What happens when you stop taking probiotics

What Happens When You Stop Taking Probiotics? (Guide)

Dr. Dimitar

Medically reviewed by Dr. Dimitar Marinov, June 1, 2023

Probiotics can help relieve digestive health issues and balance your gut bacteria. Both benefits can profoundly impact your overall health and well-being. But after getting used to your probiotics supplement, you may wonder what happens if you stop taking them.

Key Highlights
  • People often experience different reactions when they stop taking probiotics.
  • Still, most commonly, the gut can take a while to adjust and may show signs of distress like bloating.
  • You will probably notice more gradual gut and overall health changes rather than an immediate effect.
  • Nevertheless, the majority of benefits from probiotics will remain, as long as you do not start taking antibiotics again or make a major change in your diet.
  • Click here for the BEST PRICE of our recommend probiotics supplement.

This article will explore what happens when you stop taking probiotic supplements and discuss some factors that may influence this process.

What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Taking Your Probiotics?

Probiotics Supplement

When you take probiotics, you supply beneficial bacteria to your gut. This may come either through foods or industry-approved probiotic supplements. However, when you stop taking your probiotics, your gut bacteria gradually return to their pre-supplementation stage.

This process should be completed within 1-3 weeks.

Although experts are unsure of the specific changes in the gut when you suddenly stop taking probiotics, many people have reported common symptoms.

For a start, your gut microbes’ fragile balance is affected by when you stop taking probiotics supplements.

Specifically, its beneficial bacteria would likely reduce within 7 and 21 days. But the gut balance may be restored in a few days. Your gut returns to its standard composition before you start taking probiotics. 

However, in some cases, you may experience side effects while transitioning away from probiotic supplements. For instance, some users reported stomach discomfort and diarrhea a few days after they stopped probiotics supplements.

Others experienced bloating and constipation.

Bloating, gas, and indigestion are often symptoms of decreased beneficial gut bacteria. Probiotics promote the growth of good bacteria that help break down food in your gut.

Probiotic supplements should never be stopped suddenly.

Gradually decreasing the dosage from an initial high dosage will help lessen the severity of any adverse effects. If severe symptoms persist, it is essential to seek medical assistance.

Can You Get Sick From Stopping Probiotics?

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut and may suppress harmful bacteria. When you stop taking probiotics, the balance of bacteria in your gut may shift, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that harmful bacteria will overrun your system.

Nevertheless, some people may experience negative symptoms.

Common side effects of stopping probiotics include:

You should be aware that some people may not experience any symptoms.

Other individuals have also experienced mild diarrhea or gas when they stop taking probiotics. This is why it’s important to ease off of probiotics slowly by tapering down your dosage over several days.

Once you stop taking probiotics, you most likely won’t experience these symptoms beyond those initial few days. However, your body may take longer than usual to regain its average level of digestive health.

Can Stopping Probiotics Cause Stomach Gas?

When you quit probiotics, your body may need time to adjust. This can cause stomach gas or other digestive issues, such as constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. For most people, the stomach gas is because the digestive system needs to reset to the pre-probiotics stage.

If you have stopped taking probiotics and notice that your stomach is gassy or bloated, it’s important to give your body time. If the symptoms don’t improve after a few weeks, talk to your doctor about what you can do next.

Can stopping Probiotics Cause Diarrhea?

You may experience diarrhea if you stop taking probiotic supplements.

Probiotics improve digestion by balancing good and bad bacteria levels in your digestive tract. The balance can be disrupted when you stop taking probiotics and cause unpleasant side effects.

The solution is to gradually reduce the number of probiotics you take until you no longer experience side effects. You can also take probiotics for a certain period of time and then stop for a few weeks before starting again.

Can stopping Probiotics Cause a Yeast Infection?

Probiotics and yeast infections are not necessarily related, and stopping probiotics is not likely to cause a yeast infection. Yeast infections are caused by fungus-like organisms called Candida albicans that live in about one-third of people’s digestive tracts. 

These organisms typically don’t cause any problems unless they grow out of control. If you have a yeast infection before taking probiotics, you should stop taking them and see your doctor.

