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Home arrow Health arrow Gut Health arrow Do Probiotics Cause Gas? Reasons for This Side Effect

Do Probiotics Cause Gas? Reasons for This Side Effect

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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
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Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: July 25, 2023
4 min read 1257 Views 0 Comments
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Some people may experience gas when taking probiotics. This can be a normal side effect, but why does it happen in the first place?

Do probiotics cause gas

Probiotics are meant to feed your gut good bacteria and active microorganisms. 

For some people, these supplements might not always show positive results right away. A sudden change to your digestive health is bound to cause some side effects. 

One common side effect is gas and bloating. The gut microbiota is adjusting to new bacteria that have entered your stomach. But why does this even happen? 

Just keep reading to find the link between probiotics and gas. 

Do Probiotics Cause Gas?

Yes, taking probiotics may cause gas in the first few weeks. This is because your digestive tract is getting used to the new bacteria. People with naturally sensitive guts are more likely to experience gas along with bloating and cramps.

One study found that consuming probiotics will change the bacteria in your system. The chosen supplements introduce new probiotic strains that interact with the gut microbiome. Even though your gut is constantly fluctuating, bringing in other bacteria can cause temporary disruption. 

Some people might experience other side effects like constipation. New gut bacteria means your intestines have to adjust, which includes slowing digestion or making excess gas. This results in uncomfortable bloating and flatulence that disappears after a few days or weeks.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotic supplements are live bacteria and yeast that support digestive health. They are full of good bacteria that keep your gut clean. Most probiotics come in capsules, fermented foods like yogurt, and even dairy beverages. 

There are people who take a probiotic supplement daily to keep the good and bad bacteria balanced. Probiotics keep your gut microbiome healthy so that you have a strong immune system. Plus, the more good bacteria you have, the more likely you’ll fight off infections. 

You should think of your gut microbiome as an active community. Each microorganism plays a role in the digestive system and immune cells. Probiotic supplements can help strengthen this community and boost the good bacteria that supply your body with essential nutrients. 

How Do Probiotics Work?

Consuming probiotic supplements or probiotic foods can maintain a healthy balance in your digestive system. So, when you’re sick and have more bad bacteria, the gut microbiome will fight off these bacteria and restore the balance to replenish your health. 

Studies have proved that probiotics create acids to stop pathogen growth. These pathogens are infectious agents that increase the risk of disease. Probiotic bacteria essentially block out these bad pathogens and allow healthy microorganisms to thrive and grow. 

Once the beneficial bacteria balance out in your gut, you may notice improvements in your digestion and overall well-being. The digestive tract is a safe haven for microbes to form – microorganisms that boost your immune system function with the help of extra probiotics.  

Here are some of the things a probiotic supplement can do: 

  • Support good digestion
  • Prevent serious constipation 
  • Create essential vitamins 
  • Control bad bacteria 
  • Improve a weakened immune system 
  • Absorb and breakdown medicine 

Why Do Probiotics Cause Gas?

Probiotics cause gas because they are temporarily confusing your microbiome. Your body may produce excess gas due to adverse changes in your intestines. Taking probiotic supplements for the first time is bound to cause these side effects, too. 

A probiotic product will cause the most gas in the first two weeks. The new bacteria in your ecosystem are trying to find a place among the lively community of microorganisms. This sudden change causes small reactions in your gut, like bloating throughout the day or excess gas. 

People who take yeast-based probiotics may get constipation and increased thirst. It all depends on what supplements you’re consuming and whether they keep your body healthy. Everyone’s gut is always changing, so introducing new bacteria will be a startling surprise. 

Certain reactions could also increase the bacteria that produce gas when they break down food. The release of intestinal gas, mixed with higher levels of oxygen, hydrogen, ammonia, and methane, can make flatulence smell worse, especially when taken with fiber-rich foods.

To reduce the occurrence of this side effect, begin with a low dosage. Then, slowly increase the number of probiotics you take over the next few weeks. During this time, your body can adjust to the healthy bacteria without triggering symptoms like cramps, gas, bloating, and constipation.

FAQs

Are probiotics safe?

Yes, probiotics are safe and healthy for your gut. They act the same as probiotic-rich foods by feeding the gut microbiome strong microorganisms. However, people with medical conditions or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) should speak to a doctor before consuming supplements.

Can probiotics help with gassiness?

There is a big chance that probiotics can decrease excess gas in your body. They may also relieve common digestive symptoms like cramps, bloating, and flatulence. Just be aware that it might take a few weeks or days to notice these small changes in your digestive system.

Can probiotics cause foul-smelling gas?

Sometimes, probiotics can make flatulence worse. This is because the new bacteria is adjusting to your gut and digestive cycle. One study found that foul-smelling gas is a common symptom of taking probiotics, and it might be due to the increased amount of carbon dioxide and ammonia.

A Word From a Nutritionist

Probiotics have many health benefits, but they might trigger side effects first. Your intestines need to adjust to the new bacteria that have entered your system. An unbalanced microbiome may cause gas, bloating, and constipation-related issues like back pain.

Certain supplements will take a while to work properly in your body. However, stop taking probiotics and consult a doctor if you don’t notice any positive changes. There might be underlying reasons why your stomach cannot balance the bad and good microbes.

You could also follow the best gut health hacks. Some of these include eating fiber-rich foods, drinking more water, exercising regularly, consuming more veggies, and avoiding sugar. Incorporating these habits into your daily routine could instantly improve your gut.

Conclusion

Gas is a common side effect of adding probiotics to your diet. Not everyone will experience this, but it’s nothing to be concerned about if you do. You can consult with your doctor beforehand about taking supplements to ensure you don’t get adverse reactions or digestive problems.

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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HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
HR_author_photo_Rosmy
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: July 25, 2023
4 min read 1257 Views 0 Comments
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