There are many known benefits in taking probiotics, but do they have side effects? Can probiotics cause gas and stomach pain?
The quick answer is yes.
However, this is not something to fret over with. As a matter of fact, the underlying reasons are surprisingly good, which you’ll learn in this article. You’ll also learn the other side effects and determine when you should stop taking probiotics entirely.
Can Probiotics Cause Gas and Stomach Pain?
Everyone experiences gas and stomach pain when taking probiotics on the first few days. However, not all people notice gas or stomach pain. It mostly depends on the person’s degree of tolerance to pain.
As the population of probiotics in your gut increases, it produces more gas. Stomach pain usually happens when there’s too much gas that you’re unable to expel. That’s why these symptoms actually go hand in hand.
Experiencing gas and stomachache is a good indicator that your probiotics are working.
However, do take note if you have unbearable stomach pain or continue to have to much gas for more than a week, you need to stop taking probiotics immediately. You’ll have to go to your doctor so she can check if you have to stop it altogether or if you just need a different brand.
The Cause of Symptoms
These symptoms don’t come about just by swallowing your pill or eating your yogurt. They actually occur when your probiotics start to actively work in breaking down your food.
The entire digestive process starts at the stomach, where most foods are broken down by our stomach acids. Those that are able to resist the acids, such as foods that are rich carbs, are taken care of in the digestive tract.
Foods such as beans, broccoli, and cabbage are great examples of these.
Our digestive tract can’t do this task alone, though. This is where probiotics come in.
These good bacteria use fermentation to break them down. They then allow our body to absorb their nutrients easily.
It’s this fermentation process that actually gas. The more probiotics you have, the more gas produced, and the more nutrients absorbed.
The gas production will eventually normalize as your body starts to get accustomed (again) with a healthy population of probiotics in your tract.
Now you know why eating lots of beans make you fart a lot!
On the same note, bad bacteria also acts the same way, but are more focused on breaking down fats. This means that they make our body easily absorb these fats, which negatively affects our health.
Keep in mind that not all probiotic supplements are the same. Some have strains that don’t produce too much gas like the ones on FloraTrust 4000. A lot of people have experienced little to no gas or stomach pains when taking this.
Can This Be Lessen or Avoided?
While there’s no way to avoid these symptoms, you can lessen gas and stomach pain to a great degree.
It’s all about the type and amount of food you eat. Lessening the amount of cabbage or beans you eat will definitely lower the production of gas.
However, they should not be removed from your diet completely. A little gas will not hurt your pride at all since:
- Everybody farts every now and then.
- This is a sign that the probiotics in your gut are working.
It would be hard to stop these gas from going out of your body. While some of them are expelled as you breathe, burp, or recycled by your gut bacteria, some have no other choice but to go out in a smelly (and sometimes noisy) fashion.
Other techniques to stop overproduction of gas is to eat slowly and not to talk when you’re mouth is full. It’s not just plain rude, but you ended up swallowing more than what you’re eating — that is more air which converts to gas.
Healthline also recommends starting with a low dose of probiotics in the first few weeks. This will allow your body to adjust slowly and naturally.
Wrapping It Up
Probiotics are microorganisms that already exist in our body. While there are bad bacteria, this one is the good bacteria. They are responsible for keeping our gut healthy and functioning well.
A healthy digestive system translates to a healthy mind and body. Probiotics can cause gas and stomach pain but they should not last more than one week. In fact, some only experience it on the first day. These are essential side effects for a healthier you.