbes help in keeping your body healthy and in normal function.

Ongoing research shows that probiotics balance your body and improve health.

However, some people may also experience side effects such as stomach aches when they start probiotics supplements. Similarly, temporary issues like diarrhea or flatulence can be signs of using probiotics and should subside as your body adjusts to the new bacteria.

If you experience these symptoms and they don’t go away after a few weeks, talk to your doctor about discontinuing the use of probiotics.

In addition, Probiotics are generally safe and well-tolerated, but some people may not be able to take them due to certain health conditions.

Probiotics are not recommended for people with severe immune disorders like HIV/AIDS or those undergoing immunosuppressant therapy. They also shouldn’t be taken by people who have recently had an organ transplant or are scheduled to have one.

Why Does My Stomach Hurt After Taking Probiotics?

woman taking supplements

Reason 1: Side Effects Of Initial Use

Like most people, you may experience stomach discomfort when first taking probiotics. This discomfort should only last a few days at most—but understand that it’s normal if your body takes longer to adjust to the supplement. It matters that you understand your body’s condition before introducing probiotics.

That way, you can rest assured that the side effects you experience are normal and should pass with continued usage.

Reason 2: Pre-existing allergic conditions

Probiotics may cause stomachaches in some people. This can be a reaction to an allergy you know about—or it might mean that the probiotic itself is causing an allergic response that’s new to you.

For example, sensitivity to lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and probiotics. It’s one of the most common food allergens, so if you have a history of allergies or other food reactions, be sure you’re not sensitive to it before taking probiotics. 

Reason 3: Dairy-free diets

If you’re on a dairy-free diet, it’s important to be aware that many of the probiotic products on the market contain some form of lactose. This can cause digestive problems in people who are especially sensitive to dairy.

Reason 4: You have an infection or other illness

If you have a history of IBS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or another gastrointestinal disorder, probiotics may not be for you. These conditions can interfere with your body’s ability to digest food properly and absorb nutrients from it.

Probiotics might exacerbate these problems by introducing new organisms into your system and causing additional inflammation.

Reason 5: Changes within the gut microbiota

The gut microbiota supports different body functions, including protection against pathogens and extracting energy from digested food. It also contributes to your overall immune function.

When you take probiotics the first time, gas is produced because of changes in your gut microbiota. However, it may produce excessive gas, causing bloating.

Reason 6: Individual body differences

The duration and intensity of your stomach pains may vary from someone else’s.

One factor in this is the individual state of each person’s body—for example, if you have weakened immunity due to chemotherapy treatment. The same effect goes for having a critical illness or having undergone surgery; how long or intense your probiotic stomach aches are may be due to your medical history.

How Long Does Probiotic Stomach Discomfort Last?

How long probiotic stomach aches persist in your body is a function of multiple factors. Most people who report an experience with probiotic belly aches say its ideal timeframe is a few days. 

However, there are always exceptions to every rule or expectation. You can be perfectly normal yet endure probiotic belly aches for relatively longer or shorter.

Moreover, the state of your body is another vital point to consider. Have you been through surgery or chemotherapy?

Then your immune system won’t be the same as someone who hasn’t.

If that describes you, your body may be vulnerable to infections and stomach aches as side effects of probiotics. As a result, you may expect this to affect the pace of your recovery from probiotic stomach aches. By extension, it may dictate whether or not your body adjusts to probiotics long-term.

How Can I Ease Probiotic Abdominal Pain?

If you are experiencing stomach pain after taking probiotics, you can do a few things to help ease the discomfort. Here are some tips on how to treat abdominal pain from probiotics:

  • Try taking the probiotics with food. The stomach produces acid and enzymes to break down foods, so it’s possible that taking probiotics on an empty stomach causes more acid to be released than normal. If this is the case for you, try taking probiotics with food or shortly after eating.
  • Try a different brand of probiotic. There are many different types of probiotics available in stores and online that have special formulas to reduce the side effects of their use. For example, the Yourbiology Gut+ is coated in a special way that helps it settle more slowly into your digestive tract. This allows for less gut microbiome disruption and can help reduce symptoms like stomach pain caused by other probiotics—especially if you’re prone to them!
  • Drink water before and after taking probiotics. Drinking water can help prevent constipation and bloating, making stomach pain worse.
  • Take a prebiotic supplement with your probiotic supplement. While not necessary, this can help ease any discomfort caused by the bacteria in your system growing too quickly (particularly if you are pregnant).
  • If you are experiencing gas and bloating, try taking probiotics before bedtime or first thing in the morning. This will allow some of the natural compounds to be broken down by your body during sleep.
  • Try reducing your dosage of probiotics. If you are just starting out on a new probiotic supplement, your body likely needs time to adjust to its presence.

What Is The Best Probiotic For Stomach Pain? (Factors to Decide)

Although probiotics can cause bloating and gas, these side effects are usually temporary. Studies have shown that certain probiotic strains may even help stop abdominal pain.

They do this by encouraging the growth of good bacteria in your digestive tract. These good bacteria can crowd out the bad bacteria that cause stomach pain and other symptoms.

For the best probiotics supplement that can reduce stomach pain and other symptoms, consider the following factors:

The Bacteria Strains

The probiotic strains that you choose can have a dramatic impact on how effective the supplement is.

For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis are two of the most common strains of probiotic bacteria used in supplements. These are known to help promote digestive health by reducing abdominal pain susceptibility and symptoms of diarrhea. 

How many CFUs

You’ll need a high number of live cultures in each dose.

For example, if the product contains 10 billion CFU per serving, then it will be able to colonize your gut more quickly and effectively than if it only has 1 billion CFU per serving. The higher the number of CFUs, the more likely you’ll be able to achieve results.

