What are Probiotics?
There are certain things that are constantly living around us but we are unable to see them. They are the microbes that we've known for centuries now. They have been both a friend and a foe to mankind. Man has derived countless benefits from them though. Probiotics is one such healthy microbes, which are popular for their health benefits. However, we commonly come across the question, can probiotics cause bloating and gas? This is possible when some people may not be able to tolerate them very well. But it needs a deeper understanding.
Probiotics are microbes that live in our guts and provide with many health benefits. Scientists believe that microbes living in our guts depend on the food that we eat for their survival. So when we provide the right type of food, we actually are cultivating the beneficial microbes instead of the harmful ones.
It was earlier noted that some Bulgarian peasants happened to live longer when they had yogurt in their diet. This is because yogurt acts as a growing place for good microbes, thereby improving the health and longevity of the person. So this is a very good technique and it came out as a successful one and such foods were then known as probiotics. However, now there are various concerns about their effects in health and we need to understand if probiotics can cause bloating and gas in some people. The probiotics that we take are of various types and forms based on the method they are prepared. They are of dead ones or they are made inactive by heat or they are live ones also. They are in powdered form or in capsulated forms that give them better shelf life. They are prepared from the cellular parts like the DNA too and their functions happen to vary. They vary with time and requirements of the body of the person consuming them. They may start taking effect immediately after consumption or they may take some long periods of time. They may stay in our body for a long time or they may leave or be forced to leave the body in shorter time periods. So there are many types and their uses also vary.
Similarly they can affect different individuals differently. Also, natural forms of probiotics may have different effects as compared to artificially prepared ones. Hence, when we try to understand if probiotics can cause bloating and gas, it is necessary to consider various such factors related to it.
Can Probiotics Cause Bloating and Gas?
Now, let's go to our question and answering such question is not as easy as it seems. Bloating is nothing but distension of abdomen, due to indigestion, gas or having an inflated abdomen. While this is not always the case, in some people, probiotics can cause bloating and gas especially when consumed for the first few times.
Although probiotics have a lot of health benefits and uses, they can cause bloating and gas even though they are destined to improve your digestive health. Actually, they are not meant for everyone and only specific people can take. It is advisable to take probiotics, particularly the artificial ones after seeking medical advice. But although probiotics cause bloating and gas, there are certain other probiotics that can reverse this and reduce such problems.
How Can Probiotics Cause Bloating and Gas?
Some people happen to take these probiotics without the doctor's advice. As there are many types and brands of probiotics available, it is necessary to understand their uses, their effects and their interactions properly. Taking larger doses of probiotics or taking certain types, which are not that suitable for their system can cause problems in some.
Probiotics can cause bloating and gas, in some people when they take it for first time. Some people who are less tolerant to certain enzymes can experience bloating and gas with certain types of probiotics. Also, people who have a sensitive gut, who have food allergies or certain gastric conditions may be at greater risk of having bloating and gas with any change in diet.
People who take two billion probiotic cells on a daily basis can cause problems as the amount of bacteria in their digestive systems suddenly increases. These bacteria absorb unnecessary nutrients and release gas, causing bloating in some people. The most common side effects for such people include gas, bloating, diarrhea, cramps, digestion problems and so on. But for most people, once they get used to this intake, the side effects will decrease and gradually it will go off.
How to Manage it?
Take these probiotics in small amounts at first and then increase slowly. You can also take other types of probiotics that can put this bloating under control by countering it. Actually some probiotics contain a single strain while some have multiple strains of bacteria. Check which type and brand suits you. Seek medical opinion for your health problems and decide the right probiotic.
It is advisable to take one strain at first and then move up day by day because some people are sensitive to sudden increase. And if these ill effects continue, you should stop them. It is a good idea to consider natural probiotics like yogurt than going for artificial ones. These too must be started in small quantities at first and gradually increase their intake, if tolerated well.
Probiotics can cause bloating and gas in some people, who have weak immune systems, those with terminal illnesses and HIV. Hence, it is best avoided by such people. People with medical conditions should take probiotics only after medical advice.