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Home arrow Health arrow Gut Health arrow Can Probiotics Cause Constipation? 4+ Ways to Relieve It

Can Probiotics Cause Constipation? 4+ Ways to Relieve It

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: July 18, 2023
5 min read 1654 Views 0 Comments
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Probiotics are a great way to boost your digestive health, but they may cause some unwanted side effects. Constipation is a commonly reported side effect of probiotics. To find out more about it and how it can be relieved, keep reading.

Can probiotics cause constipation

Probiotic supplements are taken by many people to improve their digestive health and support their digestive system. Though you can get probiotic bacteria from many foods, taking this supplement may also be beneficial.

Though probiotic supplements can support better digestive health, they may also have some adverse effects, including constipation symptoms.

We’re going to take a look at whether consuming probiotics can cause constipation and how to relieve the symptoms of constipation caused by taking probiotics.

Can Probiotics Cause Constipation?

Generally, people who get side effects of probiotics tend to experience gas and bloating, but some people experience constipation too. Most episodes of constipation seem to be linked to yeast-based probiotics.

The constipation symptoms caused by probiotic supplements tend to get better after the body has gotten used to them and subside within a few weeks. However, you can mitigate the chances of having any of these adverse effects by starting off with a low dose of your probiotic supplement.

If constipation lasts longer than a few weeks, you should stop taking them and consult a doctor.

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Can too many probiotics cause constipation?

Bacteria-based probiotic supplements can cause constipation, and you should start off with a low dose to avoid these adverse effects on the digestive system. This suggests that taking too many probiotics could cause constipation.

It is also likely that taking excessive amounts of probiotics could also have other negative effects on the digestive tract, including gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Why Do Probiotics Make Me Constipated?

Probiotics can cause constipation or worsen the situation in the first few days of taking them. This is because waste and toxin elimination may not occur quickly enough, causing a backup. This can lead to constipation.

Though probiotics work to relieve gas and bloating or other digestive issues (such as period bloating), the early stages of taking probiotics can cause some issues with your gut health. The good news is that most of these side effects will go away in a few weeks.

Can Stopping Taking Probiotics Cause Constipation?

Stopping taking probiotics means stopping adding good gut bacteria into your digestive system. This can have an impact on your bowel movements and may lead to constipation. As there have been no clear studies into the effects of stopping adding beneficial bacteria into your gut, there is no apparent reason why this happens.

Constipation may occur because your body has responded well to a more balanced gut microbiome due to the addition of good bacteria, which has allowed you to have more regular bowel movements. Stopping suddenly may have an impact as you remove this healthy bacteria.

If you have decided to stop taking probiotics for whatever reason, you may want to slowly reduce the dosage to ease your body into the change. You could also increase the number of probiotic foods that you eat.

Eating foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, sourdough, and kefir can help to increase the amount of probiotic-rich foods you consume. Fermented foods have higher concentrations of many probiotic strains and may be able to replace the probiotic supplement.

How to Relieve Constipation From Probiotics? 4 Easy Ways to Try

Whether you have stopped taking probiotics or you’re experiencing constipation from supplements you’re still taking, you may be looking for ways to relieve this constipation. Below, we have rounded up some of the best ways to relieve constipation caused by probiotics.

#1 Try using a fiber supplement

A fiber supplement can be used to increase your fiber intake and relieve constipation quickly. Most fiber supplements are made using psyllium husk, which is a form of fiber.

Supplements tend to work within 24–72 hours of consumption. Not only do they help to relieve constipation, but they can also help to increase your metabolism, boost energy levels, improve body detoxification, and cleanse your gut.

#2 Increase your physical activity

Increasing your exercise can help constipation in a few ways. To begin with, it reduces the amount of time it takes for food to make its way through your large intestines. Speeding this process up can help to get things moving again, which can relieve constipation.

Exercise will also increase your breathing and heart rate. This, in turn, stimulates the contractions of the large intestines, helping to get things moving. You could try low-intensity exercises, like yoga or regular walks, to relieve constipation.

Exercising about an hour before eating can help to relieve persistent constipation because it increases the blood flow to your stomach. This can ensure that your digestive system acts quickly after you consume food.

#3 Drink more water

Drinking plenty of fluids is a well-known method of relieving constipation. It is thought to “get things moving” and encourage a bowel movement. Staying well hydrated is incredibly important to your overall health and immune system, as well as your digestive health.

Water is integral to the process of moving food through your gut, and not having enough water in your system causes stool to become harder and more difficult to pass, reducing stool frequency overall.

It is recommended that women drink 11.5 cups of fluid each day and men 15.5 cups. While water is best for hydration, most clear liquids can help to keep your hydration levels healthy.

While drinking any kind of water can help to relieve symptoms of constipation, it is thought that drinking warm or hot water is best. If you suffer from chronic constipation, drinking warm water regularly can help to keep things moving and keep your bowel movements more regular.

#4 Eat more fiber-rich foods

Fiber is absolutely integral to good gut health. There are two kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble, and both play a role in frequent, soft, and bulky bowel movements. Soluble fiber is dissolvable in water and draws water into the intestines to soften stool, making it easier to pass.

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water but helps to sweep food along the intestines. This ensures that everything keeps moving and helps to prevent constipation.

Getting enough fiber in your diet means eating fiber-rich foods. You can find soluble fiber in oatmeal, chia seeds, lentils, nuts, beans, apples, and blueberries. Insoluble fiber is present in quinoa, brown rice, legumes, kale, almonds, walnuts, and fruit with edible skin.

When it comes to eating more fiber, it is integral that you don’t overdo it. While eating more fiber is good for your gut, overeating fiber can also cause digestive problems. It may take a few weeks to find the right balance.

A Word From Our MD

Probiotics work to improve your gut microbiota. They are made up of healthy bacteria, which help to balance the gut and encourage healthy bowel movements. They also reduce bloating, gas, and other digestive problems.

Many people choose to take probiotics, including those with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive conditions. Probiotic supplements are incredibly useful but are not the only method of getting this bacteria into your body. Indeed, there are many fermented and probiotic foods you can add to your diet to supplement them, including kefir, pickles, miso, and kimchi.

Taking dietary supplements, like probiotics, can cause constipation as they alter the makeup of your body. Research suggests probiotics commonly cause digestive problems in the first few weeks of supplementation. Side effects can include abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and constipation.

Though these supplements can cause issues, they do come with many health benefits and can have a profound effect on your gut microbiome.

Constipation is a common problem in adults and can be caused by many things. Everything from antibiotics to too little water can cause it, and as such, there are many different home remedies you can try to relieve it.

Getting more exercise, like going for a daily walk, can be a good way to get things moving again, as can drinking more water, like lemon water, and taking a fiber supplement. It would also be beneficial for your gut and your overall health to increase your fiber intake.

If you are struggling with digestive issues, it may be useful to speak with your doctor or a nutritionist. They can advise on probiotics to take or may prescribe digestive enzyme supplements too.

On the whole, probiotics, while they may cause some digestive issues, generally help people to improve their gut health and keep things moving properly. If your constipation or other side effects worsen, stop taking probiotics immediately.


Probiotics can cause constipation, particularly in the beginning, but this symptom usually goes away. If it doesn’t, and you also experience symptoms like back pain, stop taking probiotics immediately.

If you frequently suffer from constipation, you could try a fiber supplement like ColonBroom. It can help keep your digestive tract in good health, increase your metabolism, and boost your energy levels.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: July 18, 2023
5 min read 1654 Views 0 Comments

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