What’s in the probiotic?

You should look for a probiotic that contains at least a few strains of bacteria.

Each strain has its own benefits, so choosing one with multiple strains is important. For example, some products contain between two and five different strains that are known to promote gut health.

You should also look for products containing additional ingredients that help promote digestive health. For example, many probiotics contain prebiotic fibers or enzymes that work together with probiotics to support optimal digestion. 

If you are wondering how to identify the types of probiotics with the above benefits, two probiotic supplements stand out from the rest.

First, Yourbiology Gut+ is a probiotic supplement with Lactobacillus ad Bifidobacterium strains that can help reduce stomach discomfort by balancing gut acid and environment. This particular supplement is fortified with prebiotic fiber to enhance its performance as it helps ease stomach discomfort.

Yourbiology Gut+ bottle

The second supplement probiotics that fit the profile is Biotics 8.

It especially eliminates bloating and gas in the stomach due to its various probiotic strains that easily balance the gut microbiome. Biotics 8 also have digestive enzymes, fiber, and vitamin D to help support gut health and well-being. It is especially good for men’s overall well-being.

FAQs

Can Probiotics Cause Stomach Cramping?

Probiotic users often experience side effects at the beginning, such as cramping or bloating. That’s because their guts adjust to new bacteria—but this discomfort eases with time and can be prevented with a slow and steady introduction to probiotics.

In addition, taking large doses of probiotics can overwhelm the small intestine, causing temporary cramping. If you’re experiencing severe stomach cramping, stop taking probiotics and talk to your doctor.

Can I Feel Sick When First Starting Probiotics?

Probiotic microorganisms exist naturally in your body; most people experience no side effects when they take them as food or supplements.

In some cases, however, colonies of beneficial bacteria can displace other microbes already living inside you and cause a change in the balance of organisms normally found there. Especially when taking to for the first time.

This “die-off” reaction can cause transient symptoms like headaches, fatigue, diarrhea, and muscle aches. If you experience these symptoms when taking probiotics for the first time, don’t worry — they’re not dangerous and will pass within a few days.

Can I Take Probiotics On An Empty Stomach?

Most experts agree that It is generally safe to use probiotics 30 minutes before meals and 2 hours after meals. However, some people may experience mild stomach aches or diarrhea when taking probiotics on an empty stomach.

If you have a sensitive stomach and are prone to digestive issues, it’s best to take probiotics with food in the morning or afternoon, 2 hours after meals. Some probiotic supplements are enteric-coated and will pass through your stomach without dissolving, ensuring they reach the intestines alive and well.

Can Probiotics Cause Stomach Pain In Babies, Infants, Or Toddlers?

Babies do not usually need probiotics in the first few months unless they have severe diarrhea or vomiting. If your baby has been given antibiotics and continues to have stomach problems, you may want to give them a probiotic supplement.

However, some babies may experience stomach discomfort in the initial few days of probiotics.

This is because probiotics can cause a change in your baby’s gastrointestinal system. If this happens, you may want to try a different brand or lower the dosage of probiotics until they are used to it.

The good news is that this discomfort usually subsides within a week or so as the gut microflora returns to normal. Once your baby’s body is used to the probiotics, they will start working effectively, and you should not experience any more stomach problems.

Can Lack of Probiotics Cause Stomach Pain?

Having low levels of probiotics in your gut can cause stomach pain. Probiotics are good bacteria that help keep the bad bacteria at bay. 

When you take antibiotics, they kill both good and bad bacteria. When this happens, the good bacteria are killed off, and the bad bacteria can start to overgrow. This can cause stomach pain from bloating or gas and other symptoms like diarrhea or constipation. 

Probiotics are often used to fix these issues. They can help re-populate your gut with the good bacteria you need to feel better. A probiotic supplement may also be helpful if you’ve taken antibiotics recently or have a low-fiber diet.

Can Switching Probiotics Cause Stomach Pain?

Switching probiotics can cause stomach pain for a variety of reasons. First, different strains of bacteria may be more or less effective at treating your symptoms.

Second, some people are sensitive to certain types of probiotics; if you’ve taken a brand that contained one or more strains that caused side effects, switching may lead to new symptoms.

You should consult with your doctor before changing brands or strains of probiotics.

Can Taking Too Many Probiotics Cause Stomach Pain?

Taking too many probiotics can cause mild discomfort in your stomach, such as bloating and gas. You can also experience mild abdominal pain or cramps, but this is rare.

Probiotics are concentrated bacteria; taking more than your body needs can cause an imbalance in the gut flora. Some people may also experience mild headaches after taking probiotics for the first time.

The best way to prevent this is by starting with a low dose and gradually increasing it until you find the right amount for your body. If you’re taking probiotics for the first time, start with a lower dose than recommended on the bottle.

Conclusion

Although probiotics are generally safe, they can cause stomach pain in some people. If you experience any discomfort after taking probiotics, stop taking them and consult your doctor. Probiotics may take a while to adjust your gut bacteria, so if you start experiencing side effects, it’s likely that your body is still adjusting.

Be patient; the benefits of probiotics usually outweigh the minor side effects.

Have you ever taken probiotic supplements? Did you experience any stomach pain?

Brenda L. Mosley

Hi, Brenda here, I have been a health advocate and writer with 10 years of experience in health and nutrition. I also hold a BS in Nutrition Science and am based in Massachusetts with my family. My mission is to impact the world using my health and nutrition experience by sharing, writing, and educating on the internet - and offline too when possible. When I'm not busy writing or engaging in health forums and groups - you'll find me spending time with my 3 kids, eating, or reading literary fiction books.

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