Related: Can Probiotics Cause Thrush?

Does stopping probiotics cause constipation?

Constipation is not always common when you stop probiotics use, but it can happen. It depends on your body’s reaction to the probiotics cut-off. Most people that feel constipated also report that they abruptly stop using probiotics.

For instance, most lactobacilli are non-pathogenic, which means they don’t cause disease. However, some strains of lactobacillus may cause mild stomach upset and constipation when stopped. 

Does stopping probiotics cause headaches?

There is no clear evidence that you can get headaches when you stop using probiotics, however, some people have reported headaches as a side effect of using probiotics.

If you experience headaches after stopping probiotics, it may be due to an underlying medical condition or system reaction to a sudden change in your diet or lifestyle.

In such cases, try to stop using probiotics gradually rather than all at once. If you experience headaches after stopping probiotics, consult your doctor or nutritionist to rule out any other underlying medical conditions that may be causing it.

Can You Have Withdrawal Symptoms From Probiotics?

Withdrawal symptoms are commonly associated with certain drugs. The withdrawal symptoms from probiotics are not as well known, but they may exist. In most cases, these symptoms are mild and short-lived.

When you stop adding good bacteria to your system, there won’t be any horrible withdrawal symptoms. But when probiotics administration is suspended abruptly, your microflora may start to change, causing a host intestinal imbalance in the gut.

This can lead to the following symptoms:

  • Gas and bloating
  • Cramping abdominal pain
  • Fatigue, lethargy, and weakness

If you are taking probiotics for a specific condition, speak to your doctor about how to discontinue the treatment. If you are taking probiotic supplements for general health maintenance, gradually decreasing the dose and frequency of administration over time is best. 

Can Your Body Become Dependent On Probiotics?

If you are taking probiotics for their myriad benefits, you will likely want to continue taking them for a long time. Moreover, no study has shown them to be addictive or harmful if used long-term.

Instead, long-term use of probiotics could be beneficial in preventing diseases like pouchitis over time. 

According to our gut health statistics, about 11.3% of the U.S. population suffers from a digestive disease.

However, you should note that probiotics work best for digestive purposes when taken in the correct dosage. Taking too little or too many of them can lead to an overdose and unpleasant side effects such as bloating and constipation.

If you are unsure how much probiotic to take, consult with a health professional.

Still, make sure the one(s) you choose to have special coatings that will maximize absorption in the gut; Yourbiology Gut+ fits this bill nicely. Its special coating reduces the side effects of probiotics compared to some other brands. 

What is the Normal Dose of Probiotics?

While probiotics may not get you addicted, you must be careful not to overdose because of their side effects. Hence, you need to follow the usual adult probiotic dosage. This is usually between 1 and 10 billion Colony Forming Units (CFUs) per serving.

However, some probiotic supplements deliver beyond the normal range, serving between 20 and 30 billion CFUs. Usually, it’s because these supplements feature multiple strains of probiotics. The different strains are for selective health benefits. 

Probiotics supplement brands often describe how many live organisms are in each supplement, listing each product’s total “colony-forming units” (CFUs). 

Probiotics Supplements CFU Count

The CFU count is the number of live, active bacteria in a supplement container. A CFU is a colony-forming unit, a single organism that can reproduce and make more of itself. So if you have 1 billion CFUs in your probiotic supplement, you have one billion live organisms.

The label will also tell you how many strains are included in each serving.

Different brands of probiotics contain various numbers of live cultures per serving. The issue is that scientists are still researching to determine the optimal dosage for everyone.

Probiotics are unlikely to cause any long-term dependency or addiction side effects. However, you still want to be careful about your dosage—since too much can cause discomfort in your stomach and gas.

The rule of thumb is to read the label of your probiotic supplement carefully. Do well to stay within the recommended dosage, except if your doctor prescribes a different dosage. 

How Do You Know If You Have Taken Too Many Probiotics?

Like anything good, it is possible to take too many probiotics. When this happens, you will probably experience mild stomach discomfort. The general side effects are similar to the signs that accompany your body’s initial response to being occupied by its friends, good bacteria.

