Possible Side Effects Of Probiotics
Probiotics are living bacteria and yeasts that provide health benefits when consumed in large amounts.
They can be taken as supplements or consumed naturally through fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha .
The health benefits of probiotic supplements and foods have been well documented, including a lower risk of infections, improved digestion and even a reduced risk for some chronic diseases .
While there are many health benefits linked to taking probiotics, there can also be side effects. Most of these are minor and only affect a small percentage of the population.
However, some people with serious illnesses or compromised immune systems may experience more severe complications.
This article reviews the most common side effects of probiotics and how to reduce them.
What Is A Yeast Infection
A yeast infection, or candidiasis, is a fungal infection that occurs when too much yeast grows in a specific area of your body.
Yeast normally lives in many places within the body. One type of yeast that lives in the digestive tract, mouth, and vagina is candida albicans. When its in balance with the other natural flora in your body, candida does not cause any problems. But when candida overgrows, it can cause an infection.
A vaginal yeast infection, vaginal candidiasis, and vulvovaginal candidiasis are all the same thing: an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. Vaginal yeast infections are a type of vaginitis, a condition that refers to an inflammation of the vagina. Yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis are among the most common types of vaginitis.
Amines In Probiotic Foods May Trigger Headaches
Amines can excite the central nervous system, increase or decrease blood flow and may trigger headaches in people sensitive to the substance .
One study found that low-histamine diets reduced headaches in 75% of participants. However, a review of 10 controlled studies found no significant effect of dietary amines on headaches .
More research is needed to determine whether or not amines can be direct triggers of headaches or migraines in some people.
Keeping a food diary including any headache symptoms you might experience can help clarify whether fermented foods are problematic for you.
If probiotic-rich foods trigger your symptoms, a probiotic supplement may be a better choice.
Fermented foods rich in probiotics naturally contain amines. Some people may experience headaches after eating these foods, and should instead opt for probiotic supplements.
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Bacterial Vaginosis Home Remedies
Some sources might suggest you to use home remedies for bacterial vaginosis. These may include rinsing the outer sex organs with vinegar or boric acid, or applying essential oils. Do not use home remedies to treat bacterial vaginosis. They dont work and can result in burns, damage to your genital organs, and infections.
Causes Of A Yeast Infection
Several things can cause yeast to multiply, creating an imbalance in the vaginal microbiome. Some of the most common causes are:
- Antibiotic medications: These antimicrobials are excellent at killing harmful bacteria that cause infections. Unfortunately, antibiotics also kill beneficial bacteria, which can throw off the balance of the microbiome. When this happens in the vagina , it can result in a yeast infection.
- Hormonal changes: Pregnancy, menstruation, and the use of hormonal contraceptives or hormone or estrogen therapy cause hormone levels and the balance of yeast in the vagina to shift.
- Diabetes: Elevated levels of sugar in your urine and vagina can encourage the growth of yeast in this area.
- Weakened immune system: Living with a chronic disease or using medication that suppresses your immune system can cause vaginal yeast to grow.
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Getting Back In Balance
Experts say no conclusive evidence shows that probiotics are effective at preventing and treating BV or other conditions related to vaginal imbalance. Currently, antibiotics remain the recommended treatment for these conditions.
As its important to get a proper diagnosis and treat underlying causes, the recommendation to take a probiotic in supplement form should be made by the healthcare provider only after a complete assessment and proper diagnosis of the condition is made, says Haar.
Causes Related To Cells Sloughing Off And Hormonal Changes
The use of frequent douches
Vaginal changes during menopause
Cervical cancer or endometrial cancer
Birth control pills
A brown vaginal discharge may be accompanied by no symptoms or symptoms such as bleeding between menstrual cycles, pain in the pelvis, vulva or while urinating, itching, redness, pain with intercourse, urinary incontinence or abnormal vaginal bleeding.
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Other Options For Yeast Infection Treatment
Especially if its your first time experiencing symptoms, speak to a gynecologist or healthcare provider to determine whether you have a yeast infection before you try any type of treatment. Many of the symptoms of a yeast infection can also occur with other types of vaginitis, and you want to be sure you use the best treatment for your condition.
Effective treatments for a yeast infection include:
- Prescription antifungal medication: These creams, ointments, pills, and suppositories come in one-day, three-day, and seven-day strengths. Note that pregnant women should not take single doses of oral medication such as fluconazole .
- OTC treatments: Over-the-counter vaginal creams and suppositories, such as miconazole , also come in one-day, three-day, and seven-day strengths. These products often have the same ingredients as prescription medications but in less concentrated amounts.
Should You Take Probiotics
But should everyone and their mother be popping a probiotic for vaginal health purposes? Not necessarily. Dr. Dweck says they’re likely to be most beneficial for women who are dealing with persistent, recurrent yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. Women who are also experiencing things known to disrupt vaginal bacterial levelsâthink: taking an antibiotic, going through peri-menopause, or having sex with multiple partnersâmay also see a benefit from taking probiotics proactively, she adds.
