The Unfortunate Side Effects Of Probiotics
- People who take probiotics generally have mild, short-lived side effects, happening in only 1-2% of cases. (1)
- 3-10% of critically ill patients experienced adverse events, including diarrhea, bloating and vomiting. (2)
- The effects of probiotics depend on many factors, such as the type of bacteria, dosage and general health (3)
Probiotics are a beneficial addition to a balanced lifestyle, conferring positive advantages to our body and immune system. However, like all dietary supplements, taking probiotics can come with potential risks. From belly discomfort to hypersensitive reactions, it is important to be aware of the hazards before beginning to take them. In this article, we will discuss the potential side effects of probiotics so that you can make an educated choice about whether or not they are suitable for you.
Possible Side Effects Of Probiotics
It's crucial to remember that probiotics generally have no negative side effects on users. Nonetheless, it's a good idea to stop taking the probiotic and consult your doctor if you do have any of these symptoms. These are a few probiotics' potential negative effects:
1. Digestive Discomfort
Digestive discomfort is one of the most typical probiotic side effects. Numerous symptoms, such as cramps in the stomach, bloating, gas, nausea, and diarrhea, can be present. These signs and symptoms can be mild to severe and last for a few hours to a few days.
In some cases, a reaction to the probiotics themselves is what's causing the digestive discomfort. The body might not be accustomed to the significant amount of bacteria present in the supplement, and it might react by exhibiting indigestion symptoms. It's crucial to begin taking probiotics at a low dose and gradually increase it as your body adjusts to the bacteria.
Other times, the probiotics' interactions with the bacteria already in your body are what's causing your stomach pain. An imbalance of bacteria in the digestive tract may result from this, which may cause digestive discomfort. Probiotics should always be taken with food to help balance the bacteria in the digestive tract and prevent this from happening.
The intolerance to one or more of the bacteria in the supplement can also cause some people to experience digestive discomfort when taking probiotics. Find a supplement that only contains the bacteria you can tolerate if this is the case, or try a different kind of probiotic altogether.
2. Allergic Reaction
The possibility of developing an allergy is yet another side effect of probiotics. Instances of this include hives, skin rashes, breathing problems, and swelling of the face, tongue, or throat. An intolerance to one or more of the bacteria in the probiotic supplement may occasionally be the root of an allergic reaction. It's crucial to be aware of any allergies you may have before taking probiotics and to speak with your doctor if you experience any of the aforementioned signs and symptoms.
In addition to an allergic reaction, some people may develop an intolerance to one or more of the bacteria in the probiotic supplement in addition to an allergic reaction. This may result in symptoms like nausea, vomiting, pain in the abdomen, and diarrhea. If this is the case, it's best to either try a different kind of probiotic or find a supplement that only contains the bacteria you can tolerate.
Probiotics may in some rare circumstances result in an infection. Usually, a bacterial strain that is absent from the probiotic supplement is to blame for this. An infection brought on by probiotics can present with a variety of symptoms, but the most common ones are fever, chills, and stomach pain. It's critical to seek medical attention right away if you experience any of these symptoms after taking probiotics.
4. Interference With Medication
Probiotics occasionally can conflict with the medications you're taking. This is so that the probiotic supplement's bacteria won't interfere with the medication's effectiveness. If you are currently taking any medication, it's important to talk to your doctor before taking any probiotic supplements.
Side Effects From Taking Too Much Probiotics
When discussing side effects, probiotic overdose can occasionally be the main offender. This is because taking too much bacteria can lead to an imbalance of bacteria in the digestive tract because the body can only process so much bacteria at once. An excess of probiotics can cause fatigue, nausea, and digestive discomfort. When taking probiotics, it's crucial to adhere to the directions on the label and consult your doctor if you believe you've taken too much.
Will Probiotics Cause Diarrhea?
It's important to remember that taking probiotics can have side effects, including diarrhea, though this isn't always the case. Because an intolerance to one or more bacteria in the supplement can result in diarrhea, diarrhea and probiotics are related. In addition, a bacterial imbalance in the digestive tract may be to blame. It is advised to take probiotics with food to prevent the side effects of diarrhea. This will lessen the likelihood of developing diarrhea by balancing the bacteria in the digestive tract.
Side Effects Of Probiotics In Dogs
It's important to remember that probiotic side effects in humans might differ from those in dogs. Probiotics can have different side effects in different dogs because dogs are more sensitive to them than people are. Dogs taking probiotics frequently experience digestive issues, vomiting, and diarrhea as side effects. Before giving your dog a probiotic supplement, it's important to consult your veterinarian.
Our body and immune system benefit greatly from probiotics, which are a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle. Probiotics, however, may have side effects, just like any dietary supplement. Before you start using them, it's important to be aware of any possible risks, such as allergic reactions and gastrointestinal discomfort. Supplemental probiotics and your diet should be inspected if you experience any side effects. To ensure that probiotics are the best option for you, consult your doctor or veterinarian before starting to take them.
Enjoy reading? Check out this related article: What is The Difference Between a Prebiotic and a Probiotic?
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- Harvard Health Publishing. Probiotics: How Safe Are They? Harvard Health Publishing. Published April 2019. Accessed March 7, 2023. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/probiotics-how-safe-are-they
- Guo S, Li L, Xu B. Probiotics in Critical Illness. Crit Care Nurse. 2019;39(6):20-29. https://www.aacnjournals.org/ccnonline/article/39/6/20/3833/Probiotics-in-Critical-Illness
- Hempel S, Newberry SJ, Maher AR, et al. Safety of Probiotics: A Review of the Literature. PubMed Central. Published 2011. Accessed March 7, 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3424311/