If you have had too many probiotics, look for symptoms similar to the early side effects of taking them or signs of stopping them.

Some of these symptoms are:

  • passing excess gas
  • bloating
  • diarrhea and 
  • stomach pains

Diarrhea may come at the start as well as when you discontinue probiotics. 

As you take your probiotics, pay attention to whether or not it makes you feel better. If taking them gives you a positive feeling, that’s good! The opposite might mean that something about this particular supplement isn’t quite right.

If you notice an adverse reaction when taking probiotics, find out what is causing it. This could be anything from taking too many of them to using an incompatible product.

Probiotic supplements can cause digestive problems, so use them sparingly. If you’ve had chemo or surgery and are taking extra precautions against infections, ask your doctor what type of probiotics to take, if any at all.

For How Long Should You Take Probiotics?

probiotics health

There’s no definitive answer to the best length of time to take probiotics. But taking a daily dose for as long as you feel it benefits your health is probably best.

Some studies suggest immense value in taking probiotics in the long run. For example, pouchitis may significantly reduce within a 9-month timeframe if a person takes probiotics safely.

By principle, taking probiotics for long is tied to why people take them.

Usually, people test them for some 4 weeks to see if their desired changes materialize. Probiotics will likely work excellently for you so long as you use them safely. In addition, it’s good to approach taking them as a supplement rather than a medicine.

Moreover, the question of how long you should take probiotics may not even be your first concern. It may be about the duration of your initial intake. Usually, you would have to start with choosing a suitable supplement for your peculiar goal or health problem.

For instance, Bauer’s Biotics 8 offers reliable support for men’s gut performance.

Once you choose your preferred product based on its benefits, take that probiotic for between 1-12 months. As you do this, watch for the effects to know the good changes or otherwise. If nothing happens, it’s also good to note it.

If you want to take action based on what you observe in your results, the safest course would be to talk with your doctor. That way, they can provide a medical perspective informed by their knowledge of all relevant factors—including facts about past conditions and goals.

Common Probiotics Allergies/Side Effects and How to Stop Them

Here are common probiotic side effects and ways to relieve them:


This is one of the most common side effects of taking probiotics.

Probiotics are usually in the form of pills or capsules, and taking them with food can help reduce this problem. If you have diarrhea due to probiotics, stop taking them for a day or two until your diarrhea goes away, then start again at a lower dose.


Probiotics can also cause constipation. If you experience this side effect, try taking probiotics with a meal and drinking plenty of fluids. If your constipation continues after stopping the probiotics, talk to your doctor about other treatment options.

Allergic reactions

In rare cases, people who take probiotics may have an allergic reaction to them.

This is usually mild and includes hives or itching in addition to diarrhea or constipation. If you have an allergic reaction to probiotics, stop using them and see your doctor.


Nausea is a common side effect of probiotics. It occurs in about 10 percent of people who take the supplements. Quit probiotics if you experience nausea after taking them, and talk to your doctor.

Nausea can be caused by more than one thing, so your doctor may need to run tests before they identify the source of your discomfort.


Probiotics can cause headaches, particularly in people who are sensitive to lactose.

If you experience a headache after taking probiotics, stop using them and talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to recommend an alternative treatment that doesn’t have the same side effects as probiotics do.


You can relieve bloating by taking probiotics with food, as this will help them survive past your stomach acids and into your intestines.

If you’re still experiencing bloating, try taking them at different times of the day or try a different type of probiotic altogether. Some strains are more effective than others at reducing symptoms like bloating and gas.


You can relieve dizziness by taking probiotics with food and drinking plenty of water.

This will help reduce the likelihood that you’ll experience this side effect. If you continue to experience dizziness despite following these guidelines, stop taking the probiotic and speak with your doctor.

Do Probiotics Supplements Stay In The Gut After You Stop Taking Them?

As helpful as probiotic supplements are, the maximum effect comes from using them sustainably. 

Once you discontinue them, your microflora will likely revert to its previous state.

Related: How Long Do Probiotics Stay In Your System?