However, the one common issue they won’t really help with is urinary tract infections : “There’s no established, definitive evidence pointing toward the benefit of probiotics in preventing a UTI,” notes Dr. Dweck. For this type of infection, she says cranberry extract or supplements are a better way to go cranberries contain antioxidant molecules known as PACs , which studies have shown can help prevent UTIs.
The good news? Probiotics aren’t risky, so you can feel free to give them a try. There’s no evidence probiotics can cause a lot of harm to your body, says Dr. Greves. The only catch you shouldn’t take antibiotics and probiotics at the exact same time. Since antibiotics affect gut bacteria, they can essentially make the probiotics lose their effect and not work properly for best results, take them at least four hours apart, she says.
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Take Care Of Your Vaginal Health
Even when you make smart choices every day to support your vagina, problems may still occur.
If you develop any vaginalsymptoms, such as itching, burning, discharge, unexplained bleeding, pain, a fishy odor,incontinence, or an increased desire to urinate, have one of our health care providers evaluate your symptoms. today to schedule an appointment.
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Is Homemade Vegan Fermented Food Safer
According to some interesting studies, some traditional fermented veggies contain minimal traces of amines too low to trigger adverse reactions in most people.
To get the best results, opt for a high-quality starter culture. This will ensure that the biogenic amines produced during the fermentation process are too low to cause headaches. If you experience no adverse symptoms, that could be a sign that your gastrointestinal tract is healthy.
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The 4 Best Probiotics For Vaginal Health
To avoid infections and maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria, you may benefit from the best probiotics for vaginal health. To learn more, Bustle touched base with Dr. Savita Ginde â the Medical Director for Stride Community Health Centers.
While research is limited, Dr. Ginde says the Lactobacilli species is the most widely identified strain of âgoodâ bacteria to look for when youâre searching for a probiotic to support vaginal pH and to help maintain the normal balance of bacteria within the vagina. âYou can get this in yogurt, pickled vegetables like kimchi, or miso as well,â she says. That’s why, in addition to probiotic capsules, I’ve also included some probiotic-rich food options in this roundup.
Dr. Ginde says your good bacteria is what supports a healthy level of acid pH, and the acid pH is what fights infection. But maintaining good bacteria requires a consistent probiotic intake. âIn those women who have problems the regular use of a probiotic containing Lactobacilli acidophilus could be the answer,â Dr. Ginde says.
Taking probiotics regularly may help with recurring bacterial vaginosis as well. According to a Harvard Health article, consuming lactobacilli bacteria might prevent the overgrowth of harmful organisms that cause BV. Further, a 2003 study found that daily consumption of an oral probiotic containing L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. fermentum RC-14 can reduce bad bacteria and yeast in the vagina.
Prevention Of Infections That Cause Abnormal Female Discharge
To prevent an abnormal discharge, its important to monitor yourself on a daily basis. When you start noticing something is different, consider the information above. Have you just experienced ovulation or just finished your period? Have you changed your oral contraception method? Have you had a new sexual partner?
Here are some general recommendations to prevent self-induced infections that can cause discharges:
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Take A Vaginal Probiotic
If you’re trying to balance the bacteria in the vaginal microbiome, consider talking to an OB/GYN about incorporating a vaginal probiotic into your supplement routine.
These include strains of lactobacilli that have been scientifically proven to restore the vaginal microbiome and treat yeast infections and BV. The best-studied product is a combination of Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri, which can be taken orally. Probiotics can also be inserted vaginally as pessaries or capsules like the Swiss vaginal tablets that combine Lactobacillus acidophilus with the gentle estrogen estriol .
How To Balance Vaginal Flora With Probiotics
Many of us concern ourselves with balancing the good bacteria in our digestive tracts, but did you know that popping special probiotics can help balance your vaginal flora, too? According to obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Mache Seibel, this flora, or the helpful collection of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in your vaginal tract, is what helps to maintain homeostasis.
Through the aid of lactobacilli, your lady parts are able to producelactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and other substances that inhibit the growth of yeast and other organisms in order to stay healthy and maintain an ideal, though slightly acidic, pH of around 4, which is believed to help protect against infection.
A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information notes the high prevalence of bacterial vaginosis, or BV, among women. Bacterial vaginosis is the most common cause of vaginal discharge in women, responsible for 40 to 50 percent of clinical cases. Among American women ages 14 to 49, the general prevalenceincluding asymptomatic casesis close to 30 percent.
If you are one of the recurrent sufferers, or deal with other issues related to the imbalance of vaginal flora, then theres hope in probiotics.
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Bring Out The Garbage Dont Let It Pile Up
Waste and toxins in the body should ideally be eliminated daily.