The duration of the effects produced by probiotic supplements also depends on the quality of the strains used. Some have been found to produce longer-lasting benefits than others. Among those with the last extended benefits are YourBiology Gut+ and Biotics 8.

Yourbiology Gut+ supplements have special coating features that increase absorption and ensure it doesn’t digest too early; the bacteria cause bloating when they digest too early.

The supplement helps many people improve digestion and boost mood by providing probiotics delivered to their intestines, which were needed to rebalance intestinal microflora.

Probiology supplement fact

Biotics 8 is a specially formulated supplement for men’s health. It includes prebiotics and digestive enzymes to support overall gut health and vitamins such as B6 and 12, which promote healthy testosterone levels.

The two probiotics above have remained effective for a long time.


Can You Skip a Day Of Probiotics? (Any Effect?)

The short answer is yes; probiotics can be skipped. However, this may not be ideal. Probiotics’ benefits are cumulative, meaning that taking them every day for the recommended amount of time will likely provide more benefit than occasionally or sporadically.

Although there is no evidence skipping probiotics will cause harm, it’s important to remember that they are living microorganisms. This means they must be treated with care and stored properly to maintain their potency.

However, if you absolutely must skip a day of probiotics, there’s likely no harm in it. The only thing that may happen is that your microbiome will take longer to return to its normal state than if you were consistently taking probiotics.

What Happens When You Start Taking Probiotics?

It takes time for the body to adjust to probiotics. Since your body is used to its present bacteria, introducing probiotics can cause digestive problems first.

When you start taking probiotics, you might experience some side effects like:

  • Gas and bloating
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Cramping or pain in your abdomen (stomach)
  • Diarrhea or constipation (rare)

But these side effects should fade within a few weeks as your body adapts to the new bacteria in your system. If you suffer from severe stomach cramps, stop consuming probiotics and talk to your doctor. 

What Happens If You Take The Wrong Probiotics?

If you have a known allergy to a specific microbe, avoid taking probiotic supplements that contain it. In addition, if you have a weakened immune system due to cancer treatment or another illness, talk with your doctor about which strains are best for you.

Why Have I Started Farting A Lot After Taking Probiotics?

There are several possible explanations if you’ve taken probiotics and suddenly begin farting a lot.

First, you may be experiencing a common side effect of probiotics called flatulence. This is caused by the microorganisms in the supplement fermenting in your intestines and creating gasses such as hydrogen, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrogen.

If you’re suffering from flatulence after taking probiotics, check the expiration date on your product to make sure it hasn’t expired. It could be that the probiotics were harmful or expired, causing gas build-up in your intestines.

Alternatively, you may be lactose intolerant but not realize it.

Probiotic supplements contain live bacteria cultures that digest milk sugars as they grow in your gut. If you’re lactose intolerant and take them anyway, these sugars can ferment in your intestines, resulting in gas.

Should I stop taking probiotics if I have diarrhea?

There is no reason to quit probiotics if you are experiencing mild diarrhea. It’s important to remember that probiotics are live bacteria; therefore, they can sometimes cause side effects when introduced into the body.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s best to consult with your doctor before discontinuing use.

Can you skip a day of probiotics (any effect?)

You can skip a day or two of taking probiotics, but you shouldn’t do it often. If you’re an occasional user, the effects may not be noticeable. But if you take probiotics every day (or close to it), then going without for even one or two days can definitely have an impact on your health.

Can starting probiotics cause headaches?

Mild headache is some of the reported side effects of probiotics supplements, especially if you are using them for the first time. Probiotics can cause headaches when you first start using them.

This is because your body must adjust to the new bacteria being introduced. It’s also possible that this headache could be a sign of an allergic reaction.

However, if your headache is severe and you have other symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, it’s time to see a doctor.

Can too many probiotics cause headaches?

When you take more than the recommended dosage of probiotic supplements, you might start to experience a headache. The reason for this is that you have too many live bacteria in your system, and it causes an imbalance in the good-to-bad bacteria ratio.

The best way to avoid getting a headache from probiotics is by following the dosage instructions on your product. If you’re experiencing any side effects, be sure to stop taking them immediately and contact your doctor.

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