What happens if the body cannot eliminate all waste? Well, think about what happens when trash collectors go on strike and garbage is piling up on the streets. It makes the neighborhood stink creating a breeding ground for bugs, rats, and disease.
If the body cannot handle the toxic load, waste can pile up making parts of the body a breeding ground for inflammation, infection, and disease. What can be done?
Support the bodys ability to bring the garbage out. Here are a few suggestions.
Sweating is a good way of eliminating harmful substances from the body, its a natural detox. The skin is the bodys largest organ and sweating brings out much waste.
If you dont have access to a sauna, try hot baths with Epson salt, ginger and 1/2 cup of baking soda. Or try a bentonite clay bath.
Fresh vegetable juice floods the body with nutrients and enzymes that promote a good cleanse. Try a juice fast for 1-5 days to help the body eliminate harmful substances.
Excellent mobilizer of toxins, especially heavy metals like mercury. Fresh Cilantro or tinctures are effective for this purpose. Use cilantro for a week or two, then take a break. Add chlorella that binds many toxins.
One of the best binders for heave metals, toxins, and microorganisms. Chlorella works well together with cilantro, sauna, juicing, and probiotics.
Bacterial Vaginosis Treatment In Pregnancy
Hormonal changes during pregnancy mean that 1030% of women will get bacterial vaginosis. Untreated bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy increases the risk of complications, like low birth weight and premature birth. Consult your healthcare provider for bacterial vaginosis treatment in pregnancy.
TIPAlways consult your doctor if you are pregnant and think you might have BV.
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Rectal Mucus Discharge Can Be Physiological
Mucus is a slippery and slimy substance for the lubrication of particular parts of the body. This greasy fluid is released by mucus membranes and glands. It is usually present in normal stools, but in quantities too low to be seen with the naked eye. Without mucus discharge, it would be very hard to pass stools.
Mucus is mixed with the digested food within the colon. It serves as a lubricant and aids in peristalsis. One of its functions is to create a protective barrier to prevent damage to the lining of the colon. The passage of mucus with stools is not really harmful but it may be a sign of an illness or condition that may require urgent medical attention.
Passing stools only with mucus is not as alarming as passing stools with blood and mucus. If you notice fresh blood streaks with mucinous stools, or if you notice the color of your stool is pinkish, you must pay a visit to your doctor as soon as possible. There are several conditions which produce extra mucus in the large intestine and force it to come out with stools. The most common conditions include:
Inflammatory bowel disease — ulcerative colitis
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
These are the most common causes of mucinous stools. However it is possible not to have any of the above conditions but still have mucinous discharge. Lifestyle modifications are usually required for the treatment of such cases.
How Probiotics Can Help Bacterial Vaginosis And A Yeast Infection
Both bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections are common conditions that many women deal with at one time or another. These illnesses each stem from having an overproduction of unhealthy bacteria in the vagina. Such bacteria are only able to grow when there is an imbalance in vaginal microflora, which is a group of bacteria that keep the vagina healthy.
When left untreated, BV and yeast infections can lead to serious complications like the development of transmitted infections or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease . If the patient is pregnant, these conditions could also result in a preterm birth or low birth weight.
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Will Probiotics Cure Bv
The theory behind using probiotics to cure BV is that they can increase the number of good bacteria in the vagina, to help restore the natural floral balance and normalising the vaginal pH. In turn, this could treat BV and prevent its recurrence. Supporting this idea, a review published in the Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease suggested that most studies carried out in this field have been in favour of probiotics in the treatment or prevention of BV, and no adverse effects have been reported. The researchers concluded that it may be helpful for women to take daily probiotic products.
However, not everyone is convinced. According to Dr Caroline Mitchell, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School, there is scant evidence to support the effectiveness of treating BV with probiotics and many of the studies in this area have been poorly done.
How To Nurture Both Probiotics And Mucus
Since strain is important with microbes when citing specific studies, Bifidobacterium dentium ATCC 27678 is the strain that was studied. In studies published by the Human Microbiome Project Consortium, it was found in healthy adults at a relative abundance of 0.7%. Since I don’t like to treat probiotics as drugs, unless they are specifically recognized as such, I don’t suggest that you intentionally seek out ATCC 27678 as the sole source of your mucus-enhancement program. There are other variables involved in mucus health beyond one single microbe! Besides, in general, other bifidos enhance intestinal mucus production and health, too. In addition to the drug analogy, another reason to not solely use 27678 is that B. dentium Bd1, a bacterium very closely related to ATCC 27678, is associated with dental caries. A better approach to nurture both probiotics and mucus is to look for ways to:
- Increase gut levels of the B. dentium and other Bifidobacterium you already have and decrease pathogens
- Provide your body with ways to boost intestinal mucus production and enhance mucus barrier properties
- Provide stand-ins for intestinal mucus until your body begins to produce more
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